jueves, 25 de agosto de 2016


Here are some of my favourite expressions in Swedish (I will do German idioms as well):

Våffeldagen (Waffle Day, El día de los gofres)
The 25th of March, a day to feast upon waffles
In the Middle Ages, it was actually called Vårfrudagen (Our Lady's Day, El día de Nuestra Señora). The Reformation changed its reason from celebrating from the Virgin Mary to waffles (brought to Sweden by Wallonian Protestant immigrants).

vänsterprassel/att vänsterprassla (crackle to the left, crepitar a la izquierda)
To be unfaithful towards one's partner.
The left has always been the sinister side. Poor us lefties. Even though "vänster" is related to "vän" ("friend") and maybe to "vinna" ("win," compare Anglo-Saxon cognate "winstre"). And both Venus and venom are in the family too. The "win" family, which is really dysfunctional...

kräftmåne (crawfish moon, luna de cangrejos)
A full-moon-shaped paper lantern, placed during crawfish parties in August.
There are various theories, one of them pointing to the sign of Cancer being connected to the moon and the tides being more pronounced in summer. In August, on certain evenings, Swedish friends and families gather en masse in the light of this paper moon to eat crawfish and drink vodka. Mostly for the latter reason.

pava (pronounced PAH-va, with the stressed A as in "father")
A bottle, especially one full of strong drink.

varg i veum (wolf in the shrine, lobo en el santuario)
Persona non grata: i.e. a person banned for lifetime from a certain region.
The Swedish language has actually got the Latinism "persona non grata", but the old Viking expression speaking of wolves desecrating shrines to the old gods is far more widespread.

tabberas (blankslate, tablarrasa)
To take the last item (whether food or playing cards) at the table.
This is the Swedish popular corruption of Locke's famous tabula rasa.

flakmoppe (motorbike with a large box in front, moto con una gran caja delante)
These are usually employed as delivery vehicles.

havremoppe (oat motorbike, moto a avena)
A slang term to refer to a domestic horse, Equus ferus caballus. Basically, you ride it like a motorbike, and it requires oats as fuel.

näbbgädda (beaked pike, lucio picudo)
1) A species of predatory freshwater fish.
2) A talkative young human female. The author of this blog has been given the nickname.

A person who cohabitates with another without being related or married, most usually for love.

mambo (from "mamma" and "sambo")
An adult at emancipation age who still lives with their mother.

köttrymden (fleshspace, el carnespacio)
The real world/real life outside cyberspace.

Janssons frestelse (Jansson's temptation, La tentación de Jansson)
Since it contains onions and anchovies, this potato pudding is actually anything but tempting. In fact, I've never tasted it. Just seeing it makes me wince.

nucka (spinster, solterona)
An old maid. Usually a reeeeeeeeally ooooold maid.

som ett jehu (like Jehu, como Jehú)
Please dust that Old Testament and look up the 2nd Book of Kings. The rebel who defenestrated wicked Queen Jezebel knew how to drive a chariot. So much that his name is, in Sweden, the eponym for a speed devil.

att få korgen (to receive the basket, recibir la cesta)
This is actually the Swedish way of receiving the axe or the "calabazas" that one gets when in unrequited love.

sinkadus (fiveandtwo, cinquidós)
Hailing from the French "cinq et deux," one of the three ways to get lucky number 7 in a game of dice, this word means a serendipity, a strike of chance, whether a lucky or unlucky strike.

kyrkkaffe (church coffee, café en la iglesia)
After the service in Swedish Lutheran churches, the vicar invites the congregation to his/her place for a cup of coffee and cinnamon buns (and/or other treats). This is an invitation no Catholic curate has ever reached out.

Vintergatan (Winter Street, la calle del Invierno)
This is the Swedish name for our galaxy, the Milky Way.

att stå för fiolerna (to stand for the violins, representar los violines).
Long story short, it means to pay. Especially the bill at the restaurant.

This means a great chaos with many people involved, usually a fight. Like the ending of The Rape of the Lock, for instance.

A spiral/curvy line or pattern, like a frill or something Art Nouveau.

A frilly person.

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