Swedish Curse Words Posted by Marcus Cederström on Oct 23, 2010 in Culture, Grammar
I’m not going to teach you any Swedish curse words. Sorry. They are easy enough to find online anyway, and to be perfectly honest, cursing in Swedish is such a common thing that it doesn’t carry nearly the same gravitas as it does in the English language. Which is what is so fascinating to me.
Cursing in Swedish tends to have religious connotations. There are of course the biological words that help to spice up the language, but as a general rule, the big words all have religious connotations. The devil makes several appearances. Considering the secular beliefs of the country, it does make for an interesting linguistic dichotomy.
Of course, they are just words. So much so that everyone uses them. They’re used on TV; in music, in literature, by old ladies, young boys and everyone in between. Many of the words seem to be used as an amplifier, something to spice up the language. There are those words and phrases that are meant to insult, meant to be aggressive, they wouldn’t be curse words if you couldn’t find those.
Cursing is so common in Swedish, that even English curse words have made their way into the common vernacular. I remember how shocked I was to hear little kids throwing around English swear words that I wouldn’t have dared say at that age. I remember how I shocked I was the first time I heard English curse words used on TV in Sweden. After so many years in the US I had become conditioned to expect the beep. Or beeeeeep beeeeep beeeeeep depending on the string of words put together by the person in question.
What’s it like in your country? Are curse words still stigmatized so much that they get censored out of various medias? Or are they just words?