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eg bare putla saa smaat

I remember he used the expression several times that he was only puttering in a small way (“eg bare putla saa smaat”).
XXXIII . John G. Smith, Ole Consulen, G. Unonius.
      In 1841 a Swede came to Koshkonong and pretended to be both minister and physician. His name was John Smith. Hatlestad says...

at conclusion of XXXII. Elling Eielsen (pp410-414), and above start of XXXIII. John G. Smith, Ole Consulen, G. Unonius (pp414-416), in
The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration (1821-1840) : Its causes and results... With an introduction on the services rendered by the Scandinavians to the world and to America.
By Rasmus B(jorn). Anderson. Third edition (Madison, Wisconsin, 1896) : 414
Princeton copy/scan (via google) : link
same (Princeton copy/scan), via hathitrust : link

some colorful characters described herein.
google translates the Norwegian as “I just messed around a bit”

27 September 2023