Wednesday 23 December 2015

Swedish slang

Along with maps, islands, and women-in-science, The Blob is quite interested in language.  I'm kind of crappy at learning new languages because I have a tin ear and a big head. The tin ear means that, although I can carry a tune reasonably well, I can't hear people when they talk foreign. But that selective deafness is quite likely to be the fact that I tend to over think everything and am relentlessly analysing the material rather than just listening, remembering and repeating. Ho hum, fallible me!  I also have a soft spot for obsessives: people who collect match-boxes or twitchers capturing birds with telephoto lenses.

Lars Petrus decided to help people who don't speak Swedish get as much as possible out of the Ikea catalogue.  He's written out all the daft names the company calls their chairs and cutlery-sets, alphabetised them and shown the etymology - insofar as he was able to divine it.  A number of these words are clear to Swedish speakers but opaque to others, even if they have a dictionary, because they are slang.  I've filleted Petrus' list for just these slangy words.
Bagis 1 krona
Blaska newspaper
Brallis pants-thing: pretty girl
Brasa fireplace = crotch
Bräda board = out-do a rival
Bästis bff bestie
Deka deteriorate
Drälla mess around / spill
Flukta to look
Fläng hurry/bustle about = stupid
Griller whim / strange idea = ice-skates
Hampen grass maryjane
Hemlis secret
Hojta shout
Knodd kid
Knoppa sleep
Knös nob / rich person
Kosting cash / money / flukes
Kvarta to sleep
Lack varnish = angry
Mackis sandwich-thingie
Portis doorman / concierge
Prächtig overly wholesome
Pröjs pay
Rajtan tajtan partying
Reko okay
Skubb a run
Slabang slabang!
Snack talk / prattle
Snitsig nifty / snazzy / cool
Snodd lanyard = stolen
Snålis tightwad / miser
Spänn 1 Krona
I'll leave your own curiosity to follow up on which article of household clutter Ikea thinks should be called 'miser'. You'll thank me for getting you down-with-the-cool in the language department if you take advantage of the Ryanair network and go to Stockholm for a weekend clubbing.

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