All Nordic languages: slendrian (DK, NO) / slentrian (SV)


Senior Member
Swedish slentrian means routine or rut as in German Schlendrian.
However, in Danish (especially?) and Norwegian, slendrian rather seems to mean carelessness or negligence, although some dictionaries show its original meaning routine or rut.
I wonder if my knowledge is wrong and if slendrian (Danish, Norwegian) and slentrian (Swedish) are commonly used nowadays in Nordic languages.
Thanks in advance.
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  • I can't say that slentrian is that much in use today in Sweden, slentrianmässigt (perfunctory) is sometimes used. There is a sense of carelessness in the word slentrian in Swedish too, and it sounds dated and negative. I would rather say av (gammal) vana, på rutin, or perhaps even i gamla hjulspår (in old tracks) when talking about something done as a routine or rut, rutin and vana are more neutral, you can also talk about "en god vana" (a good routine/habit).
    AutumnOwl gives a good set of of neighbours, and stuck in a rut indeed translates to sitta fast i gamla hjulspår.

    I'd say that slentrianmässigt has that sense of carelessness (or lack of caring), over av gammal vana and på rutin.
    I could say that sbd did excellent work just av gammal vana (praise, to e.g. an older generation) or på rutin, but using slentrianmässigt instead - for praise - it would be with a twinkle in the eye, underplay as overpraise, as it has that negativity about it.

    It's not much in use, no, but as I wrote the above, I found it still has its (good!) use in criticism, and I'll be happy to try to keep it alive. :)
    Slendrian isn't the most used Norwegian word, but it does show up from time to time. In the dictionaries it's a substantive that - yes - means carelessness or negligence, even though in speech it's often used as a substantive for a person that displays either of these traits.
    The word is often used in Danish. And yes, it covers the kind of carelessnes that may be caused by too much routine.
    Thanks, guys!
    I've found that German Schlendrian also usually means carelessness these days, having almost lost its original sense routine.