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Parents freaking upset about offensive sandwich
A child on the tip of the F word in the sandwich shop promo vid. Screengrab/YouTube

Parents freaking upset about offensive sandwich

Published: 02 Apr 2014 15:59 GMT+02:00

Two brothers are set to open a new eatery in Gothenburg in the spring and have given their venture the name "A Fucking Awesome Sandwich." While owner Christian Ingber says he often heard the cuss word used in a positive sense during his years living in New York, a fellow American-Gothenburger has taken extreme offence at the moniker.

"Swedes use the English language and use curse words and think it's cute and charming," American-Swede Karen Rowland, who used to run a network for expat women in Gothenburg, told The Local. "It's part of their lexicon but also I think they don't realize how many immigrants speak English." 

Ingber, who also owns the restaurant Puta Madre, which means "Your mother is a prostitute" in Spanish, said the name was not to be taken too seriously.

"It's not the F word in a negative context," he told The Local. "It could be a question of humour, we thought it was a fun name. My seven-year-old daughter is not allowed to swear, but she knows how to use 'fucking' in the right context."

READ ALSO: When Swedes swear, they do so in English

His daughter took part in a promotional video for the sandwich shop, that was published on Facebook to mixed reviews.

"Incredibly infantile choice of name," a man commented in Swedish. "What's wrong with something like 'A Freaking Awesome Sandwich'?" 

The commenter also said he thought it was offensive that the new eatery had children utter the word in the commercial, "trying to justify the word 'fucking'".

"And I'm neither Christian, bereft of humour, nor without a partner, but I walk past that street corner often with my children, and there has to be some bloody order." 

Sandwich entrepreneur Ingber underscored that several children in the video had American parents, and had attended a local English-language daycare centre where the teachers gave the video positive feedback.

"If anyone were to protest, it would be those teachers," Ingber said. "They called us silly."

US-born critic Rowland said it was "reprehensible" to use the word fucking, but said it was probably part of a "media-savvy" ploy, which Ingber denied. He said he hoped there would be less focus on the name and more on the food.

"To see the word rather than the product, that almost makes me a bit annoyed," he said. "I bet that 90 percent of those that grumble about us letting a child say fuck take their children to be poisoned at McDonald's." 

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

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