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Sweden's 'silliest' place names revealed

Joel Linde · 7 Jan 2012, 13:25

Published: 07 Jan 2012 13:25 GMT+01:00

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We will start close to the famous ski town of Mora in central Sweden, where there is a little place with a rather eye-catching name.

Perhaps it's a description (let's hope not), or maybe it was just named when the word had a completely different meaning, but for whatever reason, someone, at some point in time, found it appropriate to name this place Rövhålet, which literally translates to The Butthole.

When one starts to dig deeper, it turns out out Swedes have named plenty of places after that particular body part.

People outside Uppsala, for example, can take a stroll in the terrain of Djupröven (Deep Arse), and outside Gothenburg one can enjoy a swim in any of the Yellow, Small or Big Arse lakes (Gula Röven, Lilla Röven, Stora Röven).

A somewhat cuter name but still perhaps not the first pick to put on your resumé, is Kattsjärten in Värmland. The Local's translation for this (hopefully) unusual name is Cat's Bottom.

With this we're leaving the behinds behind.

This may sound like something you would see in a tabloid headline after a Saturday night in the Big Brother house, but Sexträsk (Sex Swamp) is a place in northern Sweden, about 150 kilometers inland from Skellefteå.

And although Sweden is about as unprejudiced as countries come, many a driver in Sollentuna just north of Stockholm, have had to double take for decades as they pass a place called Bögs Gård (Gay's Farm).

Sweden is also known for having many fresh water lakes, soothing bathers during hot summer days.

Although none of us here at The Local have ever been to these particular lakes we found we agreed that the names Köttsjön (Meat Lake) and Rumpsjön (Bottom Lake) didn't create very inviting images.

Neither, in fact, did Pissholmen (Piss Islet).

Between Uppsala and Gävle in central Sweden, outside the town of Horsskog (which is one step away from claiming first place on this list for reasons we abstain from revealing) is an area that might be just a little stickier, a little nastier and a little smellier than other places. It is called Snormossen (Snot Bog).

Although, it has a contender in Varberg (Puss Mountain) in Halland County.

Story continues below…

The following three aren't actually that bad, read in Swedish. But English-speakers with some knowledge of Swedish pronunciation, or vice versa, can probably see what's funny about Äs, Middelfart and Horred.

And perhaps it isn't so surprising if people living in or near Fnaskberget (Trollop's Mound) fail to write that as their permanent address on their resumé.

However, despite residents in some places every now and again revolt against names that they feel are less than fortunate, it would seem that most people are happy to live where they live, regardless of name.

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:18 January 7, 2012 by mansson248
We Swedes have really quite funny names of some places.
17:28 January 7, 2012 by Dave N
Nothing beats Bastardstown in Ireland.
18:06 January 7, 2012 by Svensksmith
Is Bögs Gård anywhere near Rövhålet?
18:21 January 7, 2012 by Hogwash
Ireland is great for silly place names - how about Crazy Corner and Muff?
18:21 January 7, 2012 by Boringday
Wow so the local really is akin to a 11 year old giggling elementary school kid who blushes when you say "uranus." Get a life people, this is lame, pathetic "journalism".

I hope this website gets shut down by SOPA for being too stupid.
18:29 January 7, 2012 by Swedifornia

You know what a good solution to your problem would be?

Don't read The "stupid" Local.
19:07 January 7, 2012 by Opinionfool
Every country has silly place names both in their indigenous language and when translated into some other one.
21:04 January 7, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Thanks for the giggles!!
21:58 January 7, 2012 by Gefle383
Isn't Middelfart in Denmark or is it Middelsfart , always remember one of my early treks to scandinavia on inter rail, 4 of us, I chose Stockholm, my mate Cushty chose Oslo, the only girl on the trip, Roisín, chose Munich but our other mate chose Middelsfart. He scoured the whole map of Europe to find a place that sounded like middlesbrough, 'cause he's a supporter, would you believe it. On a Monday night, probabaly as sh*t as middlesbrough on a Monday night, or a saturday night come to that ! Great trip though and in the long run probably led to me semi-living in Gävle. Long live Middelfart ! or is it Middelsfart !
23:39 January 7, 2012 by skogsbo
The usa is jealous because all of its place names are copies of somewhere else, so they mean anything relevant to the location.
00:08 January 8, 2012 by Svensksmith
Have you ever been to the US, skogsbo? There are plenty of cities and towns with names that are not copies of other names.
00:56 January 8, 2012 by Tanskalainen
In the US they have a church named "Beaverlick Baptist Church" . Who says Christianity isn't fun?
01:17 January 8, 2012 by MichiganLady
Here there was an old large pond known to locals as "Bare @ss Lake" on account of the skinny-dipping that went on there, I guess. Anyway, it SOMEhow made it onto an Official County Map several decades ago--someone slipped it by--as "Bareass Lake". It took a second glance (is that from the French?!)
04:00 January 8, 2012 by Alexarium
This article is so funny. I don't understand why @Boringday reacts like this.

I totally agree with @Swedifornia: just stop reading dude, visit Google and shoot away all you want!

Anyway, funny article, I tweeted this.
10:44 January 8, 2012 by Stonebridge
To those who don't like the criticism of this article...

The response "don't read The Local then", completely misses the point, and is the most lame reply imaginable.

