Swedish Language Blog

Swedish Idioms I. (animals) Posted by on Sep 28, 2011 in Grammar, Swedish Language, Vocabulary

  • Det var som katten! or Det var som fan! eng. Well, I´ll be damned
  • Att ge katten/fan på. eng. To bet one´s life on it.
  • Att lägga lök på laxen. eng. To make matters worse.
  • Det är något i hästväg. eng. It´s something extraordinary.


  • Arg som ett bi. eng. To be furious.
  • Envis som en åsna. eng. Stubborn as a mule.
  • Fattig som en kyrkoråtta. eng. Poor as a church mouse.
  • Fri som en fågel. eng. Free as a bird
  • From som ett lamm. eng. Meek (gentle) as a lamb.
  • Glad som en lärka. eng. Glad as a lark.
  • Hal som en ål. eng. Slippery as an eel
  • Hungrig som en varg. eng. Hungry as a bear.
  • Klok som en uggla. eng. Wise as an owl.
  • Kåt som fan/en kanin. Horney as hell. (vulg!)
  • Pigg som en mört. eng. Fit as a fiddle.
  • Rädd som en hare. eng. As timid as a hare.
  • Slug/Listig som en räv. eng. Sly as a fox.
  • Stark som en björn/oxe. eng. Strong as a lion.
  • Stolt som en tupp. eng. Proud as a peacock.
  • Tyst som en mus. eng. Silent as a mouse.


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  1. Steve Brammer:

    Surely “Hungrig som en varg” is Hungry as a wolf, not bear?

  2. Tibor:

    Nothing is sure..there can be of course local/dialectal variants. I would buy both even lion in this case if you ask me 🙂

  3. Liza:

    Arg som ett bi. eng. To be furious.
    *To BEE furious.

  4. Sheila Morris:

    One of my favorites is “ana ugglor i mossen” = to be suspicious, or “something’s not right”. Literally, “to suspect owls in the bog”!