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Word of the day: typ

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Word of the day: typ
Sometimes it feels like Swedish is, typ, the most difficult language in the world. Image: nito103/Depositphotos
10:06 CET+01:00
Are you looking for that great filler word to smooth out your sentences to make you sound more fluent in Swedish? We've got you covered with the word typ.

Typ literally means type (a type of something), but is also used as a preposition to say almost, sort of, and around. It can be compared to the way Brits add '-ish' to a word to convey an estimation (soon-ish, eleven-ish).

Its most popular application in the Swedish language today, however, is as a filler word, used much the same way many Americans use the word 'like' to pad out their sentences (tåget var typ jättejättesent – the train was, like, really really late).

Although the word itself has been around for a long time, its use as a kind preposition is believed to have begun somewhere in the early 1960s, when Swedish language professor Sölve Ohlander first noted the peculiar new use of the word. Since then, it has taken Sweden by storm, and many Swedes pepper their phrases with the word typ.

What's perhaps one of the most interesting things when it comes to the word is that it has evolved in much the same way that the word tipo has developed in both Spanish and Italian in the past few decades. It's not impossible that the Swedes adopted and imported its new use after holidaying by the Mediterranean…  

Examples

What type of wine do you like?

Vad för typ av vin gillar du?

We were at a dinner, until, like, 11.

Vi var på middag till typ klockan 11.

Shall we meet at eleven-ish?

Ska vi ses vid typ 11?

She said she'd arrive, like, soon.

Hon sa att hon kommer typ snart.

Do you have a favourite Swedish word you would like to nominate for our word of the day series? Get in touch by email or if you are a Member of The Local, log in to comment below.

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