top of page

One Word - Two Different Meanings

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Have you ever noticed how often you hear a Norwegian word used differently than you're used to and you ask yourself "Wait! I thought dyr meant animal??" The Norwegian language reuses a lot of words. These reused words are called homonyms. So, let’s talk about them for a bit... What is a homonym, you ask? Simply put, homonyms are different words that are spelled the same or sound the same.

Every language has homonyms and they can be tricky in your own native language, especially when you’re writing (English speakers the world over still confuse too, to, and two). But homonyms can be incredibly confusing when you’re learning a new language. Read on to learn more some of the more commonly confused Norwegian homonyms, and how to be a homonym pro.

First things first. Not all homonyms are the same. There are different kinds of homonyms, the two main ones being homophones and homographs.

Homophones are a type of homonym that sound the same but are spelled differently. For example:


Hjul, with an "h" means "wheel", while jul is "Christmas".