Swedish insults

Article published on Dec. 17, 2008
community published
Article published on Dec. 17, 2008
In Sweden, insults are mainly about hell and the devil. "Go to hell", "may the devil take you" are rather rude insults. The Swedish culture uses very little body language, even the obscene gestures are imported. This one can be seen in Sweden. Other similar gestures have been imported Sticking out your tongue is less obscene, more of a teasing insult. Why is this?
Swedish insults rather cool as insults, don't they? Especially if your compairing with Southern European cultures. A possible explanation is that Swedish culture is a consensus culture, formed in a very homogenous population. Swedish culture tries to minimize conflicts, especially in intrapersonal relations.

For better or worse. Sweden has not been in a war since 1815, but some conflicts should come up in the open to get solved, and they don't because "someone might feel sad".

The real Swedish insults are sneaky and anonymous, in order to hide the insulter's identity back into the group. Written notes or graffitti in public places are such insults. An example could be a well seen written sign at a workplace saying; "Carl's mom doesn't work here" (meaning that that person is not doing his chores at the workplace, see Den som inte tar bort luddet ska dö! by David Batra).

Waldemar Ingdahl

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