Word of the Issue: Bongóblíða - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Word of the Issue: Bongóblíða

Word of the Issue: Bongóblíða

Published August 17, 2018

Valur Grettisson

One of the most-used words in Icelandic to describe really good weather is ‘Bongóblíða.’ The origin of the word is actually from the 1988 Icelandic Eurovision song ‘Sólarsamba’ (“Sunny Samba”) by Icelandic beloved musician Magnús Kjartansson. He wrote and sang the song with his daughter, Margrét Gauja Magnúsdóttir, who would later become a substitute member of Parliament and a political figure in Iceland’s Social Democrat party. The lyrics were written by Halldór Gunnarsson, which explains why “Bongóblíða” has a cool ring to it. Halldór combined bongo drums—which Icelanders relate to countries with hot climates—and blíða, which means fair weather. So remember to only use the word if the weather is exceptionally good.

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