Swedish: difference between a narkoman and a knarkare


I'll take this in English just for fun :)

What is the difference between a narkoman and a knarkare?
Because I saw the movie Fucking Åmål I was under the impression that knark was some kind of pill, like amfetamin or something. But a lot of Doktor Kosmos songs made me think that it was more like something you smoke? What is it really?

Thanks for the help söta bror!
  • Magnus A.

    New Member
    Swedish, Sweden
    knark is a slang word for narkotika, ‘narcotics’.
    It originally meant ‘dram’, a drink of alcohol.

    knark is not derived from the word narkotika as one might think. knark is an abbreviated form of words like pilleknarkare, peliknarkare, pilliknarkare, peliknarkus (also meaning ‘dram’), probably in the original sense of ‘something small which makes a creaking sound’. The sense of ‘a dose of an intoxicating substance’ was easily transferred onto the new, illegal substances introduced in the 20th century.
    See the article pilleknarkare in Svenska Akademiens ordbok.

    Att knarka means ‘to use narcotics’.
    And knarkare is slang for narkoman, ‘narcotics addict’.

    knark, knarka, and knarkare are the words are used by most people today; many would not consider them to be slang at all.
    narkotika and narkoman are used mostly in formal or scientific contexts.


    законодательница мод
    So, roughly speaking, narkoman is 'drug addict' and knarkare is 'junkie'.


    Ok, thank you.

    I got a little confused because in the Doktor Kosmos song "Le Punkrocker" they say both "50-talsnarkomanen", "70-talspundaren", and "80-talsknarkaren"
    But that is perhaps to get a little variation?

    BTW, what does "flummigt" and "snagg" translate to?
    Typical weird swedish words that Norwegians don't understand at all :p


    Senior Member
    So, roughly speaking, narkoman is 'drug addict' and knarkare is 'junkie'.
    Not roughly, it's perfect!

    maree, flummig is, according to my 1989 dictionary (yes, it's at least that old!) 'high (from the use of narcotics); muddled, fuzzy, muzzy; woolly, wishy-washy'. As an example, flumpolitik would be a political stand with lots of inexact words, conveying no substance.

    The only snagg that comes to my mind is 'crew-cut'.
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