Ola and Kari Nordmann

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Caricature Ola Nordmanns with mocking Europa in the background.

Ola and Kari Nordmann ( Norwegian : Ola og Kari Nordmann (pronounced nuurmann ), often just: Ola og Kari) is a term in Norway both for the allegory of all inhabitants of the country and a common placeholder name for an average Norwegian family .

History and dissemination

The figure of Ola Nordmann was created in the 19th century when Henrik Wergeland published a book with Nordic stories. The figure was picked up again in the early 20th century and has since been used both in caricatures (there he wears traditional Bunad clothes and a peasant hat, as it is also associated with nits ) and in the vocabulary as a fictional person, representing the average Norwegian. Ola and Kari (from Katarina ) are common Norwegian names and are therefore often equated with the average Norwegian in Norwegian journalism. In German, comparable figures are both ordinary consumers as the average consumer, but also the German Michel as an allegory to all citizens of the country.

To fill out forms (comparable to the German Mustermann ), however, the fictitious Peder Ås is used.


  • Jutta Eschenbach: Ola Nordmann in the German forest of leaves. Linguistic constitution of national stereotypes and their use in the German press - using the example of the Norwegian category . (= Gothenburg German Research, Vol. 39). Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, Göteborg 2000. ISBN 91-7346-374-4 .

Web link

  • Statistisk sentralbyrå (“Central Statistical Office”): Dette er Kari og Ola - Kvinner og menn i Norge (Eng. “These are Kari and Ola - women and men in Norway”, brochure on the statistical data of Norwegian citizens, described in an easy-to-understand way )