Swedish Language Blog

A really cold Swedish winter – En riktig vargavinter Posted by on Jan 26, 2010 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary

I am getting to experience my fifth Swedish winter this year and it is definitely the coldest yet. In Stockholm, snow has been on the ground since before Christmas and we’re supposed to get another snow storm tomorrow. So here’s some wintery vocabulary that you’ll surely need if you are living in Sweden.

Wintery Vocab

Snö -Snow

Snöfall – You can figure this one out, right?

Pudersnö – Literally powder snow. The kind that is good for skiing.

Kramsnö – Wet snow that is perfect for making snowballs and snowmen.

Kyla – The noun for cold, for example: Nu kommer kylan (Here comes the cold)…people usually says this when the first winter weather of the year comes. The newspapers flash that phrase in their headlines too.

But be careful kylig, which means chilly, is warmer than kallt, which means cold. So it can become kyligt on a late June night, but not on a freezing cold January morning. Nope, a freezing cold January morning would be considered kall or svinkall, literally translated as swine cold, (not to be mistaken with the swine flu).

Köldknäpp – When the temperature drops sharply and fast. For example: På julafton kom en köldknäpp.

Is – Ice

Isbana – Ice rink

Skridskor – Ice skates

Skidor – Skis

Att åka skidor – To go skiing. For example: Vi ska åka till Alperna for att åka skidor. (We’re going to the Alps to go skiing).

Kallbada – Cold bathing. The crazy ( I love it) act of alternating between a hot sauna, bastu, and a hole cut in the ice of a freezing cold body of water. (Sorry about the scary picture, but I had to prove that I’d done it).

Varm choklad med vispgrädde – What you want to drink when you come in from the kylan. It means hot chocolate with whipped cream.

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  1. Darcy:

    Does varga have any meaning on its own?

  2. Olof:

    varga comes from varg that means wolf so vargavinter means wolf winter