From Iceland — Words Of Interest: Town Mouse, Country Mouse

Words Of Interest: Town Mouse, Country Mouse

Published March 27, 2017

Words Of Interest: Town Mouse, Country Mouse

“Lattelepjandi lopatrefill” is a fun little phrase to say, perhaps even something of a tongue twister. It literally means “latte-sipping wool scarf,” and refers, rather unkindly, to the residents of Reykjavík.

Lattelepjandi lopatrefill are stereotyped as artists and hippies—city dwellers, who, with their single-sourced coffee beans and La Marzocco espresso machines, have completely disconnected from the ruggedness of the land and sea. Though originally conceived as a derogatory term, nowadays it’s oftentimes used in an ironic, self-deprecating sort of way.

The opposite of these woolen scarves are the hay-heaving labourers: farmers, fisherman, etc. Iceland’s economy was at one point largely grounded in toiling on land or at sea, and therefore these rugged workers consider their professions “real” work.

The capital region, which includes Reykjavík and its neighbouring six municipalities, accounts for over 60% of Iceland’s entire population. In 2015, the population of the country grew by about 1.1%, or 2429 people. The Greater Reykjavík area saw its population increase by 2333, which is all but 96 people from the entire pool. Statistics Iceland estimates that by 2065, the Icelandic population could swell to over 520,000 (or 442,228 by more conservative projections).

Urban populations will continue to rise the world over; this is inevitable. But, as we continue to head towards an idea-based economy, Iceland’s bobos are looking good, because it obviously takes a certain sense of humour to refer to yourself as a coffee-swilling scarf.

Every Single Word In Icelandic is a pictographic exploration of the Icelandic language. I find an interesting compound word, then deconstruct and illustrate it as icons. The goal is to express how Icelandic can be deadpan literal and unexpectedly poetic at the same time.

Read more “Words Of Interest” here, and check out Eunsan’s Facebook page, Every Single Word In Icelandic

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