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Expressing “coolness” in Swedish Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Swedish Language, Vocabulary

I think most of you can agree on how important it is to be able to small talk. As a part of small talking I find some phrases are used more than others, for example phrases expressing your appreciation for something. Like saying “That’s cool” or “Wow, awesome”.

Here are some “coolness” phrases in Swedish to help your everyday conversations. Remember though that this is slang, and to adapt your language use thereafter, old ladies probably won’t understand much even though these phrases are now considered a part of the Swedish language. There will of course be regional differences as well, along with some ages thinking it just weird to use some words but in general I think these are the most common ones.

“Va coolt!” (originates from “Vad coolt det är!”) Eng: “Cool!”

“Va ballt” (originates from “Vad ballt det är!”) Eng: “Cool!”

The word “cool” can be substituted for all the following words.

Fräckt! “Cool!”

Skönt! “Sweet, chill”

Tufft! “Cool!”

Fett! “Awesome!”

Checkt! (pronounced sheck) “Sweet”

Schyst! 

Then there are words that might sound a little weird if you say “Vad toppen det är!” so better in that case to just say “Toppen!” which means “great!”.

To express to what degree people think something is cool many people ad a slight swear word which can commonly be heard in everyday language nowadays.

Sentences such as “Det var coolt som fan” or “Tack som fan!” or even “Fan vad nice!” (pronounced najs). “Fan” which means devil is now used regularly as plain slang but has is now used as an expression for “very much” instead. The regular use of this word is seen by many as loss of control of your own language use, in other words almost a little looked down upon when such slang language is used in say more formal situations. So I would not recommend you using this sort of language without fully understanding what image you are creating for yourself. However it is always helpful to know what things mean because the word does crop up in every other sentence in some conversations.

Sentences you can use these words can be:

“Vad _____ det är.” “That’s _____.”

“Vad _____ det var.” “That was (really) _____.”

Go on out there and try them out! If you don’t live in Sweden or anywhere near you can try practicing when out running or walking and you see something cool. Try saying one of the phrases expressing that. 🙂

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Comments:

  1. Steve:

    What about “Häftigt!”?

  2. Alisa:

    Schyst! 🙂
    I’d be grateful if it will come something more about small talk! Really useful stuff that is hard to find in books!

  3. Andrew:

    Cool. I have always been under the impression that “coolt” was “kul” from just hearing people say it… So thanks for setting me straight! Tack så mycket!

  4. Charles Fudgemuffin:

    This is a really useful post so tack så mycket. I’m trying to learn Swedish and I’ve got mp3s and iPod apps to help me learn, but they generally focus more on official Swedish and don’t really tell you much about slang words and expressions. I see words like those above on my Swedish friends’ status updates on facebook so it’s helpful to have a list like this. Cheers.

  5. Cathrine:

    Hi, great post!

    Could it be, however, that you mean the word “käckt” as one of the examples?

    //Cathrine

  6. Cathrine:

    Andrew – yes you need to make a distinction between when we say “kul” and “cool”. The pronounciation is different and they mean – fun or cool/sweet.

  7. Ingrid:

    Now people also say “Vad soft!”
    I don’t know where that came from since no native English speaker would use “soft” in that way.

  8. pmdeltoro:

    Hi everyone!!
    Ingrid, may be soft like a translation or slang use for smooth…
    But really don’t know and I’ve never heard it anyway…
    See ya all and sorry about my english, I’m spanish… 😉

  9. Hendrik De Rycke:

    Kanon!