10 killer Swedish idioms and their meanings


10 killer Swedish idioms and their meanings

It’s raining cats and dogs.

No, calicos and poodles are not falling from the sky. But is it pouring? Yes.

Ah, idioms. They seem so reasonable when heard in a native language but often take a turn for the hilarious when translated from another language.

So hold your horses (not literally) because here are 10 killer Swedish idioms and their meanings

Swedish ExpressionEnglish TranslationMeaning
Gå som katten kring het gröt.Go like the cat around hot porridge.Beat around the bush.
Kissa i byxan för att hålla värmen.Pee in the pants to keep warm.A short-term fix is not as good as a long-term solution.
Har du käkat taggtråd eller ?Have you been eating barbed wire?Why you bein’ so nasty?
Det är ingen ko på isen.There’s no cow on the ice.No worries.
Ha tummen mitt i handen.Have a thumb in the middle of your hand.You are not very technically capable.
Nu har du skitit i det blå skåpet.Now you have shi* in the blue cabinet.You really made a fool of yourself.
Hur man än vänder sig är alltid ändan bak.No matter how much you twist and turn, your butt is always in the back.Some things are simply out of your control.
Nu är du ute och cyklar.Now you’re out riding your bicycle.You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Paddla och Vält.Paddle and turn over.Go to hell.
Med skägget i brevlådan.With his beard in the mailbox.Taken by surprise. Caught with your pants down.

There is something incredibly poetic about telling someone to “paddle and turn over.” Use it at your own risk, because although innovative, it is quite offensive. And about that blue cabinet…

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