Currently there’s a lot of election campaigning going on in Sweden. In a couple of weeks, Swedes will decide who they would like to have in their government. It’s a bit of a nail-biter as the established parties are waning in popularity and the far-right populist party is gaining ground. Time will tell how the public votes. But in the meantime, let’s have a little lesson in Swedish election language. The Swedish word for election is ‘val’, which also means choice and also means whale. The word ‘val’ appears in front of lots of words in election times. Here are a selection of my personal favourites that I’ve spotted in the media:
- Valbråk – ‘election fight’ – some kind of conflict that arises in association with an election. It can be connected to posters or pamphlets or anything that gets people agitated, often by making populistic ‘vallöfte’
- Valfläsk – ‘election pork’ – a weird one, describing the hyperbole, the bullshit and the exaggerated claims made at the time of elections
- Valfusk – ‘election cheating’ – used to describe corruption in relation to an election
- Vallöfte – ‘election promise’ – what the party promises, and more often than not fails to deliver
- Valstuga – ‘election cottage’ – small wooden houses on a public square where representatives from each party stand and represent their policies
- Valspurt – ‘election spurt’ – nothing saucy, but rather a word to describe the escalating final run up to voting day
- Valchock – ‘election shock’ – an unexpected result, rather like Brexit or Trump and perhaps what we are heading for in Sweden in a couple of weeks’ time.
Do you have any other any other election words that particularly amuse you?