att kasta in handduken*

* to throw in the towel

Swedish Sweden

Expression USED Frequently BY Some People

An expression for dying or giving up.

Anna hade levt ett långt och händelserikt liv när hon till slut kastade in handduken.

Anna had lived a long and eventful life when she finally threw in the towel.


dra någonting gammalt över dig

Swedish Sweden

Expression USED On Occasion BY Most People

Why tell someone to simply go away when you can make them look stupid at the same time? "Drag something old over yourself" you can yell at someone, and rejoice in the thought of how utterly embarrassed they'll feel with an old blanket on their head.

"Gå bort! Dra någonting gamalt över dig!"

"Go away! Drag something old over yourself!"

Confirmed by 2 people


när man talar om trollen så står de i farstun*

* when one speaks about the trolls they’re standing in the hallway

Swedish Sweden

Expression USED In the past BY Some People

Used when someone that you’ve recently talked about appears or something that you’ve talked about happens. The Swedish version of “speak of the devil and he shall appear”.

“Chefen och jag bråkade igår. Jag vill verkligen inte träffa henne idag.” *chefen kommer* ”När man talar om trollen...”

”The boss and I had a fight yesterday. I really don’t want to meet her today” *the boss arrives* “When one speaks about the trolls...”


tack och hej, leverpastej*

* thanks and bye, liver paste

Swedish Sweden

Expression USED On Occasion BY Young People

Used as a fun way of saying “goodbye”. The Swedish version of “see you later, alligator”. Liver paste can be used as a spread on the traditional Swedish crispy bread. It was used in a famous Swedish children’s book.

"Det var allt för idag. Tack och hej, leverpastej!"

"That was all for today. Thanks and bye, liver paste!"




* yellow bend

Swedish Sweden

Word USED On Occasion BY Some People

(n.) A 'joke-Norwegian' (skämtnorska) word mimicking Norwegian language sounds that sounds silly or weird to Swedes.

“Men vad tusan, jag var säker på att banan faktiskt hette guleböj på norska.”

“My goodness, I was certain bananas were actually called yellow bends in Norwegian.“

Confirmed by 3 people



* crop raining

Swedish Sweden

Standard Phrase USED Frequently BY Everyone

(v.) When it is raining very hard or heavily.

"Det spöregnar just nu så vi borde nog stanna hemma."

"It’s crop raining outside right now so we should probably stay at home."




Swedish Sweden

Slang USED Very frequently BY Adults, Young People

(interj.) Comes from the old expression “Jag är eder ödmjuke tjänare” (“I am your humble servant”).

"Tjenare! Hur är läget?"

"Hi! What’s up?"

Confirmed by 2 people



Swedish Sweden

Word USED Very frequently BY Everyone

(adj.) Not too little, not too much, but just the right amount.

Note: 'Lagom' underpins every aspect of Swedish society, from how many meatballs you should have, to how formal you should dress for work... the answer is always 'lagom'

"När är det lagom att ta någon på en dejt?"

"When is it the right time to ask someone out on a date?"

Confirmed by 7 people


* non-friend

Swedish Sweden

Word USED Frequently BY Everyone

(n.) Used for someone you do not like, someone who you are in conflict with.

"Påminn mig om att inte bli ovän med dig."

"Remind me not to become your enemy."

Confirmed by 2 people


* in need to pee

Swedish Sweden

Expression USED Very frequently BY Everyone

(adj.) Used to say that you need to pee.

"Jag måste skynda mig till toaletten, jag är kissnödig."

"I have to rush to the toilet, I need to pee."

Confirmed by 2 people


en nollåtta*

* a zero-eight

Swedish Sweden

Slang USED On Occasion BY Some People

(n.) A sometimes derogatory term for a person from Stockholm, derived from Stockholm's area code, 08.

"Den där nollåttan kan inte köra!"

"That Stockholmer can't drive!"

Confirmed by 4 people




* having energy

Swedish Sweden

Word USED Frequently BY Almost Everyone

(v.) Having energy, mustering strength. It is most commonly used as a verb, but often it is simply the word "Orka!" on its own, meaning "I can't believe you're willing to spend your energy on that" as well as "I don't have the energy for that" simultaneously.

"Jag orkar inte."

"I don't have the energy."

Confirmed by 4 people

men va fan!*

* but the devil!

Swedish Sweden

Expression USED Very frequently BY Almost Everyone

Used to express annoyance or anger.

"Jag råkade repa bildörren." "Men va fan!"

"I scratched the car door." "But the devil!"

Confirmed by 2 people

åh, fan!*

* oh, the devil!

Swedish Sweden

Expression USED Very frequently BY Almost Everyone

Used to express disbelief, surprise, shock etc

"Jag halkade i trappan imorse." "Åh fan! Hur gick det?"

"This morning I slipped on the stairs." "Oh, the devil! How did it happen?"

Confirmed by 3 people