Ten new Swedish words you need to learn right now

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Ten new Swedish words you need to learn right now

Ten of the new words that became popular in Sweden in 2016.


The 'new words list' is presented every year by the Swedish Language Council and language magazine Språktidningen. It is not an official dictionary, but shows what words made it into everyday conversations in Sweden in the past year, even if they were used for the first time many years ago.

We have picked ten of the words on the list that help explain what concepts were new, popular or topical in Sweden in 2016. There are in total 43 words on the list and you can find a link to them in Swedish here.

READ MORE HERE: Sweden adds 43 new words to its language

1. Dylanman (Dylan man)

A man who admires Bob Dylan and claims to understand him better than most. Probably considers Dylan being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature as humanity's finest hour.

First usage: 2006

2. Frågestrejka (question striking)

Refraining from asking questions in order to break a perceived pattern in which women ask men more questions about them than the men ask questions about the women.

First usage: 2016

3. Ghosta (ghosting)

Breaking up with someone by simply not replying to their messages. An English word turned into a Swedish word by adding the Swedish verb ending -a.

First usage: 2016

4. Korsspråkande (translanguaging)

A process in which a bilingual (or a language learner) person's two languages are not seen as two parallel systems, but part of their common underlying language proficiency. It was coined in Welsh (trawsieithu) and first made an appearance as a Swedish word, 'korsspråkande' last year. We imagine many of The Local's multilingual readers will be familiar with at least the concept, if not its name.

First usage: 2015

5. Pappafeminist (dad feminist)

A man who only warms to feminist ideals after having a daughter.

First usage: 2016

6. Pokenad

A composition of 'Pokémon' and the Swedish word for going for a walk or a stroll, 'promenad'. “The sun is out, fancy a pokenad?” “Sure, let me just grab my smartphone and let's go hunt some Squirtles.”

First usage: 2016

7. Läslov (reading break)

The Swedish government decided to rename the current autumn school break 'reading break' in 2016 in a belief that a name change just might convince pupils to ditch their pokenads and pick up a book instead. 

8. Blippbetalning (bleep payment) 


A contactless paying system where an embedded chip lets shoppers wave their card or smartphone over a reader instead of typing in their pin, making a sound that goes a bit like 'blipp!' In a country where people love tech and new ways of paying without cash, it is no surprise that they also needed a new vocabulary for this. It can also be used as a verb, in which case it is 'blippa' or 'blippbetala'.

First usage: 2015

9. Förstärkt verklighet (augmented reality)

This concept has been around for years, but according to the Swedish Language Council it only recently became widely talked about among the general public. As opposed to Virtual Reality, which replaces the real world with a simulated one, Augmented Reality uses both to complement each other.

First usage: 2004

10. Skamma (shaming)

Sweden's translation of 'to shame' someone ('skamma'). In 2016 it centred mainly around female norms and argued that women tend to get 'skammade' for, for example, their bodies or the way they dress.

First usage: 2011

READ ALSO: Eight horrible Swedish words that get on my nerves

Source: Språkrådet


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