Stockholmska dialect

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Native to Sweden
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Stockholmska is a group of dialects spoken in Stockholm. An exact definition encompassing its peculiarities is hard to find, as a cosmopolitan culture and early adoption infers a great variety of international influences that are then spread to the rest of Sweden, and, as Stockholm is a highly urbanized area, the dialects of Stockholm are more likely to undergo rapid changes than dialects spoken in rural areas. For instance, the thin L sound (as opposed to the thick L) came into Stockholmska from Germanic merchants, and later spread into common usage; the thick L it replaced is today considered dialectal.


The way the /ä:/ sound is pronounced is something people often associate with Stockholmska. Many from the older generation of Stockholmers (born in the 1960s and earlier) pronounce /ä:/ as /e:/.[1] The way to pronounce it is actually an adaptation by people moving into Stockholm imitating the /ie/ sound earlier used for /ä:/. Note, however, that short /ä/ merges with short /e/ for the majority of Swedish speakers and is not considered typical for speakers of Stockholmska. This dialectal trait is in decline and is being replaced by the open ä.[1] Other features include extra open a sounds (for younger speakers) like in "stan" (the city) and an r sound close to the English r sound as well as a slightly nasal sound.[1] In Stockholmian it is common to pronounce the short ö sound as a short u before r, for instance saying "durr" (dörr), "bursen" (börsen) and so on.[1] Conversely, outside Stockholm County, excluding Southern Sweden, it is common to pronounce the short ö sound as a short u when it doesn't precede an r, for instance saying "mjulk" (mjölk), "huns" (höns) and so on.

Some word endings are typical of Stockholmska. When windmills were used they were given female names ending in -an. For instance a windmill owned by a Dutch (Holländare) would be called "Holländskan" (the Dutchwoman). The -an ending was later adopted for other places. For instance Kungsträdgården became "kungsan," "biblioteket" (the library) became "bibblan" and so on. Another ending is -is from Latin[2] although in practice it is used roughly as a diminutive or to add familiarity. Examples include "medis" (Medborgarplatsen), "rålis" (Rålambshovsparken) and "fiskis" (Fisksätra). Some of these words (such as "dagis" for "daghem" (kindergarten)) have spread into colloquial Swedish in general.

In southern Stockholm uses a special tone, soft r sounds and some specific slang words.[1] Although the highly exaggerated use of slang as used on old movies probably never existed in reality.[1]

Due to the concentration of many immigrants in the suburbs around Stockholm, many new foreign loanwords have become common especially among young people. Usually from Turkish (like "para" = money) or Arabic (like "yalla!" = hurry!). See Rinkeby Swedish.

In the affluent areas of northern Stockholm there is a distinct dialect characterized by the pronunciation of the letter "i", with the tongue against the front teeth, so called Lidingö i or Viby i (after Viby in Närke).[1] Such areas are Lidingö, Danderyd and Täby. It is believed the pronunciation was a result of wealthy persons going to Bohuslän for vacation and picking it up there. A similar sound can be found in the wealthier parts of Göteborg as well.[1] In north-eastern Stockholm the "sj" sound also has a special pronunciation at the front of the mouth, similar to the one used in Kiruna. As in "självfallet".[1]

Stockholmska in popular culture[edit]

Stockholmska was used by the characters in the long running comic strip Biffen och Bananen.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Lokaltidningen Mitt i: Hoa-Hoa snackar som vi gjorde förr, Tuesday 3, 2011
  2. ^ Svenska dialektmysterier, SVT, February 1, 2006