Köttrymd! In other words, everything's better in Swedish. ( Oliver Hoffman/Shutterstock)
Today brought the news that Google has officially objected to one of the best words that has ever graced this planet: "ogooglebar," which translates -- if such a glorious word must be subjugated to the indignities of translation -- to "ungoogleable."
That the wondrous word is Swedish is unsurprising. Many of the world's most delightful expressions, it seems -- among them smörgåsbord, sliddersladder ("gossip"), and kackerlacka ("cockroach") -- are, indeed, Swedish in origin. The North Germanic language has not only given us the pragmatic pronoun "hen"; it has also offered up highly useful expressions for people and circumstances like "ugly parkers," "attitude incontinence," and "tree murder." Some of these offerings even have umlauts.
Swedish, adding to all the awesomeness, has proven especially adept at coining new words for the new circumstances occasioned by new technologies. Below, some of the best Swedologisms I could find, via the Swedish news site The Local. We should, obviously, incorporate them into English as soon as possible.
1. Bloggbävning, n.
Definition: Literally translating to "blogquake," the word describes the process by which a topic explodes in the blogosphere and is then picked by by more mainstream media outlets.
Used in an English sentence: "Man, that 'ogooglebar' thing really caused a bloggbävning today."
2. Livslogga, v.
Definition: Literally translating to "life log," the word means to continually document one's life in pictures
Used in an English sentence: "I know it's a lot of pictures of salads, but what can I say? It's fun to livslogga."
3. Ogooglebar, adj.
Definition: Literally meaning "ungoogleable," the term is used to describe someone or something that doesn't show up in Google results.
Used in an English sentence: "I'm going on a date tonight, but he's totally ogooglebar! He's probably an axe murderer, right?"
4. Nomofob, n.
Definition: A person who feels anxious at the very thought of being separated from his or her mobile phone. (Adapted from the clunky English "no mobile phone phobia.")
Used in an English sentence: "I'd love to go swimming, but that's a long time to be in the water -- I'm sort of a nomofob."
5. Fulparkerare, n.
Definition: Literally translating to "ugly parker," the word describes someone who parks his or her car in a particularly egregious or unlawful manner.
Used in an English sentence: "Did you really just double-park? Come on, don't be a fulparkerare."
6. Mobildagis, n.
Definition: Literally meaning "mobile phone daycare," the term describes a place -- often in or near schools -- where mobile phones are stored.
Used in an English sentenc: "While you're in class, you can keep your phone at the mobildagis."
7. Appa, v.
Definition: Literally, "to app": to solve a problem using a mobile phone app
Used in an English sentence: "How can I keep track of how many steps I take in a day? Is there a way to appa it?"
8. Padda, n.
Definition: a nickname for someone's iPad or tablet computer
Used in an English sentence: "Are you bringing your padda on the trip?"
9. Terja, v.
Definition: To manipulate a photograph. The term gets its name from the nature photographer Terje Hellesø, who confessed to manipulating his award-winning photos of animals.
Used in an English sentence: "Wow, that's a gorgeous photo. I can't believe it's not Terja'ed!"
10. Trädmord, n.
Definition: Literally translating to "tree murder," the term increased in usage in 2011, after several trees near Stockholm were either damaged or poisoned, causing them to die. Can be adopted, however, to describe excessive and/or wasteful use of paper and packaging.
Used in an English sentence: "Hey, who printed this 80-page article just now? Trädmord!"
11. Attitydinkontinens, n.
Definition: Literally meaning "attitude incontinence," the term describes the inability to keep one's opinions to oneself
Used in an English sentence: "Sorry for that long comment I left on your post. I guess I had a case of attitydinkontinens."
12. Flipperförälder, n.
Definition: Literally meaning "pinball parent," the term describes a parent who's the opposite of a helicopter parent -- who lets his or her kids have freedom. (It refers to the ball's tendency, in a pinball game, to bounce around the board after it's been let loose.) Can also, in translation, refer to a parent who lets his or her kids loose on the Internet, without parental controls.
Used in an English sentence: "Of course I let Bobby have his own Facebook account. I'm trying to be a flipperförälder."
13. Åsiktstaliban, n.
Definition: Literally "opinion Taliban," the term refers to someone or a group of someones who tolerate only one opinion on a given issue. (In translation, might also refer more generally to "trolls.")
Used in an English sentence: "Don't read the comments right now. They're full of Åsiktstaliban."
14. Nakenchock, n.
Definition: Literally "naked shock," the term could refers to the shock you get when clicking on a link that leads you, unsuspectingly, to images of people who are less than clothed. The other side of NSFW.
Used in an English sentence: "Don't click that link! You'll get a nakenchock."
15. Köttrymd, n.
Definition: The non-digital world (a derivation of the English "meatspace")
Used in an English sentence: "Okay, I'm signing off -- going to see what's going on in Köttrymd."
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