A short (and seriously silly) guide to sounding like a Swede


You don’t have to be at the dinner table to “spill the beans,” nor do you need to be an excellent marksman to “shoot the breeze.” Strange, unique or one might call them silly sayings are an endearing part of every culture and sound the oddest from the outside looking in.

So go ahead, “jump on the bandwagon” and learn some of the sillier sayings from the land of the Original Swedish Snus: you’ll sound like a Swede in no time.


1. Skägget i brevlådan /SKAY-get ee bree-vul-OH-dan/

CAUGHT WITH YOUR BEARD IN THE LETTERBOX: Caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing

If you’ve ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you can imagine how it feels to have your beard trapped in the letterbox. Confidence in who you are means never feeling ‘caught.’ Reach for the cookie. Check the mail. Grab your favorite, General snus.



2. Ingen ko på isen /EEN-gun KO po EE-sen/

THERE’S NO COW ON THE ICE: There is nothing to worry about

You might reassure your friends that everything is ok with a simple, “no worries.” But the Swedes like to take their comfort to the next level. There aren’t many situations more stressful than a bovine strolling across an icy pond. If you’re feeling the weight of the farm, sit down, open a can of your favorite snus and rest assured — the ice is cow-free.



3. Att ana ugglor i mossen /ott AH-nuh OOG-lor ee MOH-sen/

SENSING OWLS ON THE BOG: Something is not quite right

For the Swedes, “something’s fishy” when the owls make their way to the local bog. If there’s anything bleak Swedish crime dramas have taught us, nothing good happens on the bog anyway — owls or no owls. Avoiding trouble sometimes means sticking to the higher ground, something snus users tend to do anyway.



4. Gå som katten kring het gröt /GOH-sum KAT-ten kring hyet-gret/

WALK LIKE A CAT ON HOT PORRIDGE: To avoid a subject or something unpleasant

General Snus fans are Originals: bold and adventurous. There aren’t many occasions for “beating around the bush” and you’d never catch us tiptoeing catlike around hot breakfast cereal. We know how get to the point because we’re not afraid of what’s ahead. House cat? Not for us. Lion? Sounds more like it.



5. På kanelen /po kan-ee-uh-LEN/


The Swedish have a much kinder way of saying their friends are drunk or “wasted”— with a nod to one of their favorite spices. Why so nice? It could be their hygge urge to pair gingerbread with brandy during the coldest months of winter that makes this particular saying feel friendlier than its American counterpart.


It’s easy to “judge a book by its cover.” But for us, discovering the little differences elevates our view—which might be “just what the doctor ordered.”


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