Word Of The Issue: Legkaka - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Word Of The Issue: Legkaka

Word Of The Issue: Legkaka

Published March 22, 2017

The word of the issue this issue is legkaka. Normally, this space is reserved for Icelandic words that have no direct English equivalent. In this case, there is an equivalent, as this is the Icelandic word for “placenta.” However, the direct translation of “legkaka” is literally “womb cake.” In terms of sheer cringe factor, that easily beats the Icelandic word for “nipples,”: “geirvörtur”—literally, “spear warts.” We can only imagine what desperate circumstances led to the creation of this word. Was the placenta once used as food, or is the womb being compared to an oven? If the latter, wouldn’t that make the baby itself the “womb cake?” We may never know, and it is this mystery that makes legkaka the word of the issue.

Read more “word of the issue” here.


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