Just Sayings: "Að Launa Einhverjum Lambið Gráa" — The Reykjavik Grapevine

Just Sayings: “Að Launa Einhverjum Lambið Gráa”

Just Sayings: “Að Launa Einhverjum Lambið Gráa”

Published July 31, 2019

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Adobe Stock

‘The Lion King’ is now in theatres and what better way to celebrate the ultimate savannah revenge story than with an iconic Icelandic one? Specifically, that of the Heiðarvíga Saga. In it, teenager Gestur Þórhallason seeks revenge on his father’s murderer, Víga-Styr, who then offers Gestur a gray lamb as compensation for the slaying. Of course, Gestur is having none of it and later kills Viga-Styr, saying, in the process, “Þar launaði ég þér lambið gráa,” meaning “I’ve repaid your grey lamb.” The phrase, “að launa einhverjum lambið gráa,” or, “to repay someone with the grey lamb,” has since become the best way to express the simple sentiment: payback is a bitch.

For more “Just Sayings” like “Að launa einhverjum lambið gráa,” click here.

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