You read the Local for news of Sweden in English. Mostly the articles are well written but occasionally they are badly written. This does not, or shouldn't, stop you from reading the news, but you have every right to point out the fact that the article isn't up to standard or is riddled (as is often the case) with Swenglish.
11:49 January 8, 2012 by skogsbo
Yes i have been and i was generalising(quite a bit), my point being that i just don't get this article. Next it will words that are ok in one language, but rude in another, like the swedish for chef. Trouble is the average reader here isn't 12 and puberty is a distant memory and most of us have matured above the level of this article.
13:21 January 8, 2012 by Svensksmith
Maturity is over-rated as far as I'm concerned.
14:21 January 8, 2012 by mhsyed
and if you translate Lund in Hindi, it means ....dick. seriously you can ask any indian
20:27 January 8, 2012 by dizzymoe33
@ skogsbo

You are incorrect about all of our American cities being named after European cities. Where I am from which is Washington State all of our cities are name after the American Indians. That is why no one can pronounce them!
23:22 January 8, 2012 by tompaq
Blue Balls, Pennsylvania is certainly Not named after anyplace else. It is down the road from Intercourse. Very funny county there in Central Pennsylvania.
09:17 January 9, 2012 by skogsbo
Dizzy, just a shame you all but wiped them out, but kept the place name! ;)
10:44 January 9, 2012 by Stonefarm
"Röv", from Old Norse rauf ("gap, rift, hole"). Compare to Danish røv.
12:01 January 9, 2012 by Swedifornia

I can't see how it is. I have my own favorite newspapers, and if I see a headline I don't like, guess what, I don't click it. But perhaps you expect EVERYTHING to be to your liking?

And I especially reacted to the fact that you called it pathetic journalism and that you hoped that The Local would get shut down for being too stupid. Well then I just don't see why you would ever type the url into your browser...
13:26 January 9, 2012 by mikewhite
Near Bristol, UK there is an place called Catbrain.

There are a couple of towns in England which cause problems for residents wanting to register online:

pronounced "Penny-stone" but spelt "Penistone"

and of course, Scunthorpe.

In many older English towns, a street now called Grape Lane was in former times the 'red light' area and was then called 'Grope-c*nt Lane'
15:54 January 9, 2012 by HYBRED
There is also Dildo, Newfoundland. Leave it to Canada to have a town with that name.
16:51 January 9, 2012 by Johno
"found it appropriate to name this place Rövhålet, which literally translates to The Butthole." Literally ? Pity the article contradicts itself with a self evidently more accurate translation in the second paragraph following.
13:04 January 10, 2012 by seagull
I'm in my 40's and still find articles such as this refreshing and give a moment or 2 NOT to think of all the crap that's going on in the world.

I've been here over 4 years and still laugh at the "Kök & Tvätt" department in supermarkets, and the fact there is such thing as a "FartKamera"
21:36 January 10, 2012 by johan rebel
If the author had taken the trouble to look things up, or gotten a proper education in the first place, he would have realised that many of the names he cites have meanings quite different from his childish interpretations.

Varberg started out as Wardbergh or Wardhbergh, and ward(h) does not mean puss.

Sex in Sexträsk refers to six, and träsk is a marsh or fen, not a swamp.

And so forth.
10:30 January 12, 2012 by Grindsprint
@ seagull, I don´t get it :) what´s with the Kök & Tvätt?
19:00 January 12, 2012 by dammen

kök och tvätt = kok (cock) and tvätt (twat -idiot) - leave you to work out the inferences
22:37 January 12, 2012 by Snood
There's Cock Hill in Northumberland. The absolute best though is F**king in Austria. Apparently they had to resort to making concrete signs for the village as english people kept stealing the signs.
16:38 January 13, 2012 by mikewhite
Yes, Swedish people wouldn't see the joke since the K is followed by a ö instead of an o hence having a different consonant sound.

18:09 January 13, 2012 by james_g
@ dammen - of course, being of a pure, innocent and unsullied nature I don't really understand the allusion - but t w a t actually means a four letter word beginning with C, ending in T, and containing the letters U and N in that order... (let's see if THAT gets by the profanity police!)
02:03 January 14, 2012 by SuperTulle
How could you forget Negerbyn (Negro village)?
07:03 January 19, 2012 by biddi
how about Wagga Wagga? (= crows)
16:58 January 19, 2012 by Neil the Wheel
"I've been here over 4 years and still laugh at the "Kök & Tvätt" department in supermarkets, and the fact there is such thing as a "FartKamera""

This is why I called my book "Kök & Tvätt: Through Scandinavia on a Tandem". We kept seeing these words on the doors at the service blocks on Swedish campsites and thought they must mean "gents" and "ladies" :-)

Also we were amused that Umea was staging a "Fartfest"!

22:04 January 20, 2012 by janeway
How about the town of Effin in Ireland, that can't have an account on Facebook due to their rules of vulgar language? Har. Har.
11:47 January 22, 2012 by Bolinb
I live in Gökalund??????
14:05 January 30, 2012 by BritVik
A small village outside of Munkedal in Bohuslän has a lovely name, too:-

Kåtebol - glädjens boning - which roughly translates as a 'happy place to live'.
18:31 February 10, 2012 by seagull
Just to add to this if anyone is listening. Apparently a lorry was spotted in the region that had driven from the UK.

On the side was...

"company name"

Store Fitters

that's kinda funny too :)
17:56 May 23, 2012 by janeway
Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

As for copied names, how about: Bremen, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, Aberdeen, St. Petersburg, Mora? Shall I go on?
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