Icelandic Studies - Icelandic Word Of The Issue: Ostaskeri

Word Of The Issue: Ostaskeri

Word Of The Issue: Ostaskeri

Published April 24, 2018

Alice Demurtas
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Travellers are often surprised by the peculiar ‘ostaskeri’ found in Icelandic Airbnb kitchens. Although it looks like a spatula, the horizontal blade at its base betrays its purpose: it’s a cheese (osta) cutter (skeri)!

But why do Icelanders often talk about how disgraceful it is to have an ‘ostaskeri’ in the middle of the road? Are they secretly ashamed of their cheese-slicers?

In reality, they’re referring to the dangerous security fence that separates opposite lanes on high traffic roads like the one to Hveragerði. The horizontal wires, in fact, are so sharp that if a biker or motorbiker clashes against the ‘ostaskeri’ in an accident, they’re said to well…we leave it to you to imagine the rest.

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