Observing Sweden – Proverbs

Swedish Proverbs:

1. I have a rooster in my throat / jag har en tupp i halsen
Means that you need to clear your throat.

2. You’ve crapped in the blue cupboard / Nu har du skitit i det blå skåpet
You have done something wrong.

3. Don’t drag everyone over the same comb / Dra inte alla över en kam
For instance – Swedes are known for being shy but don’t drag all Swedes over the same comb by assuming that ALL Swedes will run and hide if you try to talk to them.

4. To slide on a shrimp sandwich / Att glida på en räkmacka
To “glida på en räkmacka” is in fact something to envy. It describes a person who tends to be a bit too lucky – or perhaps a bit like someone who gets things served on a silver platter.

7. Only dead fish follow the stream /Bara döda fiskar följer strömmen
Describes someone who lacks his/her own will and just follows the general consensus.

8. A close shot doesn’t kill the hare / Nära skjuter ingen hare
Used to describe a situation where you were close to a goal but didn’t quite get all the way.

About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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5 Responses to Observing Sweden – Proverbs

  1. The first and the last i knew – that’s what you get from teaching Swedish students – so thank you for the rest, they’re good indeed.

    Best Always, Bruce


  2. Adds to your language learning curve!

  3. Alice says:

    Number 2–funny and significant number.

    • @ Alice,
      Yes that’s a good one. English version, ‘Don’t poop in your own back yard,’ or something like that.
      “Shot that missed the rabbit,’ Swedish for ‘Close but no cigar.’
      I suspect all cultures have similar observations.

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