1) Ikeaväder – A word for ‘a miserable summer's day so we might as well spend it at Ikea’. (I tried to write a joke about Ikea but it was like their furniture I couldn’t quite put it together).
2) Nypåstigna –One word for ten English ones: ‘Passengers who got on the train at the last stop’. Swedish is known for its long compound words, the longest, according to Svenska Akademiska ordlista, is ‘realisationsvinstbeskattning’ (28 letters) meaning capital gains tax. Another word which fascinates global linguists is ‘världsschlager’ – a rare word because it has eight consonants in a row.
3) Matglädje – A word for ‘enjoying anything to do with food’. Eating it is a necessity, cooking it is an art. Swedes enjoy cooking with wine, and sometimes they even put it in the food.
4) Söndagsångest – A word for ‘the feeling of anxiety on a Sunday evening’ knowing that the first five days after a weekend are the hardest.
5) Kosläpp – A word for ‘the release in spring into the open fields of cows which have been locked up all winter’. They’re locked up again in October but strangely there’s is no word for that in Swedish.
6) Särbo – A word for ‘a person who sleeps with his/her partner and then goes home to his/her own bed afterwards’. It’s a kind of living-together-apart arrangement.
7) Nyhetstorka – A word for ‘the media dishing up unimportant, uninteresting stories as all the journalists seem to be on vacation at the same time’. Read all about it! Anna Book whose dish-washer has broken down (lots of tears), Gustav Fridolin’s hamster has escaped (understandable) and Pernilla Wahlgren’s latest addiction to nose spray (pass the bucket).
8) Kaffesugen – A word for ‘feeling the acute desire to drink coffee’. What goes best with a cup of coffee? En påtår! A word for ‘another cup in the same cup’.
9) Mellandagsrea – A word for ‘a week of Black Fridays between Christmas and New Year’.
10) Kundpinne – A word for ‘the stick one places on the check-out belt thingy at the supermarket to mark where one’s own shopping ends.’ I really wanted to buy one of those things but the lady at the check-out kept putting it back.
11) Ett förmöte - A word for ‘people who have a meeting to prepare for another meeting with the same people.’
12) Klämdag - A word for ‘the odd day, usually a Friday, between a public holiday and the weekend’. In May and June the public holidays and extended weekends more or less combine into one long vacation with the occasional day at the office.
13) Politikerförakt – A word for ‘despising politicians’. It is used by the disillusioned who readily compare politicians to diapers – they should be changed often and for the same reason.
14) Fika – A word for ‘more than a simple a coffee break as it’s a time to umgås - a word for hanging out together, enjoying samkväm - a word for feeling comfortable in the company of your umgänge - a word for a regular circle of friends, when you sense that everything is so mysigt - a word for experiencing the warmth of supreme Swedish cosiness.’ Yes, that’s fika!
15) Bordsgranne - a word for ‘the person sitting next to you at the dinner table’. At my very first Swedish dinner party my bordsgranne to the right took what looked like a flat wooden tool, scooped up a lump of butter, handed it to me and said with a smile ‘Varsågod!’. What was I supposed to do with it? Lick it? I just said ‘Varsågod’ and passed it on to the bordsgranne to the left.
(And there are plenty more very Swedish words. Feel free to add them.)