Icelandic Studies - Icelandic Word Of The Issue: Gúrkutíð

Word Of The Issue: Gúrkutíð

Word Of The Issue: Gúrkutíð

Published May 17, 2018

Gúrkutíð is that magical time of year between June and August, or January and March, when nothing notable happens and media have no news to write.

Although this phenomenon is well-known in Iceland, ‘The Cucumber Time’ (gúrka=cucumber) dates back to the idle vacation days of German merchants. When business was low and nothing was happening, in fact, European merchants had so much free time that they’d put cucumbers to pickle for the next season.

Now, however, Gúrkutíð is marked by pictures of cats on the front page of Icelandic newspapers—so don’t expect The Grapevine to embark on a pickling venture, okay?

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