Word of the Issue: Skíthæll - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Word of the Issue: Skíthæll

Word of the Issue: Skíthæll

Valur Grettisson
Photos by

So you really don’t like that insanely expensive bagel that you bought at the tourist stop near Geysir and can’t restrain yourself from giving the cashier a piece of your mind? Try calling him “skíthæll.” The word is a weird combination of shit and heel. Yes, you read correct, the direct translation would be ‘shitheel.’ Sound strange, right? Well, the cashier will probably slide over the table and throw some punches in your direction. The word is from the late 1800s and nobody really knows where the ‘heel’ suffix comes from, but people will have a fit when that word is thrown out there. So, don’t use that one, and be polite to innocent people that are only doing their job because “skíthæll” are also rude to cashiers.


Show Me More!