List of English words of Swedish origin

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This is a list of English language words borrowed from the Swedish language. Some may be from other Scandinavian languages such as Danish or Norwegian, or may come from Old Norse when it was a single language.

  • ångström, often written as "angstrom" (after the Swedish scientist Anders Jonas Ångström)
  • fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training.[1]
  • gauntlet (run the..., an eggcorn of Swedish gatlopp)
  • glogg[2] or glugg,[3] (Swedish term for mulled wine) from glögg, a portmanteau of glödgat vin, meaning heated wine.
  • gravlax, the shortened form of gravad lax,[4] meaning “buried salmon”
  • gyttja, a kind of mud
  • lek (from the Swedish leka, "to play")[5]
  • lingonberry, from lingon
  • moped, Swedish shortening of trampcykel med motor och pedaler ("engined bike with motor and pedals")[6]
  • ombudsman, a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency.
  • orienteering, from orientering[7]
  • rutabaga, from Swedish dialectal rotabagge
  • smorgasbord (from the Swedish smörgåsbord, literally "sandwich table"), which in Swedish either refers to a buffet with very specific types of food, or is used as a metaphor
  • snus, a type of tobacco product consisting of moist tobacco powder
  • trapp basalts, or "trapps", stair-shaped rock formations (from the Swedish trappor, "stairs")
  • tungsten, literally "heavy stone", refers in Swedish to scheelite, a mineral containing tungsten and not the metal itself (Swedish volfram)
  • varve, an annual layer of sediment or sedimentary rock. Derives from the Swedish word varv whose meanings and connotations include 'revolution', 'in layers', and 'circle'. The term first appeared as Hvarfig lera (varved clay) on the first map produced by the Geological Survey of Sweden in 1862.[8]
  • yrast, a technical term in nuclear physics that refers to a state of a nucleus with a minimum of energy for a given angular momentum

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McArdle, William D.; Katch, Frank I.; Katch, Victor L. (2009) [1981]. "Training for Anaerobic and Aerobic Power". Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance (7th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 483. ISBN 978-0-7817-9781-8. Retrieved May 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ "glogg". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "glögg". Oxford Dictionaries Online. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Lena Katarina Swanberg and Carl Jan Granqvist. "Gravad lax". - The official guide to sweden. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Harper, Douglas. "lek". Online Etymology Dictionary. 
  6. ^ Harper, Douglas (November 2001). [ "Moped"] Check |url= value (help). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  7. ^ Merriam-Webster
  8. ^ Zolitschka, B. (2007). "Varved lake sediments" (PDF). Encyclopedia of quaternary science. Elsevier, Amsterdam: 3105–3114.