Mag
Articles
Word Of The Issue: Fjandakornið

Word Of The Issue: Fjandakornið

Photos by
YouTube/screaming old man

Published June 5, 2018

The word of this issue is fjandakornið. Author Margaret Atwood once pointed out that when it comes to a culture’s swear words, “the worst ones in any language are what they are most afraid of”. In Iceland, nearly every swear word has something to do with Satan, and fjandakornið is no exception. This literally means “the devil’s grain”, but is, in fact, an expletive. And by that we mean it’s the kind of expletive your 80-year-old devoutly Christian grand aunt would use. It’s not particularly powerful when trying to express anger or frustration, but you wouldn’t know that if you’ve ever watched a film or TV show with Icelandic subtitles. For example, this word was once used to translate the decidedly unchristian “motherfucker” in the movie Sleepers. Today, when spoken by anyone under retirement age, it is either being used ironically or when in the company of small children. It’s a great example of how expletives can lose their power over time, and it’s for that reason that fjandakornið is the word of the issue.


Mag
Articles
Revisiting and Revising History: 10 Years After the Financial Crisis

Revisiting and Revising History: 10 Years After the Financial Crisis

by

October marks the tenth anniversary of the complete collapse of the Icelandic banking system. Several weeks after Lehman Brothers’ September

Mag
Articles
What Have We Won?—Number One For Chlamydia

What Have We Won?—Number One For Chlamydia

by

The clam. The myds. The Reykjavík Handshake. All of these are terms you can use to describe chlamydia, one of

Mag
Articles
Ask A Linguist: Why Does No Icelandic Word Start With “Д?

Ask A Linguist: Why Does No Icelandic Word Start With “Д?

by

One of the first things that stands out about the Icelandic alphabet is the humble “ð”, or “eth”As cool as

Mag
Articles
CCP Games Bought Out, Shifts Focus to Mobile and Hollywood

CCP Games Bought Out, Shifts Focus to Mobile and Hollywood

by

Pearl Abyss, the company behind the massively multiplayer online role-playing game ‘Black Desert Online,’ has bought the Icelandic gaming company

Mag
Articles
Word Of The Issue: Utangátta

Word Of The Issue: Utangátta

by

‘Utangátta’ has suddenly become a mystical word in Hollywood, thanks to Cary Fukunaga’s hit Netflix series ‘Maniac.’ In episode nine,

Mag
Articles
How To Survive An Icelandic Winter

How To Survive An Icelandic Winter

by

Icelandic winters can be hard and long. It’s good to prepare, because winter is coming and with it lethargy, melancholy

Show Me More!