Swedish expressions about the forest

Did you know that 69% of Sweden is covered in forest? With this statistic in mind, it’s easy to understand the importance that the woods have in Swedish cultural history. The woods have supported, saved and scared Swedes for centuries. The woods have been associated with something remote, impenetrable and often mystical. In the non secular country that Sweden is, the woods also provide a ’Church’ and a source of spiritualism, meditation and reflection.

The forest has also given the Swedish language several expressions, words and sayings. Here are some:

Dra åt skogen’ – go to the forest – a polite way to tell somebody to fuck off

Skogstokig’ – forest crazy – a word to describe a person who is really angry

Det gick åt skogen’ – it went to the forest – a phrase that means something went wrong

Att lova guld och gröna skogar’ – to promise gold and green forests – an expression to mean that someone offers you wealth and happiness, but it is often overrated. Equivalent in English to ‘promise the moon’

Träskalle’ – wood head – an insult meaning someone is stupid

Träaktig’ – tree like – a description of someone as boring.

Barka åt skogen’ – going towards the forest – meaning it’s going to go badly

Can you think of any more?

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