On Location Swedish – 14 Dec 2012

121214-ailieTja! Well, I am not sure about what it is like with my fellow On Location bloggers, but here in Uppsala just about all anyone can talk about is the snow – I know I mentioned this last week, but there really is a lot! I thought it would be quite appropriate this week therefore to talk about some of the snow-related words my Swedish friends have been teaching me.

The word for “snowflakes” – snöflingor – is built up much the same as English; “snö” being snow, and “flingor” being flakes (although nowadays flingor is used to mean cereal in general, or cornflakes more specifically). Istappar, the Swedish word for icicles, I think has to be one of my new favourite Swedish words, meaning “ice pins”, and you certainly get some pretty impressive ones here (my friends attempted a sword fight with some particularly sturdy looking ones…which didn’t really last so long); they can even be seen hanging off the bottom of the buses as they drive around, and along the river here. A snowman becomes “en snögubbe” (“gubbe” being a colloquial word for “old man” – quite appropriate when you think of the wizened carrot noses and old hats which adorn them), and “snowfall” becomes, quite simply, “snöfall”.

Speaking of snöfall, Swedish also has several different words for types of snow: nysnö is freshly fallen snow (literally, “new snow”); kramsnö is the wet snow perfect for making snöbollar (snowballs); pulversnö is powdery, and spårsnö is the kind of snow in which tracks are left when people or animals walk through it – so as you can see, there is definitely more to it than just snö!

One last idiom to end with today, which is fairly common to hear (although it is related to ice and not to snow), which literally means “to have ice in the stomach”:

Han har is i magen.
He can really keep his cool.

Until next time, hej då!

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