New Swedish words 2012
It’s a new year, and that means new Swedish words. Svenska Språkrådet (the Swedish Language Council) is presenting fresh Swedish words, coined in 2012, a motley crew from different parts of society. The fact that “hen” (a gender-neutral noun meaning neither she (“hon”) nor him (“han”) finally got its foot in the door, and that has led to “henifiera” meaning to “henify.” “Ogooglebart” means that something is impossible to look up on the Google Internet search engine. “Överklassafari” and “underklassafari” mean a visit or expedition to areas with different socio-economical classes. Språkrådet is an agency and a part of the language authority called the Institute for Language and Folklore, and they give information about all aspects of language. During 2012, the emphasis of most of the new words lies within the field of Internet technology. Let’s look at some of them.
“Brony”—an adult man who likes to play with the “My Little Pony” toys and watches their television series, “Friendship is magic.” Brony is a combination of “brother” and “pony.”
“Conversesjukan” (Converse disease)—the health issues that can arise by wearing the fabric Converse sneakers with flat soles.
“Drinkorexi”—meaning you starve yourself during the day in order to be able to drink high-calorie alcoholic beverages at night.
“Eurobävning”—the collaboration of European countries is shaking in its foundations. “Bävning,” the Swedish word for “quake,” as in “jordbävning” meaning earthquake.
“Kramtjuv” (hug thief)—a person who hugs in order to get to his or her victim.
“Köttrymden” (meat space)—Swedish computer geeks don’t like expressions like “in real life” since they feel life in front of the screen is as real as life in so-called “köttrymden.”
“Memil”—a middle-aged man who bikes rather carelessly and aggressively, wearing professional bike wear. From the English expression MAMIL, meaning middle-aged man in lycra.
“Mossgraffiti”—literally moss graffiti. In lieu of the environmentally dangerous colors, there’s a growing trend to mix moss with yogurt, beer and sugar in a mixer and use the batter to paint walls, stones and pots. After a few weeks the moss will grow and you have created “mossgraffiti.”
“Ryggplankning”—a method to get through subway gates by squeezing closely together with someone else who swipes his card.
“Tintingate”—the reaction after Stockholm's Kulturhuset library's youth department threw out Tintin albums which painted malicious portraits of black people and had a colonial perspective.
Compare this to “tårtgate” (cake gate)—a word that was created as a reaction when Minister for Culture and Sports Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth was photographed cutting a cake in the likeness of a stereotypical naked African tribal woman, in the nude and with a creamy blood-red sponge filling.