Norwegian: For det late svin er jorda alltid kald.


New Member
I was wondering if anyone could help me with the following Norwegian idiom: For det late svin er jorda alltid kald.

I can't find many references to it online, and I'm curious to know if there are any equivalent English expressions.

  • Something along the lines of if you don't do something about your situation (i.e. if you're lazy), you'll never be happy, maybe?
    If you google "For det late svin er jorden alltid kald", you will find a couple of references to it as a Norwegian proverb, but that is all. Your interpretation sounds reasonable to me. I thought it sounded like something from one of "Aesop's Fables", but apparently not. Sorry, but I can't help any more than that
    It is probably related to this Danish proverb,
    frossen, om jorden: haard (og vanskelig at arbejde i) p. gr. af kulde. LTid.1754.207. VSO. i talem. (især dial.): Jord er altid frossen for utrevne (dvs.: lade, dovne) Svin.
    meaning, 'for den dovne er alt arbejde besværligt' i.e. for a lazy person (or 'pig') all work seems hard and difficult...just like tilling/plowing frozen fields.

    Ref: frossen — ODS
    I think you found the solution, bicontinental!

    With your starting point, I googled some more, and found it in Ivar Aasen's Norske ordsprog (Norwegian proverbs) from 1856:
    D'er alltid klakad Mark fyre late Svin. El. frosi Mark fyre utrivne Svin. (D. e. Den Dovne finder altid Vanskelighed). Ogsaa Svensk og Dansk.

    In English:
    "The ground is always frozen for lazy pigs", or "[alternative wording]". (I.e.: The lazy person always finds difficulties). Also Swedish and Danish.