The paper deals with the phenomenon of nomina attrubutiva, i.e. nouns denoting a bearer of a quality, in modern Norwegian. It is a corpus study of 55 compound nouns with verbal, nominal and adjectival stems. The goal of the study is to determine which nomina attributiva are the most frequent in written and spoken language and to analyze their usage patterns with regards to their reference and the types of syntactic structures they are parts of. The results show that the analyzed compounds are far from being a homogenous group and that they differ particularly in respect to reference.