Ten more untranslatable Swedish words

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Ten more untranslatable Swedish words
Photo: B Rosen/Flickr

What's that word for when you buy two bottles of champagne, only to pour one down the sink to impress the crowds with your wealth? Oh that's right, there is no word in English for that, but in Swedish, on the other hand...


It's that time again. Every year, I've put together a list of untranslatable Swedish words. The first one, in 2012, remains one of the most read stories on The Local to this day. The second was also popular.
This year, I've gone with a theme of "typically Swedish". And a word of warning: Slide number ten is a very rude word that is definitely unsuitable for children. This is not a joke.
So a quick look at the golden "untranslatable" rule before we begin. 
A word is untranslatable if there is no single word equivalent in English 
For example, in Italy they have the word culaccino, which apparently means the mark left on a table by a cold glass. While it could be called a watermark, it is definitely not a "watermark". Nor a "stain" nor a "spillage". It's a culaccino
You get the  picture? Good. Let's get into it. 
And remember, slide ten is not the kind of word you'd say to your mother. Stop at nine if you are faint of heart or mind. 
Oliver Gee


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