Yesterday was the sombre funeral of Prince Philip in St George’s Chapel in Windsor, UK. In the House of Nobility in Stockholm, his coat of arms was also hung as he was a member of the noble Swedish Serafimer order.
All this got me thinking about the different ways you can describe somebody dying. In English, we have expressions like ‘bite the dust’, ‘pop your clogs’, ‘join the choir’, ‘go to meet your maker’, ‘kick the bucket’ and ‘shuffle off your mortal coil’. I wondered how many words or expressions there are in Swedish – and I found 21!
Att dö – to die
Att avlida – to die
Att gå ur tiden – literally to ’go out of time’
Att gå bort – to ’go away’
Att somna in – to ’sleep in’
Att trilla av pinn – to fall off the stick
Att stupa – to fall (often in battle)
Att gå i graven – to go to the grave
Att gå hädan – to go away
Att samlas till sina förfäder – to be gathered by your ancestors
Att ta ned skylten – to ‘take down the sign’
Att kola vippen – untranslatable, meaning to die
Att bita i gräset – to bite the grass
Att duka under – to go under
Att dra sitt sista andetag – to take your final breath
Att vinkla upp tofflorna – to point up your slippers
Att dra på sig träfracken – to put on your wooden suit
Att ge upp andan – to give up breathing
Att krepera – to die
Att lämna jordelivet – to leave this earthly life
Att kila vidare – to die, to ‘run onwards’
Can you think of any more expressions or words to add to this list?