The word of the Week is: Djammviskubit

Pronunciation: Jam-whiss-ku-biid

Meaning: Partying-Bad-Conscience

There is a time in everyone’s life when they’ve found themselves partying just a little too hard. It’s a cross-cultural experience that humanity has dealt with since we, as a people, learnt to ferment mead out of honey and water. An experience we have been dealing with—with limited success—throughout the ages.

Known as one of the world’s most exciting party capitals, Reykjavík is an excellent city to behave in a way you’ll likely regret in the morning. With locals willing to brave all sorts of nasty weather in order to head out for a night on the town, a wide vocabulary has developed to match this hard-core party scene.

One of the most notable words from said vocabulary is Djammviskubit.


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A portmanteau of Djamm (“Partying”) and Samviskubit (“Bad Conscience”), Djammviskubit covers a very particular feeling. It is the inkling of a memory, a recollection of something one probably shouldn’t have done that begins crawling out from the darkness of their hazy brain into the sober light of day.

It is drunken regret, a repentant sensation that claims you’ve had a great night out, but did something you shouldn’t have.

Sometimes, we forget that even though there are six in the pack, we don’t need to drink them all at once…

Not to be confused with a hangover, Djammviskubit is solely an emotional state, one related to whatever scandals have been committed the previous evening. Djammviskubit cares little for your physical well being and, in some extreme cases, long outlasts the effects of even the most severe hangovers.

Using the word is a light way of making fun of whatever awkwardness your intoxication caused, a way of coping with the behaviour that still might make you feel a touch guilty the next morning. Going over the smaller things one might have said or done, this feeling usually fades alongside the hangover. In the worst case scenario, it will disappear upon the next weekend’s party night.

A more kid-friendly version of this word is Nammviskubit, replacing Djamm with Nammi (“Candy”), used to describe that feeling when you eat too many sweets, or when you feel like a sack of deep-fried potatoes from all the crips you’ve eaten.

In essence, it is when one feels let down by their own lack of self-control, and are compelled to make changes like eating healthy or drinking less. Naturally, this latter part of the feeling is often forgotten as Djammviskubit disappears into the mists of time.


Do you have a word in your language that’s missing in English? What Icelandic words would you like to learn more about? Make sure to leave a comment below!