• Sweden edition
Sluts, sex and farts - welcome to Swedish
This Swedish road sign has nothing to do with flatulence

Sluts, sex and farts - welcome to Swedish

Published: 20 Apr 2012 14:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Apr 2012 14:24 GMT+02:00

An English speaker recently visited us in Stockholm, and found great amusement in pointing out all the funny looking words.

Yes, here in Sweden, most people don’t even raise an eyebrow when a train pulls into a “slut station” (final station). Nor when a magazine might offer “sex tips” for a better office environment (that is, six tips).

And when a road sign points out there is a “fart hinder” ahead, it just means speed bump (however the image above can always bring a smile).

Click here for The Local's list

Anyhow, these fresh eyes got us thinking. Sure, the Swedish language has some strange words from the perspective of an English speaker.

But even stranger, perhaps, are those Swedish words that amuse even the most determined language learner.

For example, the word "vegetables" in Swedish is “grönsaker” which literally translates to "green things" - and that's just the beginning.

With this in mind, we gathered our nine favourite Swedish words (with the help of our Twitter followers) where a literal translation could send you on a wild goose chase.

Call them weird translations, call them compounding madness, you can call them what you like: just don't eat the "mother cake".

Click here for the gallery of our top nine weird Swedish words

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

18:21 April 20, 2012 by Åskar
No 5 might be some kind of a buffet, but it is in no way a "Smörgåsbord".
19:52 April 20, 2012 by Old Trafford
'semester' (meaning 'school term' in english but 'holiday' in swedish) takes the cake in my opinion
00:43 April 21, 2012 by Mbenzi
"Sätt på kaffet"...

F*** the coffee?
09:37 April 21, 2012 by Leyarah
I have a number of favourites:

"Pratshow", - Talk Show - particularly as most of the people who go on them are in fact prats!!!!

"Slag" - Punch - which is what will happen if you call someone a slag!!

"Fuktteknik" - Damp Technology - That one kinda speaks for itself and makes me giggle like crazy every time I see the van go past me
09:56 April 21, 2012 by skatty
Personally, I misunderstood the first time a Swede asked me "är du pigg…?" which I confused "pigg" with the English "pig", and felt upset!
10:44 April 21, 2012 by Lukestar1991
For example, the word "vegetables" in Swedish is "grönsaker" which literally translates to "green things" - and that's just the beginning.

20:22 April 21, 2012 by philster61
My favourite is Slappa Meg....(slap me)
21:00 April 21, 2012 by Old Trafford
Another for me is 'kom igen' which in English will be 'come again (repeat)'..but no! no!! no!!! in swedish, it is 'common'
14:55 April 22, 2012 by AndreaGerak
"kom igen" would be actually "come on", and not "common"...

There are some Swedish words that sound funny in Hungarian as well:

"fika" = snut

"kaka"= sh*t

"kula" = sh*t

"kurva" = whore

So if you go to Kungens kurva and get a nice kaka for fika, topped with a kula of soft ice...
20:16 April 22, 2012 by Old Trafford
Dammsugare - vacuum cleaner in swedish. One could think of it as 'lady sucker' in literal english translation :)
05:13 April 23, 2012 by pivo
Whenever I see someone moving at a fast pace I can hear my Swedish boyfriend's voice saying "full fart!" It always makes me laugh.
12:13 April 23, 2012 by Åskar
@Old Trafford

Only if you don't know how to spell it.
17:15 April 23, 2012 by guy noir
Headline for a review of a fast car seen in the automobile supplement:


Sale (Rea) sign seen at Ikea:


which, when the å is properly pronounced, sounds like :-)

Some Swedish words are difficult to say when with Germans, and will raise some eyebrows:

the verb in "Jag Fick", sounds and is spelled exactly like the German verb in I f..k while Fika is close ... and Fickan sounds exactly like the infinitive of the german verb to f..k
18:16 April 23, 2012 by bow290
no one picked up on the swedish word for edge or corner... give that one a go in crowded room, it out does all the rest by a swedish mile!
19:49 September 11, 2012 by Emerentia
@ Old Trafford "Damsugare" would be lady sucker, but there is no such word. Dam=lady, dame. Damm=Dust. Dammsugare=Dustsucker.
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