Troll’s Tongue
Or Troll’s Tail

I have some strange idiosyncrasies. While some readers might think they are a bit eccentric, they are pleasant and charming for me. I need to understand things far more than most people feel they must grasp. For example, one of my interesting quirks is that I try to understand everything about places that I have traveled while overseas. I’m hyped about my flying off to Pakistan and then to Myanmar. In about three months, I fly off to see the Khewra Salt Mine located in Khewra, which is in the Punjab area of Pakistan. I had watched this video before I could truly understood how the second largest salt mine was formed. Being there will be the crème de la crème educationally for me.

Then I will continue my journey to spend time with my family in Taunggyi, Myanmar.

In the process of preparing for that trip, National Geographic sent an advertisement to visit Bhutan, which isn’t too far from my family in Taunggyi. I noticed this photo in the email about visiting that small country nestled in the Himalayan mountains. It is called the Tiger’s Nest (Lair) Monastery.

Tiger’s Nest

Many travelers would be interested in traveling to Bhutan and seeing some of the many wondrous sites. I too would love to visit Bhutan especially to visit Tiger’s Nest Monastery. However, I needed to find out about the origins of the name for that Buddhist monastery.

Sandy, my web administrator, obviously noticed my interest in traveling and especially the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Sandy’s family live not far from the Khewra Salt Mine and her brother will take me there in mid-December. However, in the midst of emails, Sandy mentioned that she and Ali, her husband, are going to Trolltunga, Norway. Enclosed in that email was this photo.

Sandy will send me a photo of Ali and her waving to me like this couple.

While Trolltunga is a fanatically beautiful place, I’ll never stand on that ledge, which is 2,300 feet above Ringedalsvatnet Lake below. So, I am either a coward to wave to my readers or a wise old man. I’ll never do that, because I want to be around a bit longer.

However, I am intrigued by its name, Trolltunga. What’s in that name was my quest. It didn’t take long to determine its etymology. The first part of the name has to do with a troll. The last half of the name is the Norwegian name for tongue.

Now, most people would let sleeping dogs lie and not get all psyched up about why that ledge that juts out from the mountain is called Troll’s Tongue. Not me. In fact, I didn’t let a sleeping troll’s tongue lie. Therefore, I needed to grasp two issues: trolls and glaciers.

First, the troll issue. The haunt for trolls is Scandinavia. Some are real and others are merely a part of Norse mythology. Basically, there are two breeds of trolls. The general, run-of-the-mill Scandinavian trolls are called Jötnar. They aren’t particularly cute, and they sometimes have only one eye and a set of tusks along with their teeth. In addition, they need to avoid sunlight at all cost. If they venture out in the daytime, they will become a giant stone bolder. Therefore, they live in caves but are carnivores. They especially like human flesh, which are their meal of choice. This creates a problem for the Jötnar. They love to eat human beings but need to stay out of the daylight. Apparently, humans are relatively safe if they don’t go out at night.


If you are traveling to Scandinavia, you might want to go outside only during the day to avoid the Jötnar. On the other hand, Norway has generally a nice group of trolls that look quite like humans. However, there are some differences between them and us. They only had four toes and four fingers on each appendage and often have tails. Some varieties are nice looking and have blond hair.

This is an excellent picture of a troll.

A huldra chatting with a hunter

This is a huldra, which is a female troll who is talking to a Norwegian hunter. They have the ability to entice and flirt with males. Guys, who are gullible, would be taken home by the huldra as her lover or as her house pet.

Now, for the second issue. It has to do with glaciers. During the ice age, which occurred 10,000 years ago, the glaciers carved the mountains. The glaciers not only carved the mountains but also the river valleys between the mountains. In Norway, the result of the melting of the glaciers allowed the water from the sea to create fjords. The Sogne Fjord is the deepest in Norway and is nearly a mile deep. It is also the longest fjord in Norway. As much of the glaciers melted, the land mass under the glacier rose.

Go to the video about the Sogme Fjord.

The Sogme Fjord

Therefore, one can understand how nature, over time, could create Trolltunga or the Troll’s Tongue. However, what’s with the tongue nomenclature? I am not Norwegian, but it seems that it should have been given the name, Troll’s Tail. I didn’t discover anything about trolls’ tongues. It didn’t make sense to me.

Realizing that I had run into a roadblock, I emailed Donald the Dumb about the nomenclature issue. He claims that he is “like, really smart.” Well, he didn’t address my question about the terminology issue. He just went on with a long rant about trolls being fake people.

Because of my idiosyncrasy of wanting to know everything about everything that is important to me, you now know more about the Troll’s Tongue than 95% of all Americans, including our fake president, who is “like, really smart.”