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Why “fatherland” has a different meaning in Iceland and why you should know about it

Dress off the cold with a woolly long pants known as fatherland.

Dress off the cold with a woolly long pants known as fatherland.

In many countries the noun “fatherland” has rich connections to patriotism and often socialism as well. This is also true in Iceland but here the word has another altogether different meaning.

In Icelandic “fatherland” is föðurland and while it describes one´s home country or home soil as elsewhere, it is also commonly used for long cotton pants believe it or not. As many other things on this windy Atlantic island this makes no sense whatsoever and amazingly historians do not know either why we use fatherland for woolly long pants.

Sexy they are not

But obscure reasons is not the reason we wanted to let you know about it. We wanted to let you know to buy a “fatherland” if you arrive here in bleeding cold in wintertime. Authentically Icelandic and wearing a fatherland underneath another good pants will keep you warm in most conditions. This goes for both male and female although females will hardly find the pants very sexy. They are not and not meant to be.

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