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Swedish word of the day: på G

Becky Waterton
Becky Waterton - [email protected]
Swedish word of the day: på G
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

This word literally translates to "on G", but is actually an acronym with a number of different meanings. Here's an explanation.

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På G is an acronym for the Swedish phrase på gång, which can be used in a few different ways. The phrase is informal, most commonly used in speech between friends.

Firstly, på G can be used in the sense of something happening, such as in the English phrase "what's up?". For example, you could say vad är på G här? ("What's happening here?") or vad har ni på G? ("What are you guys up to?")

If someone is described as being på G, it usually means they are awake and lively. A football team could be described as being på G igen ("back on their feet again", or "back to their usual selves") if they improve after a series of bad matches.

Similarly, if you are feeling inte alls på G - not at all på G - then that means you feel tired, run-down, or not your usual self.

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The most literal use of the phrase is used when something or someone is on their way, such as in response to the question kommer du snart? ("Are you going to be here soon?") to which you would reply jag är på G! if you were on your way. In a similar vein, food can also be på G if it will be ready soon, and you can also say you have a förkylning på G if you feel like you're coming down with a cold.

Finally, you might hear teenagers describing themselves as being på G with someone - this is the stage between casual dating and going out, where a relationship isn't official yet, but probably will be soon. A good English translation would probably be "seeing each other".

Example sentences:

"Är ni tillsammans?" "Nej, vi är bara på G!"

"Are you guys together?" "No, we're just seeing each other!"

"Är maten klar? Jag är jättehungrig!" "Den är på G!"

"Is the food ready? I'm starving!" "It's on it's way!"

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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