Swedish word of the day: vuxenpoäng

the word vuxenpoäng written on a blackboard with the swedish flag next to it
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This Swedish word is one that should exist in every language.

Have you ever been in a situation where you meet up with the same friends you spent your teens and 20s partying with, only to spend a civilised afternoon discussing things like your favourite brand of vacuum cleaner and the trouble you had getting your oven repaired recently? Perhaps the conversation was repeatedly interrupted by one of your friends’ children, or you cut it short to get a nice early night.

Instead of mourning your younger, responsibility-free self, congratulate yourself on earning some vuxenpoäng.

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Vuxenpoäng means “adult points”.

It’s not a strictly defined concept – there’s no one officially keeping score here – but it refers to those mini milestones that make you feel like a “real” grown-up. Think owning your own home (or a first-hand rental contract), saving for a pension or getting a driving licence, but also putting away your laundry as soon as it’s dry, drinking wine from glasses rather than mugs, planning your weekly shop (and bringing your supermarket family card), buying your first non-Ikea item of furniture, or owning a physical diary or calendar.

Often, it might be the things your parents did that made you cringe or promise yourself you’d never get that old and boring. But here you are.

A lot of the concepts are based on a traditional middle-class version of adulthood, but it’s more about mindset than money. A roughly equivalent English word is “adulting”.


Jag har precis köpt bostad! #vuxenpoäng

I just bought a property! #adulting

Villa, Volvo, Vovve: The Local’s Word Guide to Swedish Life, written by The Local’s journalists, is now available to order. Head to lysforlag.com/vvv to read more about it. It is also possible to buy your copy from Amazon US, Amazon UK, Bokus or Adlibris.

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