Word came from my Swedish nephew (aged 4) that he heard his father utter an obscenity while trying to fix some problem with the TV. The word worthy of being a special topic of conversation and uttered by children only in hushed tones was ‘jävlar’ which translates as ‘devil’.
Now, a lot of Swedish curses involve the devil compared to our curses which seem to be fixated on bodily functions. I found this to be particularly interesting since his older brother (aged 6) has learned (and uses endlessly) the word ‘shit’ (which he uses, I suspect, more because as a foreign word it has a cache of ‘coolness’ than any vulgar intent).
So…two interesting things I took away from this.
- How different cultures determine what is regarded as unclean or worthy of the focus of our frustration, distaste and contempt (Why do Swedes focus on religious based expletives while English/Americans on excrement?)
- How disconcerting it can be to hear a 6 year old swearing like a sailor.