Svengelska bloggen

Svengelska bloggen

Om bloggen/About the Blog

I aim to use this blog to keep up my English and maybe give others some insights in Swedish language. It's not a diary - well not quite...


Teknik/TechnologyPosted by Gunvor 2011-12-06 21:38:59

Elektriker is ’electrician’, both derived from Latin electricus ‘electric’. The word was created in the 17th centuary from electrum, Greek elektron, 'amber', to describe substances which, like amber, "attract other substances when rubbed" (like a cat;-)) . Since then the import of the word has grown with the increase of knowledge about the phenomenon, and an electron has come to mean a negatively charged fundamental particle circling the nucleus of an atom.

Amber, probably from Arabic anbar, is a beautiful word for beautiful things but it has been taken over from something else: an oily bad-smelling stuff spewed up from the stomach of the sperm whale floating around in the Indian ocean and after some years hardening into greyish lumps. Doesn’t sound very nice, but it has been used in perfumes thousands of years, and is very rare and expensive. This is called ambra in Swedish. In English it is now called ambergris, borrowed from Old French ambre gris ‘gray amber’ to distinguish it from ambre janue‘yellow amber’ from the Baltic which now has taken over the English word amber.

The Swedish word for amber is bärnsten, borrowed from Low German bernsten ’stone that can burn’. Rav is the name in Swedish dialects, Danish and Norwegian, from Old Norse raf. From this comes radband, originally ravband, ‘rosary’.

(Picture taken on November 7.)


Teknik/TechnologyPosted by Gunvor 2011-11-08 17:02:48

Källarlucka is ”trapdoor to a cellar”. Källare is ‘cellar’ or ‘basement floor’ . Lucka is either an opening, gap, hole, or that which covers said opening: a small door, a hatch, or in this case a trapdoor.

Lucka is derived from the Old Swedish verb luka, Germanic *lukan ‘to shut’. From this comes also the English verb lock. Also Swedish lycka ‘small field’ and nyckel ‘key’ A closely related (by Ablaut) Germanic noun has developed into Swedish lock ‘lid’, English noun lock and German Loch ‘hole’.

Other relatives could be Swedish lycka ‘loop of thread'), and lycka, English luck (a twist of Fortune), and a lock of hair. The root to all these is probably Germanic *luk-, Indoeuropean *lug- ‘bend’, ‘twist’.


Teknik/TechnologyPosted by Gunvor 2011-11-03 11:19:08
Jordkällare is ‘root cellar’. Källare comes via German Keller from latin Cellarium, ‘pantry’, ‘cellar, ’store room. Cellarium comes from cella, ‘small room’, ‘cell’, and the ending
–arium which denotes 'a space containing or asociated with something', e.g. solarium, planetarium.


Teknik/TechnologyPosted by Gunvor 2011-10-25 12:03:38

Pinnstol is ‘Windsor chair’. Pinne is ‘peg’ or ‘stick’, a common Germanic word of unknown origin – the English relative is pin. Stol is ‘chair’, also a common Germanic word, German Stuhl, English stool, related to Swedish stå, English stand, German stehen etc from Germanic *standan, going back to the Indoeuropean root *sta- , ‘to stand’.

A Windsor chair according to Wikipedia is “a chair built with a solid wooden seat into which the chair-back and legs are dowelled, or pushed into drilled holes, in contrast to standard chairs, where the back legs and the uprights of the back are continuous.” It is of course named after Windsor, the royal seat.

Chair comes from Old French chaiere, ‘chair’ from Latin cathedra, ‘seat’, from Greek kathedra from kata ‘down’ and hedra ‘seat’, ‘base’, ‘chair’, ‘face of a geometric solid’, from the Indoeuropean root *sed- ‘to sit’. (Greek h often corresponds to our s, e.g. i hexa- 'six', helios 'sun')

« PreviousNext »