Just Sayings: "Úti að aka" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Just Sayings: “Úti að aka”

Just Sayings: “Úti að aka”

Published April 30, 2019

Valur Grettisson
Photos by
Adobe Stock

So, you’re out driving? That doesn’t sound so bad. Does it? Well, if you are in Iceland, and someone says to you that you are out driving (úti að aka) they mean that you have absolutely no goddamn idea what you are doing. The saying is used all the time in Icelandic rhetoric, often as harsh criticism of the government or business leaders.

I can’t find where the saying originated from, or why it’s so negative to be out driving. Perhaps it means that cars are really bad for the environment and you need to be an idiot to drive aimlessly, but Icelanders love driving aimlessly in their cars, so I have my doubts.

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