From Iceland — Just Sayings: “Öll er æfin dauði”

Just Sayings: “Öll er æfin dauði”

Just Sayings: “Öll er æfin dauði”

Published November 4, 2020

Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Mstyslav Chernov/Wikimedia Commons

Are you hating the pandemic? Don’t like the looming death in every man’s cough? Well, here is an optimistic way to look at things: the ancient Icelandic idiom “Öll er æfin dauði” which means, simply, that life is death!

How does that work? Well, it plainly reminds you that from birth, you are technically dying all the time; with every breath you take you become closer to death—if you want to be emo about things. We are not sure where it originated, but we’re guessing it was someone’s priest’s dramatic last words. The saying is also meant to remind one to be humble about life and all of the coincidences that can happen to everyone. So embrace that cough—sorry about the bad taste of my jokes, I can’t help myself—because life is death anyway.

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