Swedish word of the day: moln

the word moln on a black background next to a swedish flag
Knowing Swedish weather, you'll probably be needing this word sooner or later. Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
Swedes love talking about the weather, so today's word of the day makes for great conversation.

Moln is the Swedish word for cloud. Pretty straightforward, you might think, but moln also features in a number of compound words.

One of these is molntäcke which translates literally as “cloud duvet”. This is used to describe overcast weather – an entirely grey sky, covered with cloud with no visible contours or holes in the cloud.

Molntäcke or overcast weather is caused by dimmoln (dim-moln), translating literally as “fog cloud”. This type of cloud is known as stratus in English, producing overcast weather if clouds are high in the sky, or dimma – fog – if clouds are closer to the ground.

The word moln can also be seen in molntjänst – cloud services – referring to internet-based services such as data storage services like iCloud. These are referred to as cloud storage services or molnlagring in Swedish.

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A great moln-related Swedish song is Tralala lilla molntuss, kom hit ska du få en puss by bob hund, a band from the southern Swedish city of Helsingborg whose name translates as “bob dog”.

Molntuss is a word they have created out of moln and tuss – a small tuft or ball of something soft. This is also seen in bomullstuss – a cotton wool ball or pad – and dammtuss, a dustball. So one translation of this song title could be “Tralala little cloud tuft, come here and I’ll give you a kiss”.

Admittedly, it’s a bit more catchy in Swedish.

Examples:

Kolla på det där molnet! Det liknar en elefant!

Look at that cloud! It looks like an elephant!

Vi erbjuder molnlösningar för företag.

We offer cloud-based solutions for companies.

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 USAmazon UKBokus or Adlibris.


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