How to Curse in Swedish: A Primer

This entry is entirely immature in nature, and therefore only intended for adult readers.

Those of you who know me well know that I speak a little Swedish. Once fluent, my vocabulary has now declined somewhat, but I still remember the first words I learned: the swear words.

Swearing is not such a big deal in Sweden. Like anywhere, it makes you sound cheap and stupid to curse, and yet it is strangely satisfying in a very juvenile way. But no one pays attention to you at all there. There don't seem to be any rules about it, unless I missed something. Here in the U.S., for instance, one cannot swear on the radio. We also don't see naked ladies at the quicky mart check-out- the tattas are covered in brown paper here, and you have to get them from behind the counter. Not so in Sweden. But I digress.

Fuck! = Fy fan! (Literally, you are invoking the devil. Pronounced "fee fawn".)
the fuck = fan (so, "What the fuck is that?" would be, "Vad fan är det för nåt?")
Fuck! = Gävlar (the devils, pronounced "yevlar")
Fuck you! = Dra åt helvete (pronounced, "draw oat hellvayta" - you're telling them to go to hell. Don't use this one!)
fucking = Gävla
shit! = skit (pronounced almost just the same as "shit", but with this sort of glutteral sound if you live in Dalarna, where I lived)
asshole = skitstövel (pronounced sort of like "shitstuvlar". That ö is always pronounced like the /u/ in fur. It's tricky. Literally, this means "shitboot", so instead of calling someone an "asshole," you call them a "shitboot")
Cock = kuk (I'm not clear how to say it.)

I don't know about the rest. I don't know of a word for "bitch," just "dog", "hund". Lastly, for the die hard South Park fans,

Not without my anus = Inte utan min analöpning (pronounced "eentay ootawn meen analupneeng").


  1. I can curse in Dutch, a talent I learned from my ex-husband. It comes in very handy when you want to swear without others knowing they are being sworn at.

    Kut = (rhymes with runt)

    I see this on license plates all the time and it cracks me up, especially when there's a woman driving.

  2. Thanks, I am sure these will come in handy in multicultural London someday.

    My Scottish mother uses a lot of quasi squares, including 'tube' for fool. 'Whit a tube!' sounds ruder than it is.

  3. "analöpning"

    I am struck by the similarity of the word to its definition in English. A Well-placed 'e' would complete the effect.

  4. Yeah, the main difference between the English "anus" and the Swedish "analöpning" is strictly pronunciation. Swedish and English are definitely in the same language family (Germanic). They're very similar.

    I'll have to remember about "kut". I see a lot of Norwegian personalized plates here. They're very uncreative, like "bil" ("car").

  5. I was going to make the same observation as Gina.
    I need to become better versed in multilingual swearing. I once embarrassed myself by asking a Spanish co-worker why calling someone a kitchen was offensive. Kitchen is cocina, cochina, on the other hand, is dirty ho. Live and learn.