learning Swedish For Members

NAKED SHOCK! And the other unique tabloid words you'll see in Sweden

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
NAKED SHOCK! And the other unique tabloid words you'll see in Sweden
Two front pages by the Expressen and Aftonbladet tabloids in 2004, promising among other things a "jätteguide" ("giant guide") to the Eurovision Song Contest. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

You won't learn them in your Swedish for Immigrants class and you probably won't even hear them in daily conversation. But you can't avoid them, because they are splashed across every tabloid frontpage in Sweden. Here's what they mean.


There's a whole category of Swedish words known as kvällstidningsord or "tabloid words".

These words are often composed to be as shocking or exciting as possible, to stand out – originally on the front pages of newspapers, now more often as clickbait on headlines online. They're often written in uppercase letters, sometimes with an exclamation point.

Kvällstidningsord are often compound words, featuring a suffix or prefix designed to emphasise the intended message. Some examples in could be skandalprinsen ("scandal prince") or bensinpopulister ("petrol populists"). It is relatively easy to form compound words in Swedish when compared with English, meaning that the language lends itself to creating kvällstidningsord.

The most famous one of them all is probably nakenchock, which can be translated as "shocking nakedness" (or literally "naked shock"), which can be used to describe everything from someone dropping their clothes to make a point, or a celebrity accidentally showing off a little bit too much of their body in an Instagram post.

The word chock ("shock") can be used in combination with many other words, for example chockbilderna ("shock photos"),

More common compound words such as superstjärna or rockhjälte ("superstar", "rock hero") could also be classified as kvällstidningsord, as the endings "star" and "hero" emphasise that the person in question was particularly talented or good.


Kvällstidningsord can also be single words featured in headlines, such as hemligt ("secret"), skvaller ("gossip") or avslöjar ("reveal"), designed to make the reader feel as if they are about to read something secret or forbidden, which is only now seeing the light of day for the first time.

Common words included in kvällstidningsord include -kupp ("coup"), as in kärlekskupp ("love coup"), as well as words to do with money, sex or violence, such as sexchef ("sex boss") or pengabråk ("money squabbles"), both from this article.

Jätte ("giant") is another common prefix for a kvällstidningsord, as in this example of a jätteutbrott ("giant outbreak").

Another identifying feature of a kvällstidningsord is the fact that it is not always immediately obvious as to what it means without the context of the article it describes. How would you define bensinpopulist or a kärlekskupp, for example?

Have you come across any good kvällstidningsord? Let us know!


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