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SWEDISH WORD OF THE DAY

Swedish word of the day: strul

The word "strul" has two very different meanings in Swedish, let's dive into them.

Swedish word of the day: strul
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

The basic meaning of the noun strul is “trouble” or “tangle”, and can be used in a number of different ways depending on the context.

One of these is as a suffix, used to describe some sort of issue you’re having.

You can simply attach it to the end of a word, depending on the issue. If you’re in the office and your laptop shuts down, or the internet doesn’t work, you’re experiencing teknikstrul. And if you’re planning on taking the bus at 1pm sharp on your way to work, but the bus is running late, you might be suffering from some buss-strul, or tågstrul, if you’re taking the train.

But if you’re talking about ett strul or the verb att strula, you’re talking about something completely different.

Att strula med någon means to temporarily hook up with someone in a casual way, for example if you make out with a random person on the dance floor, or have a one-night stand. The verb strula is mostly used by so-called fjortisar, a negative word for “immature teenagers”.

But watch out for the tricky part. When talking about teknikstrul, while your laptop shuts down, you could say min dator strular. That doesn’t mean that your laptop is having a casual fling with another laptop, it means that you laptop is not working correctly.

If you watch your friend making out with a random person at the dancefloor however, you could say min kompis strular med någon, which in this case, does refer to a casual hook-up.

Examples 

Jag strulade med någon på festen igårkväll

I casually hooked up with someone at the party last night

Min dator strulade hela dagen igår på jobbet 

My computer didn’t work correctly the entire day at work yesterday 

Det var lite tågstrul på vägen hem idag

There were some problems with the trains on the way home today

Villa, Volvo, Vovve: The Local’s Word Guide to Swedish Life, written by The Local’s journalists, is available to order. Head to lysforlag.com/vvv to read more about it – or join The Local as a member and get your copy for free.

It is also possible to buy your copy from Amazon USAmazon UKBokus or Adlibris.

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SWEDISH WORD OF THE DAY

Swedish word of the day: i förrgår

Swedish is very effective when it comes to talking about time. Today's word of the day will help you to be specific about past events.

Swedish word of the day: i förrgår

Förrgår is one of a number of Swedish words that can relate to a point in time — in either the past or present — by using the (literally, “in”) preposition, giving some precise terms that aren’t found in English.

It means “the day before yesterday”, and is made up of the word for “yesterday”, “i går”, and the preposition “för” meaning “before”.

Over time, this phrase “för i går” meaning “before yesterday” most likely became “förrgår”.

It must be preceded by a preposition, i, to mean “the day before yesterday”, resulting in the phrase i förrgår.

You may also come across the phrase “i förrgårs” – this is a more archaic variant of i förrgår, most commonly used in southern Sweden. Danish and Norwegian have both kept the -s here, both using the phrase i forgårs to mean “the day before yesterday”.

You can use a similar construction with the preposition and the suffix -s to talk about past seasons, too – i våras, i somras, i höstas and i vintras mean “last spring”, “last summer”, “last autumn” and “last winter”, respectively.

Similar words for the day before yesterday also exist in German – vorgestern (literally, “before yesterday”), and Dutch eergisteren (similar to the archaic German term ehegestern, also meaning “before yesterday”).

In fact, this term did once exist in English, too – the Old English word ærgistran, also meant “the day before yesterday”.

This term became ereyesterday, consisting of ere, an archaic word meaning “before” or “earlier”, and yester, meaning “last”, as in yesterday or yesteryear.

Ereyesterday has also become an archaic term in English, which you are most likely to come across in old literature or archaic translations of the Bible.

You can also use the phrase i övermorgon in Swedish to talk about time – it means “the day after tomorrow”, and consists of över (“above” “over” or “across”) and “morgon” (“morning” or “tomorrow”, literally the Swedish version of the archaic English word “morrow”).

Like with förrgår, this term also used to exist in English – “overmorrow”, although it has also fallen out of fashion and been replaced with the phrase “on the day after tomorrow”.

Again, it must be preceded by a preposition, i.

The roots of övermorgon are from German, übermorgen, meaning “later than tomorrow” but also used for “the day after tomorrow”.

Example sentences

Visst skulle vi ses med Linda och Peter i förrgårs? Nej, vi ska ut med dom i övermorgon.

We were suppsed to see Linda and Peter the day before yesterday, weren’t we? No, we’re going out with them the day after tomorrow.

När lagade du den lasagnen? Jag lagade den i förrgårs, så den är nog fortfarande okej att äta.

When did you make that lasagne? I made it the day before yesterday, so it should still be fine to eat.

By Emma Firth and Becky Waterton

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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