v12: häst

This week, some words about horses. As usual, all translations courtesy of Norstedts. Do you think this is an insult or a compliment?:

Han har minne som en häst.
He has the memory of a horse.

Actually, compliment: hästminne = phenomenal memory. Which may come in handy if you want to be a plugghäst (swot, crammer, ‘consh’).

There was a rather gruesome find in Fyrisån (the local river) lately (a dead body), but if ever a horse is found there, it’s unlikely to be a flodhäst [literally, river horse], since this is a hippopotamus.

The girl who is crazy about horses may seem like a good title for a Steig Larsson book, but this would be a hästtjej. There appears to be no male equivalent.

I pointed out to some colleagues the laughs generated in Australia by Tiger Woods’ comment about getting back to his old roots. Another term to be careful with in Australia is hästhov = horse’s hoof. The specific expression ‘horse’s hoof’ in Australian English is an example of rhyming slang (you can guess or look it up yourself!); when talking about an actual horse’s hoof, ‘hoof’ alone would generally suffice.

Finally, the most famous Swedish horse is surely the dalahäst, Dala or Dalecarlian horse, the traditional painted wooden horse which originated in the province of Dalarna in central Sweden.

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 22:29  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Actually two comments:
    1. ‘Hästtjej’ has a male counterpart: hästkarl – but the former is often used derogative while the latter is always a compliment.
    2. ‘Hästhov’ I would use for Tussilago (the flower/plant), otherwise ‘hov’ is enough (as in English).

  2. Han har minne som en häst. Är det bra? Min häst har en fin minne. “Never forgets!”

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