torsdag, maj 05, 2005

New Words

"What is Swedish for anodyne," I IM my husband.

"I don't know that word. . . . Painkiller?" he types back, after checking his online Oxford.

"No, more like sweet, simple, innocuous, bland."

"Hmm, maybe 'ofarlig' for a person who is not dangerous; 'oskadlig' if you are talking about an object or product."

"And echoloaction. It's what bats do." It is a rare scientific word, that, like many swedish or german words is a combination of descriptive terms that renders its meaning quite clear.

"Hunh," he typed, stumped. "'Radar', I guess."

I continue in my interrogation.

How 'bout "nippley," I send.

"What are you doing," he finally asks.

"It means 'chilly' the kids thought I was a dinosaur for not using it."

"Then I am a dinosaur too," he added. "Bröstvårta"

"So I would say, 'Det är bröstvårtigt ute?' for 'It is refreshingly nipster outside.'"


"The first word is 'breast' obviously. The second half, 'vår' does it mean 'Spring' or 'ours'. It could go either way," I blather on. "'Spring' is like 'perky'. 'Ours' is communal."

"No. the root is 'varta', which means wart. Breastwart."

Breastwart indeed. I changed the subject.

"Ok, and the last one, the brits use a term, 'bumper'. I think it means 'cool'. Comes from an old phrase, 'cup filled to the top'. Did the vikings have a similar one, like for mead filled to the top of a goblet"

"No. it would be only 'upp till bredden' I guess. "

"Thanks," I said.
"My pleasure."

I will only remember one of those words.