Språktidningen asked its readers to name Sweden’s ten funniest and ten prettiest placenames – and the results are in.
Snålkuk, a hill near the northern town of Jokkmokk, quickly rose to the top of the list of funniest names. The word consists of two parts: snål (“stingy”) and kuk, a slang term for the male sexual organ – in English it would be a word that’s also another name for a rooster.
But that’s not actually what it means. Kuk also means “tip” or “peak” in Swedish, but a more likely theory is that the name comes from the Lule Sami word snålkke, which refers to an outcrop of rocks which together form a steep rock face.
Frufällan (“the wife trap”) outside Borås in western Sweden came in second place, closely followed by Stjärtnäs (“bum isthmus”) on Färingsö island in Lake Mälaren.
The number one most beautiful placename was Morgongåva, a small town near Uppsala in central Sweden.
It means “morning gift”, a gift from a husband to his bride the morning after their wedding. Hundreds of years ago, this was an entirely practical gift, meant to secure the woman’s economic future in case he were to die – and could for example be a share of the farm.
The story behind this particular placename is perhaps even less romantic. The legend has it that the (married) owner of the nearby ironworks in the 17th century got one of his maids pregnant, and gifted a croft to a farmhand who would in return marry her and accept the child as his.
That croft was then called Morgongåva, from which the town’s name was born.
The second and third most beautiful placenames in Sweden, according to Språktidningen’s readers, are Juniskär (“June skerry” – a village near Sundsvall on the east coast) and Kärleken (“love” – an area of Halmstad on the southern west coast).
The ten funniest placenames in Sweden:
5. Normlösa (“without norms”)
6. Hej (“hello”)
7. Buslätt (“extremely easy”)
8. Mensalvaret (“the serious menstruation”)
9. Mellangården (“the perineum”)
10. Värsta (“the worst”)
The ten most beautiful placenames in Sweden:
4. Klockrike (“clock kingdom”)
5. Sunnanäng (“south of the meadow”)
6. Midsommarkransen (“Midsummer garland”)
7. Gullringen (“golden ring”)
8. Månasken (“moonlight”)
9. Mörkret (“the darkness”)
10. Läppapuss (“kiss on the lips”)
What place name in Sweden sounds the most ridiculous in the English language? The pretty little village of Fucke may be a close contender, but let us know what you think in this poll (we may use your answer in a future article on The Local):