Sail in on a shrimp sandwich

It’s always fun to hear odd-sounding idioms and proverbs in other languages.  Anita Shenoi’s nicely illustrated book Sail in on a shrimp sandwich … and other curious Swedish sayings (2017) lists 63 Swedish sayings.

Here are 5 of them, with a literal translation, followed by a description of the meaning.

Segla in på en täkmacka

to.sail in on a shrimp

Have an easy ride, have no obstacles in your path.

Anita Shenoi suggests this phrase originally acquired its meaning referring to shrimp sandwiches served as luxury fare on Swedish airlines and ferries.

A variant of this phrase uses the verb glida (‘glide’) instead of segla (‘sail’).

Pudelns kärna

poodle.the.of core
the crux of the matter

This phrase is translation of a German original from Goethe’s Faust, Part 1. A black poodle follows Faust home and then transforms into the devil (Mephistopheles), dressed as an itinerant scholar. Faust utters the line Das also war des Pudels Kern! (‘So that was the Poodle’s core!’, ie that’s what was going on with the poodle.)

Ingen ko på isen

no cow on ice.the

No worries, no hurry

Anita Shenoi’s discussion of this phrase includes an example containing the splendid word drinkmingel (‘drinks reception’), which means just what it sounds like a mingling (gathering) with drinks.

Sova räv

to.sleep (like a) fox

Pretend to be asleep

Ana ugglor i mossen

to.suspect owls in bog.the

To sense something is wrong

This curious phrase is said to result from a mishearing of 17th century Danish ulva i mosen (wolves in the bog).

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