In 1941, a Hollywood movie was released starring Vaudeville actor El Brendel. The movie was about a simple Swedish immigrant who unknowingly becomes assistant to a jewel thief. As an expression of surprise, he exclaims ‘Yumpin’ Yimminy!’ instead of the phrase ‘Jumping Jimminy’ which was popular at the time. This, of course, was a way of ridiculing the Swedish difficulty of pronouncing J and similar jokes highlighting this are for example ‘do you have any use (ie juice) for my wife?’
The Swedish language that we see on signs can still today provide us with some giggles. It’s useful to know what some of the words mean when you’re visiting Stockholm.
Infart – this sounds painful, but it’s the Swedish word for entrance (usually for vehicles)
Utfart – the word for exit (usually for vehicles)
Ned – on the underground, this means down
Rea – not a singer but the Swedish word for Sale
Slutrea – not a tarty singer but a Final Sale
Slutspurt – rather unappealing word that means end of Sale rush
Realisation – oh my god!! It’s a sale!
T – banan – not a funny shaped banana but the underground metro (Tunnelbana)
Mynt – not fresh breath tablets, but coins
Kök – pronounced ‘shurk’, this means kitchen and nothing else
Herrtoalett – confusingly not her toilet but his toilet. Herr in this context is the Swedish word for Gents
Drag – not a suggestion to wear women’s clothes but a suggestion to pull a door open
Tryck – push the door
Väg – nothing female, just the Swedish word for road