Just Sayings: "Það Liggur Í Augum Uppi" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Just Sayings: “Það Liggur Í Augum Uppi”

Just Sayings: “Það Liggur Í Augum Uppi”

Published April 24, 2019

Valur Grettisson
Photos by
Creative Commons

“Það liggur í augum uppi” (approx. pronounced “thath liggur ee œjum uppy”) is an old and fairly common saying in Iceland. It literally translates to: It lays in the eyes upstairs. Confused? Well, it actually means “obvious.” But there is nothing obvious about it. I mean, on what floor do these eyes live? The saying implies that things are so obvious that it’s just ridiculous to discuss it any further. Icelanders use this term in their everyday language and it feels quite organic in discussions. But of course, if you translate the idiom to English, it unveils the oddity of the Icelandic language in a hilarious way. So the next time an Icelander tells you about something obvious, just say: Well, of course, it lays in the eyes upstairs. How complicated can it be?

For more “Just Sayings” like “Það liggur í augum uppi,” click here.

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