Swedish word of the day: friggebod

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
Swedish word of the day: friggebod

Today's word will come in handy if you're looking into buying a traditional Swedish summer cottage or 'sommarstuga'.


A friggebod is a small building which is possible to build without a permit. 

Usually, you need a permit from the local municipality in order to erect any buildings, even if you already own the land you plan to build on. But the exception for small sheds or outhouses (friggebod) was introduced in 1979, as long as the friggebod was on a plot of land with one or two existing residential buildings, and was built at least 4.5 metres from the boundary with any neighbouring land.

The name comes from Sweden's former Housing Minister Birgit Friggebo, who was one of the key figures behind the regulation being first introduced. Initially, the size limit for a friggebod was just ten metres squared, but this was increased to 15 metres squared in 2008. They may be no more than three metres high.

Friggebod is a portmanteau of Friggebo's name and the term bod, which is roughly translated as 'shed' but typically refers to a building used for more than only storage. A friggebod might be used as a hobby or workroom, a separate room for entertaining, or even a tiny guest bedroom.

READ ALSO: Essential guide: How to buy the Swedish summer house of your dreams


Vi ska bygga en friggebod vid vår sommarstuga

We're going to build an outhouse by our summer cottage

Man kan använda en friggebod som gästhus, hobbyrum, eller en bastu

You can use an outhouse as a guesthouse, hobby room or a sauna

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