Published March 4, 2016
“Ég tók hann í bakaríið” literally means “I took him to the bakery.” At first glance, it sounds rather lovely— treating someone to freshly baked goods—but the meaning behind the idiom isn’t quite so jovial. It’s actually used to describe beating or dominating someone, often in the context of sports.
“Að baka” means “to bake,” but in this case it’s slang for “to defeat.” So, if you are taking someone to the bakery, you can imagine how much of an ass-whooping they are in for. According to the University of Iceland-run Vísindavefurinn website, this phrase is a fairly recent linguistic phenomenon, only dating back to a dictionary of slang published in 1982.
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.