Or for persons with a great fondness for seal meat. Desbladet has a tasty report on a couple of books on Greenlandic. My favorite bit:

Now, Janssen’s phrasebook was prepared for Europeans in Greenland, hardly doctors. So it was probably also handy that when all these sicknesses were treated, there a consoling word to close with: “Have no fear, God and his help are always with you and will make you hale again.”
A section on groceries starts with Greenlandic food: “Are you in the habit of eating seal-meat?”, to which there are two (2) answers: “Yes, I often eat seal-meat” or “Since I’ve just eaten, no thanks”.


  1. My favourite was: “Is there anything more frustrating than when you get stuck for a Greenlandic phrase while out gunting? I, for one, hate that”. A wider web search finds that “gunting” = dog-sledging.

  2. Ray, do you have a link for that? Googling gunting -spyderco (to weed out Filipono knife fighters) has no such somethings on the first four pages.

  3. Des: I’m sorry, I was skimming late at night, and assumed “gunting or dog sledging” meant they were synonymous. To clear up matters: the source of “gunting” appears to be the blurb at the website of the Atuagkat bookstore, Nuuk, Greenland. Comparing blurbs for the English and Danish versions of the Hertling book, I find parallel listings “out gunting or dog sledging” / “på jagt – på hundeslædetur”. I conclude it’s just a typo for “hunting”.

  4. … which was probably blindingly obvious at once to everyone else. Duh.

  5. I wasn’t sure, but I figured that page had enough typos to make it plausible.

  6. OK, let’s all keep quiet about the typo business, and see if we can introduce “gunting” as a term for ‘dog sledging.’ OED, here we come!

  7. The word leads in odd directions: apart from the nasty-looking Spyderco knife Des mentioned, a Gunting also turns out to be a “scissors” block in Filipino martial arts.

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