Swedish farts


One of the fun things about learning a foreign language are the words that are rude, or funny in your own language.

Swedish has a few of them: slut, kräpp, plopp, kock, spurt

But the funniest one is probably the most purile; it is the ever prevailing ‘fart’, especially when you see it on street signs. This is the word that has most visitors to Sweden holding their sides with laughter.

Even after all these years, I can still have a little giggle when I think about the word ‘fart’ and its various usages in Swedish. In Swedish, ‘fart’ can mean a lot of things such as speed, drive, route, pace, spirit, vivacity, rate. But it is when it is put together with another word that it becomes amusing. Childish, I know…but here we go…

  1. utfart – ‘out fart’ – exit from a building
  2. uppfart – ‘up fart’ – driveway
  3. infart – ‘in fart’ (sounds painful) – entrance
  4. avfart – ‘of fart’ – exit from a motorway
  5. framfart – ‘forward fart’ (quite an accomplishment) – progress
  6. fartkamera – ‘fart camera’ (didn’t know these existed) – speed camera
  7. kringfart – ‘circular fart’ (also sounds painful) – causeway
  8. fartfylld -‘full of fart’ (know a few people like that) – speedy
  9. krypfart – ‘crawl fart’ – crawl
  10. luftfart – ‘air fart’ (the worst) – air travel
  11. fartrand – ‘fart stripe’ – go faster stripe on a car
  12. maxfart -‘maximum fart’ – top speed
  13. farthållare – ‘fart holder’ (dangerous) – cruise control
  14. blixtfart – ‘flash fart’ – flash speed
  15. fjärrfart -‘distant fart’ – transocean traffic
  16. halvfart – ‘half fart’ – half speed
  17. snigelfart – ‘snail fart’ – snail speed
  18. förbifart – ‘passing fart’ – ring road
  19. fartgräns – ‘fart limit’ – speed limit
  20. marschfart – ‘marching fart’ (like a hit and run!) – cruise speed
  21. överljudsfart – ‘supersonic fart’ (impressive!) – supersonic speed
  22. fartblind – ‘fart blind’ (although deaf is probably preferable) – when you become desensitised to the speed you are driving and stop noticing it




4 thoughts on “Swedish farts

  1. I will now very Swedishly ruin the jocular atmosphere and point out that some of these translations were incorrect.

    luftfart – Air travel or air traffic (as a concept, not as an action). Air speed is Kurshastighet.
    fartrand – “Go faster stripe” on race cars (and cars that desperately want to be race cars). Skid mark is Bromsspår.
    farthållare – Cruise control (something that holds your speed) Speedometer is Hastighetsmätare.

    Although I understand the anglophone merriment, it’s not *that* weird. The word fart is derived from “fara”, to travel. And you have this word in English (maybe one of the leftovers from the Danish or Norwegian invasions? (please don’t judge us by the despicable behaviour of our less fortunate Nordic brethren)), in “fare well” (travel well), “sea-faring” (travelling by sea) and, of course “fare”, the money you pay to travel. I also suspect that the nautical “fairway” (the navigable part of a body of water) is derived from the same word, as the Swedish term is “färled” (“led” meaning “path”).

    Discovered your blog today, will definitely return. Or as we (used to) say, “återfart”.

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