Typically Swedish

Typically Swedish
Typically Swedish

What is typically Swedish?

During the last couple of years, I have been collecting several “things” that I consider typically Swedish. These things can be actual products or behaviors of Swedish people that you encounter regularly when you live in Sweden.

The complete list in German, here

Typically Swedish – Page 1 of 4 – #1-25

1. You have discussed with your friends how to correctly pronounce KEX: “kex” or “shex”?

Kex - Hej Sweden

2. You know what the Latin word “Volvo” actually means

Volvo Logo - Hej Sweden

3. You avoid meeting your neighbors in the stairway

Doorspy Türspion - Hej Sweden

4. You think it’s totally normal (and even o.k.) that your fellow Swedish citizens can check your personal income

Taxeringskalendern - Hej Sweden

5. You carry your laundry in a blue IKEA-bag to the laundry room

IKEA bag - Hej Sweden

6. To spread butter on your bread you don’t simply use a normal knife. No! You pick a very special smörkniv (butter-knife)


7. You have thought about which custom numberplate you would pick for your car. But then you decided that paying SEK 6000 for a this kind of fun is just a waste of money

8. You are very proud of the Swedish football team that made it to the 3rd place in the 1994 World Cup. You even still know the name of the goalkeeper (Thomas Ravelli)

9. At the last day of school before summer, back when you were a child, you sang Idas Sommarvisa 

10. You bring your own alcoholic drinks to pre-parties

Schwedische Biermarken im Test

11. Eating sweets and candy on a Saturday makes you get less bad conscious than on any other day of the week – lördagsgodis

Lördagsgodis Schweden

12. Pigs make “nöff nöff” and cocks “kukeliku”

A cute pet pig

13. Totally relaxed, in the supermarket, you start packing your groceries after you made the payment

14. In time, 15.00 on Christmas eve you switch on the TV to watch Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) – and don’t even mind that every year it’s pretty much exactly the same collection of episodes

kalle anka donald duck

15. You thinks it’s totally fine to bring sweets and soda in the cinema, although having bought it somewhere else

kino in schweden sf bio

16. When you order a coffee in a café you make sure to ask the waiter or check if there is a little sign next to the coffee can that says “Påtår ingår” (refill included)

17. You agree that Queen Silvia’s Swedish could – after more than 40 years in Sweden – sound a little less German

18. When someone tells you you have a very good English pronunciation, you explain that it has probably to do with Swedish TV, where English language programs keep the original sound with an added Swedish subtitle only

19. You express strong dissatisfaction with something by angrily saying Fan! or Jävla! (both meaning “Devil”)

Auf schwedisch fluchen

20. At least once a day you use one of the doorhandles below (extremely common on Swedish buildings)

21. When you order a Pizza, you expect to receive a vitkålsallad as well (white cabbage salad)


22. When you have friends over for a visit, you expect them to take of their shoes at the entrance, unasked

23. Förening is Swedish for “association”. Fackförening is Swedish for “union”, which you can say aloud in the public even without slightly having a grin on your face


24. Your bed doesn’t have just one maddrass. It has two: the resårmaddrass and bäddmaddrass


25. On Friday afternoons you pilgrimage to Systembolaget (the state-owned alcohol store) to stock up on drunk-makers for the weekend


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1 thought on “Typically Swedish”

  1. Was ich besonders schrecklich finde in Schweden ist diese Unsitte die Schuhe auszuziehen wenn man ins Haus kommt. Ich will keine stinkenden Socken oder nackte Füße mit Fupilz auf meinem Fußboden bei mir zuhause. Also ICH behalte vorsorglich meine Schuhe an in meinem Haus.


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