Articles:-ó endings

Level B1

There exists a fun little pattern of shortening Icelandic words, which is to take the first syllable of the word[1] and then add "-ó" to it. This pattern is surprisingly common in certain contexts. While most of them can only be used in informal contexts or make you sound like a teenager, a handful can be used in relatively formal speech.

Words shortened on this format are always two syllables. This trick does not work for any word, it only works on word that already have an established short version.

This page contains a list of words you are relatively likely to encounter. For a list of less common words, see here.

Very common words

The following words are heard in everyday speech:

  • strætisvagn → strætó (bus)
    • Extremely common, even in formal speech.
  • tyggigúmmí → tyggjó (gum)
    • Extremely common.

Relatively common words

  • slysadeild → slysó (hospital emergency department)
    • Extremely common.
  • róluvöllur → róló (playground that includes a swingset)
    • Extremely common.
  • sleikipinni → sleikjó (popsicle)
    • Extremely common.

Some proper names

Less common or informal

  • kærasti / kærasta → kæró (boyfriend, girlfriend)
    • Informal, occasionally used by the younger generation.
    • „Ég og kæró ætlum að kíkja til Sigló um helgina.“
  • vandræðalegt → vandró (awkward, "awko taco")
    • Very informal, occasionally used by the younger generation.
    • „Ég labbaði óvart inn í vitlaust hús, það var ekkert smá vandró.“
  • leyndarmál → leyndó (a secret)
    • Informal but extremely common for young speakers.
    • „Þú mátt ekki segja neinum, þetta er leyndó.“
  • huggulegt → huggó (cozy)
    • Informal, not very common.
    • „Æ hvað það er eitthvað huggó hérna inni hjá þér eftir að þú settir upp jólaseríuna.“
  • kammó[2] (to be friendly/pleasant/likable with someone)
    • Informal, somewhat common.
    • „Ég þekki nágranna mína ekki svo vel, en þeir eru voða kammó.“
  • bæ → bæjó (bye)
    • Informal, very common.
    • „Sjáumst.“ „Já, bæjó.“

Others




Further reading

Notes

  1. In rarer cases the word can also somehow be distilled into a single syllable, like in afbrýðisamurabbó.
  2. This word is derived from the Danish word "kammerat", meaning "mate" / "friend".
The word „bíó“ (cinema) is a loan word taken from the Danish "biograf-teater" (biographical theater), meaning that it has not been constructed like the other shortened word shown here. The same applies to sjampó and vídjó.