Six really short Swedish words that mean more than you think

The Local Sweden
The Local Sweden - [email protected]
Six really short Swedish words that mean more than you think
Is learning Swedish really child's play, though? Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

The Swedish language has lots of two or three-letter words that pack quite a punch. Here are some of our favourites.


If a Swede starts a sentence with fy, brace yourselves, because it's a word that shows strong emotions. Click here to read more

Naughty dogs are probably familiar with the word fy. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Oj is a short word, with just two letters expressing a whole host of things. Surprise, pain, shock, sympathy, embarrassment: it can mean any and all of the above. Click here to read more

Here's a man who's probably shouting
oj. Photo: Martina Holmberg/TT

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. Click here to read more

Typ is often associated with teenage slang, but actually a lot of Swedes use it. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB Scanpix/TT

If you're at the pub with a Swede and they return from the bar telling you that they had to show the bartender their leg to buy a pint: fear not, it's not that kind of pub. Click here to read more

Not that kind of leg. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

The longest word on this list, puss is useful for romantic chat – and if you're familiar with English slang, it probably means something very different than you think. Click here to read more

Actor Antonio Banderas with a completely different Puss. Photo: AP Photo/Katy Winn

Jo and ja both mean yes. But when do you use one and when do you use the other? Click here to read more


Want to expand your Swedish vocabulary? Sign up for The Local's word of the day newsletter


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also