More Swedish odd expressions Posted by jennie on Mar 29, 2010 in Culture, Swedish Language
It’s Monday morning and today it’s even harder than usual to get out of bed, since the American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin decided that we should save some daylight back in 1784 and came up with the brilliant idea of clocks going back and forward. In other words, the clocks went forward one hour on Sunday and an hour of our lives are gone until October, when we turn the clocks back again. I guess the good news are that the winter officially is over and the evenings are lighter. Bad news are a dark Monday morning and one hour less sleep. But let’s perk things up with some brilliant Swedish expressions:
Lägg på en rem
Meaning: Hurry up
Literally meaning: Something like “Add a strap”. This expression derives from back in the days, when the old factory machines where run by straps. When you wanted to speed things up, you added a strap. If anyone has a better explanation or translation for rem/strap – please help me out!
Example: Lägg på en rem, bussen går om fem minuter! (Hurry up, the bus leaves in five minutes!)
På något vänster
Meaning: In one way or another
Literally meaning: Something like “On something left”, left as in the direction and it doesn’t make any sense at all, I know.
Example: På något vänster ska vi lyckas (In one way or another, we’ll succeed)
Rund under fötterna
Meaning: To be drunk
Literally meaning: To be round under your feet, no need to explain that one any further, is it?
Example: Kalle var verkligen rund under fötterna i Lördags! (Kalle was really drunk last Saturday!)
Meaning: Something or someone who is very Swedish, but in a slightly looked down-upon way.
Literally meaning: Swede-banana. A “svenne” is a Swede who is considered average, boring and safe. Where the banana comes from is a mystery, I guess it just sounds fun. Anyone who knows?
Example: I will let the Swedish rapper Promoe explain this one. Last summer, everyone in Sweden was singing along to the his massive hit “Svennebanan”. The video shows a typical Swedish bachelor party, taking place on a booze-cruise to Finland – something considered extremely svennebanan!
Great suggestion from reader Ethan:
Klart som korvspad
Meaning: When something is really obvious, no doubt what so ever
Literally meaning: As clear as the left over water you get when boil sausages.
Example: Klart som korvspad att jag ska gå på festen! (Of course I’ll go to the party!)
And this week’s “most difficult to explain”-expression, thank you very much for that one, Sophie!
Jag är inte den som är den
Meaning: An expression you use when you can consider rethinking, if you for example are having an argument with someone and you decide to let the other person win.
Literally meaning: Something like “I am not that person who is that person”. Don’t ask me who all these persons are, I have no clue and it seems like noone else has either. Or do you?
Example: Okej, jag är inte den som är den. Du vinner. (Okay, I can rethink. You win.)
Klart som korvspad, isn’t it?
Don’t forget, two days left! Drop by on Wednesday and I’ll announce the winner!
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