Swedish Language Blog

Body parts in Swedish: The Head and Face Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary


Maybe you have a doctor’s appointment. Maybe you have a headache. Maybe you just have a pretty face. Life is full of reasons to talk about your body, and when in Sweden, do as the Swedes do – speak Swedish! There are lots of body parts, so let’s start you off with vocabulary words describing parts of the head and face and all their forms.

ett huvud (a head) huvudet (the head) huvuden* (heads) huvudena* (the heads)
hår (hair) håret (the hair) n/a n/a
ett öra (an ear) örat (the ear) öron (ears) öronen (the ears)
ett ansikte (a face) ansiktet (the face) ansikten (faces) ansiktena (the faces)
ett öga (an eye) ögat (the eye) ögon (eyes) ögonen (the eyes)
ett ögonbryn (an eyebrow) ögonbrynet (the eyebrow) ögonbryn (eyebrows) ögonbrynen (the eyebrows)
en näsa (a nose) näsan (the nose) näsor (noses) näsorna (the noses)
en mun (a mouth) munnen (the mouth) munnar (mouths) munnarna (the mouths)
en läpp (a lip) läppen (the lip) läppar (lips) läpparna (the lips)
en kind (a cheek) kinden (the cheek) kinder (cheeks) kinderna (the cheeks)
en hals (a neck**) halsen (the neck) halsar (necks) halsarna (the necks)
en haka (a chin) hakan (the chin) hakor (chins) hakorna (the chins)
en nacke (a nape) nacken (the nape) nackar (napes) nackarna (the napes)

* Huvud has irregular declension in Swedish – this means its forms are not typical for ett-words (specifically, the plural forms), so you’ll have to learn them separately! But huvud is a very common word, so it won’t take you long for its forms to become natural for you, and Swedes are very forgiving of mistakes. Hurra!
** While hals means “neck”, it can also be used to mean “throat” in the phrase Jag har ont i halsen – “I have a sore throat”. This phrase literally means “I have pain in the neck” but has in no way the same meaning as “a pain in the neck” in English!

Here are some good head and face words for our more advanced readers:

en skalle (a skull) skallen (the skull) skallar (skulls) skallarna (the skulls)
en tinning (a temple) tinningen (the temple) tinningar (temples) tinningarna (the temples)
en bena (a part (where your hair parts)) benan (the part) benor (parts) benorna (the parts)
en örsnibb (an earlobe) örsnibben (the earlobe) örsnibbar (earlobes) örsnibbarna (the earlobes)
en ögonfrans (an eyelash) ögonfransen (the eyelash) ögonfransar (eyelashes) ögonfransarna (the eyelashes)
ett ögonlock (an eyelid) ögonlocket (the eyelid) ögonlock (eyelids) ögonlocken (the eyelids)
en näsborre (a nostril) näsborren (the nose) näsborrar (noses) näsborrarna (the noses)
en underläpp (a lower lip) underläppen (the lower lip) underläppar (lower lips) underläpparna (the lower lips)
en överläpp (a upper lip) överläppen (the upper lip) överläppar (upper lips) överläpparna (the upper lips)
en strupe (a throat****) strupen (the back of one’s neck) strupar (backs of one’s neck) struparna (the backs of one’s neck)

**** Strupe is the official word for “throat”, while hals is what you use to say “throat” in the context of a sore throat in everyday language (see ** above).


Now you’re all set to go to the doctor or tell your Swedish sambo all about your face. Enjoy!


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About the Author: Stephen Maconi

Stephen Maconi has been writing for the Transparent Swedish Blog since 2010. Wielding a Bachelor's Degree in Swedish and Nordic Linguistics from Uppsala University in Sweden, Stephen is an expert on Swedish language and culture.