Kantslått | means cut grass in Norwegian | Norway

Kantslått is a Norwegian noun that means (1) the grass that is cut along the edges of a field, a road, etc. or (2) the actual process of cutting this grass. Traditionally, the grass was used as animal fodder.
LA Dahlmann | talk NORWAY
Cutting grass along the edge of the road. Odda, Hordaland, Norway in the late 1800s. | Photo: Axel Lindahl - Norsk Folkemuseum cc pdm.
Kantslått - using a half-sized scythe. The location is Odda, Hordaland, Norway in the late 1800s. | Photo: Axel Lindahl - Norsk Folkemuseum cc pdm.

Pronunciation

Kantslått

The grammar

A compound word made up of: kant + slått | noun | masculine | the indefinite form: en kantslått (a kantslått) | the definite form: kantslåtten (the kantslått) | the corresponding verb: å kantslå (to kantslå).

What does the word mean?

Kant: in this context, kant means edge, as in the edge of the field, the edge of the road, and so on.
Slått: in this context, slått means (1) the actual grass that is cut during the haymaking process, and the hay that is made from this grass – or – (2) the overall haymaking process itself.
Kantslått: means (1) grass cut around the edges of a field, a road, or similar – or (2) the actual process of cutting this grass.

In everyday speech, the definite form – slåtten and kantslåtten – is probably used more often than the indefinite form. Example: Slåtten kom sent i gang i år. → The haymaking process started late this year.

Similar or related words

Hakkeslått: has a similar meaning.
Skrapslått: has a slightly wider meaning, includes grass of lower quality – also in a larger meadow or patch.

More on the historical context

Utilising all resources

On the historical farm, all available fodder-resources were utilised to tide the domesticated animals over the long and cold winter.

Harvested the outfields

Deep and fertile soil was scarce in the Norwegian valleys, mountains, and fjords. In early history, the cultivated infields – innmarka – were mainly used to grow grain and other plants grown for human consumption. The grass made into hay was often taken from meadows located in the outfields – utmarka. These meadows could be close to, or hours away from, the home farm.

Cutting grass wherever it could be found

In addition to mowing the meadows – usually using a full-sized scythe – people also cut grass growing around the edges of the meadow, along paths, roads, fences, and buildings; anywhere it was worthwhile cutting it. In these places, there were often trees, roots, and boulders that they had to work around – and the grass was sometimes of lesser quality.

The scythe

When cutting the kantslåttkantslåtten – people often used a half-sized scythe – stuttorv – which was shorter and had a smaller blade. It was quicker to manoeuvre and easier to control – helping to avoid losing the sharpness of the blade by hitting too many obstacles.

Dried and stored

The kantslått was dried and stored as hay – or sometimes given to the animals to eat directly.

The kantslått of today

Today, the word kantslått is usually used when referring to the cutting of grass alongside roads, motorways, railroad tracks, fences, and so on.

Examples from books and stories

Vidar Kvalshaug Ingen landevei tilbake 1996
Han hadde småhogst og kantslått i blodet.
He had woodcutting and kantslått in his blood.

Johs. L. Hauge Minne og opplevingar frå mange år 1990
Lars Hauge slær kantslått med stuttorv.
Lars Hauge cuts kantslått with a half-sized scythe.

Kristoffer Brækken Brekken gård i Beitstad: gårds- og ættehistorie 1956
I 1900 ble kjøpt en Wood slåmaskin av Amerikansk fabrikat og da ble ljåslåtten innskrenket til kantslått.
In the year 1900, an American-made horse-drawn Wood hay mower was purchased, and from then on the use of the scythe was limited to the kantslått.

Sources: Nasjonalbiblioteket nb.no | Einar Haugen’s Norwegian-English dictionary | Det Norske Akademis ordbok | Bokmålsordboka and Nynorskordboka.

Our most recent posts

My Norwegian heritage

The old Norwegian farming society was a self-sufficient and balanced world. Coins and notes were all but an alien concept.
In 1836, milkmaid Kari Moen from the community of Sauherad in Telemark, Norway, was attacked by a bear. She almost lost her life that day.
The rose painted chests of Norway - a treasure that will live for centuries to come.
In this video-collection of historical photos, we visit the west coast of Norway and the region of Sogn og Fjordane. We recommend that you watch with the sound on. Enjoy!
The first half of the 1900s came with a momentous change to Norwegian society. The old ways of the ancient hunting and farming culture were rapidly dying.
Uekte and ekte are Norwegian adjectives that in one context means illegitimate and legitimate - as in a child born outside or inside a marriage.
10 July is the feast day of Saint Knut - Knutsok - and marks the beginning of the haymaking season - høyonna - in the old Norwegian farming calendar.
The first half of the 1900s was a time of enormous change in Norwegian society. It was then that a young boy experienced a peculiar family custom.
Per O. Rød wrote the history of the Stornæve farm and its inhabitants back in 1968. Decades earlier, several children of Stornæve had emigrated to the US.
Skigard is a Norwegian noun that means wooden fence. It is made of split tree trunks, using simple tools. Fence making and mending was a task for early summer.
Norway’s full independence came in AD 1905, and was the culmination of a process that had lasted for several decades.
Like all buildings on the old Norwegian farm, the stabbur had a clear purpose: it was a building designed for the storage of food.
Budrått is a Norwegian noun that means the output of milk products on a farm - such as cheese and butter. The word is often associated with what was produced during the summer on the seasonal mountain or forest pasture farm - the seter.
Bondegård is a Norwegian noun that means farm. In informal speech and in many dialects, people only use the single word gård or gard.
1769 was the year of the first complete Norwegian census. Today, Norway has a population of more than 5 million, in 1769 the number was 723,618.
The traditional Sami houses, the goahti, were in use until well into our own time. Anders Larsen tells us how he remembers them from the coastal Sami communities in northern Norway.
This is our second video-slideshow with vintage photos of the Norwegian farm horse. Enjoy!
In the olden days, people dressed up warmly and got out onto the fjord or lake to catch their Sunday dinner. Enjoy!
When the industrial revolution brought machinery to the Norwegian farms, it didn't just change the old working methods, it also changed the layout and look of the farmland.
Lystring is a Norwegian verb that means catching fish or other water creatures in the dark, using a fire torch to attract the fish and a multi-pronged spear.
The modern human has a tendency to judge its forebears and their way of life solely based on the reality of our own time.

Follow us on social media

Norwegian history