"Untranslatable" Swedish

  1. harkla
    • It’s used to describe that little coughing noise one makes, often before
    • giving a speech or dislodging cinnamon bun pieces from their throat.
  2. vobba
    Working from home, even though you've taken a (paid) day off because your child is sick."
  3. planka
    It means to sneak behind the turnstiles

    onto a train by standing as flat as a plank of wood and shuffling through the turnstiles behind someone else.
  4. vaska
    to buy two bottles of champagne at a bar, and then to have one poured down the sink to show how wealthy you are
  5. fika
    It means to have a cup of tea or coffee, maybe some cake, and to have

    a good old chat.
  6. löpsedel
    the enlarged front page of the newspaper that hangs outside news agents
  7. festsnusa
    "to only use moist snuff while at parties"   snuff is popular
  8. panta
    to recycle any bottles with the word pant on them". This is a very common habit in

    Sweden. Many beer and soft drink bottles have the word pant on them, meaning you can score one or two kronor when

    returning them to the magic machine at the supermarket.
  9. Blåsväder
    This is a favourite word of Swedes in the media industry. It literally means "stormy weather" and is used in

    any kind of context that can mean trouble. It may be one of the most common headline words in Sweden. "The king in

    stormy weather"
  10. olla
    • This verb means to dab the end of a penis onto something. And it's
    • something of a popular word here. In fact, a

    • plumber making his first appearance Sweden's Got Talent recently raised a
    • smile when he sang about how he likes to
    • "olla" everything in the home of his customers. And this is a family
    • show. The song was called "I've olla-ed everything you own."
  11. vabba
    • This is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden, and is short for Vård
    • Av Barn (meaning “to be at home because the children need taking care
    • of, but you get paid for it from the government”). In fact, Swedes have
    • even taken to calling February “Vabruary” due to such common child
    • sicknesses.
  12. badkruka
    Someone who refuses to enter a body of water.
  13. solkatt
    • You know that glimmer that reflects the sunshine off a wristwatch?
    • That's called a solkatt in Swedish, and has nothing to do with cats that
    • sit in the sun
  14. mambo
    • You might have heard of "sambo" before (which means live-in partner) but
    • did you know that "Mambo" is the word for someone who lives at home
    • with their mother
  15. jumpa
    • A Local favourite, meaning: to jump from one floating piece of ice
    • (called a “throe”) to another. Note: It can also mean “to manage”, which
    • is somewhat ironic as ice jumping sounds impossible
  16. hoppilandkalle
    • This means “Charlie, the guy who jumps to dry land to moor a boat”.
    • Swedes like to use names like Kalle in words, perhaps similar to how we
    • use Jack (jack of all trades etc). Eg: (Real headline from a paper in
    • Sweden) “Hoppilandkalle bröt båda benen”. This means: A hoppilandkalle
    • broke both legs, and NOT, as Google Translate suggests: “Hope During the
    • cruise Donald broke both legs”. Fear Google Translate.
  17. linslus
    • Someone who always wants to have their face in a photo – literally “lens
    • louse”. A good linslus is almost impossible to spot in a photo
  18. palla
    • To steal fruit off trees. No doubt the obscure-word enthusiasts out
    • there will email in saying this is called “scrumping” in English. Save
    • your breath - you can only scrump apples. Eg. Hey Pelle, let’s go and
    • palla down by old Mrs Jonsson’s farm – she has a sensational pear.
  19. Surströmmingspremier
    • The first day of the year when it is acceptable
    • eat rotten herring (Surströmming is a foul-smelling and fermented fish
    • considered a delicacy in Sweden).
Card Set
"Untranslatable" Swedish
"Untranslatable" from thelocal.se author Oliver Gee