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New Swedish words for 2012 Posted by on Jan 4, 2012 in Culture, Vocabulary

God forsättning, dear blog readers!

As a Swede living in England, I have recently discovered how useful the Swedish phrase “God fortsättning” is. It means something along the lines of “happy continuation” and this is the phrase we use when “God jul” (Merry Christmas) or “Gott nytt år” (Happy New Year) feels dated. Like on the 27th of December, when Christmas is gone but it’s too early to wish someone a happy new year… Clever, huh? The English language definitely lacks that kind of phrase, but what about other languages? Anyone aware of anything similar?

Anyhow, let’s continue along the vocabulary lines and look at some new words that have entered the Swedish language during the past year. Every New Year, Språkrådet (The language council) puts togehter and publishes a list of the new words that either are completely new or words that we have started to use more frequently. It’s always a quite interesting read and it normally mirrors the society rather well. Here are some of my favourites:

Ac-förkylning = Air condition cold, a cold you get from the air condition.
Appa = To “app”, to use and fiddle with your phone applications. (Verb)
Attitydinkontinens = Attitude incontinence, to not be able to keep your opinions to yourself.
Knarkometer = Drug-o-meter, a device which can detect any kind of illegal substances.
Lunchdisco = Exactly what it says, a disco happening during the lunch hour, a phenomena that’s getting bigger.
= Food bag, a pre-packed food bag that is delivered to your home.
Padda = Toad, a nickname for ipads and other portable reading device.
Skräpbot = Rubbish fine, since last year you risk a penalty if you throw your rubbish elsewhere than in the bin.
Surdegshotell = Sourdough hotel, a place where you can leave your sourdough if you are going away on holiday etc. They exist, I promise!

You can find the full list here!

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  1. MichiganLady:

    Attitude Incontinence? AWESOME! We could use that concept in English, as well! 😀
    Padda — also from Star Trek, a PADD is Personal Access Data Device. Then I-Pad sorta “stole” the futuristic sound. And Swedish conveniently has an animal word that sounds like it–very cute.

  2. Peter Miller:

    The link to the full list does not work?

  3. MichiganLady:

    Peter–it’s Java, and IE8 won’t work. Try rt-clicking on the link and “copy shortcut” into your browser. That’s how I had to do it. 🙂

  4. currants:

    “Bonne continuation” is sort of a French equivalent, but is usually used in the context of something in progress, sort of “Enjoy the rest of…” (whatever it is–meal, travel, visit…). So yeah, maybe that works.