Swedish: pojke / gosse

  • Lugubert

    Senior Member
    Ditt inlägg är felfri svenska.

    Gosse är ganska föråldrat, men ibland (rätt sällsynt) kan man höra "gamle gosse", which is more like "old chap". Pojke är en aning åt skriftspråk. I talspråk använder jag nog grabb.
     

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    I would use 'pojke' or 'kille' in all contexts.

    'Gosse' was standard a hundred years ago and 'grabb' was standard fifty years ago. To me, they are both more or less archaic.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    'Gosse' was standard a hundred years ago and 'grabb' was standard fifty years ago. To me, they are both more or less archaic.
    I would say that both gosse and grabb was used into the 1950:ies, if not the early 1960:ies, there was a socio-economic difference between the words, gosse being middle/upper class while grabb was working class, for example the difference between läroverksgosse and folkskolegrabb. I agree that gosse is more or less archaic, except perhaps in the expression "en (söt) liten gosse", but grabb is still used for/among some middle-aged and older men.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Do you mean to say that an older/ middle-aged man can be called "en grabb"?
    Yes, for example there is an association in Göteborg called "Gamla Majgrabbar" for men (and probably also women) who once lived/grew up in Majorna, a district in Göteborg, and I would guess that most of the members where born between the 1920:ies and 1940:ies, and it's not that uncommon to hear a man say that "han ska ut med grabbarna" (out with the chaps), whether is going out for a drink or to play football or other sports, for example Grabbhalvan, a 5 km run for men: http://www.lopningforalla.se/index.php/loparnyheter/1804-resultaten-fran-grabbhalvan
     

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    Of course I was (over?)generalizing, but I firmly stand by my core point: I, a twenty four-year-old (born and raised in Majorna), speaking a "dialect" quite close to standard Swedish never use neither gosse nor grabb in neither spoken nor written language.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Of course I was (over?)generalizing, but I firmly stand by my core point: I, a twenty four-year-old (born and raised in Majorna), speaking a "dialect" quite close to standard Swedish never use neither gosse nor grabb in neither spoken nor written language.
    Yes, you were overgeneralising, there are those who use grabb still today, even those who are as young as you are. Grabb is not a word I would use when talking about a man, but I do hear others using it, so it's not archaic in the way the use of gosse is today.
     
    Last edited:

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Does it depend on a region or more like on a person's age?
    I would say region and social background, if I'm to generalise I would place a person using the word grabb as someone from a smaller town/countryside and from a working-class background (and also interested in cars and beer if it's a younger male).
     

    Xander2024

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It reminds me of the British term "chav". You can look it up in case you don't know what it means and then tell me if "grabbar" and "chavs" have something in common.

    Tack. :)
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    It reminds me of the British term "chav". You can look it up in case you don't know what it means and then tell me if "grabbar" and "chavs" have something in common.
    No, I wouldn't say grabb and chav have that much in common, the younger ones have probably more in common with boy racers if anything, working with their cars are their main hobby, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_racer and the older ones are often blue-collar workers.
     

    Xander2024

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Well, here is an extract from the link: "In the UK boy racers are often synonymous with chav culture, although the average boy racer tends to be more affluent than the welfare-dependent majority of British chavs as they are able to purchase and insure a low-end car. Some could be described as 'middle-class dropouts'."

    Anyway, can the word "grabb" be used when describing a person in general? For example,

    - Vem är han?
    - Ah, bara en grabb från arbetarklassens distrikt. :confused:
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Anyway, can the word "grabb" be used when describing a person in general? For example,

    - Vem är han?
    - Ah, bara en grabb från arbetarklassens distrikt. :confused:
    The grabb who is interested in cars, like this one, http://www1.vasteras.se/edstromska/gy_fordonsprogrammet/fordonsprogrammet.shtml , is more similar to the Australian "revhead" (motor enthusiast) than the British chav. For me the chav image is for someone living in a city suburb, while the Swedish grabb belongs in small towns and in the countryside.

    Yes, grabb can be used to describe any male. It's not that uncommon that some fathers use "min grabb" instead of "min son" when talking about their sons.
     

    Tjahzi

    Senior Member
    Swedish (Göteborg)
    To fully understand the nuances of these words, one must be familiar with all the various Swedish dialects (which is nearly impossible).

    However, while I can't tell you for certain that no one uses gosse and grabb, I can tell you with certainty that I haven't heard anyone do it (in a serious context). That said, I've limited experience of socializing with people of the working class who are from the country side or smaller towns and whose main interests are cars and beer.

    - Vem är han?
    - Ah, bara en grabb från arbetarklassens distrikt. :confused:

    Well... I've never heard grabb being used in such a context (nor used it myself). But then again, neither have I heard about arbetarklassens distrikt (and I doubt there even is such a thing).

    If you initial question was intended purely as being from a learners perspective, my sincere advice would be to just make a simple note of the words' (gosse and grabb) existence and meaning and never use them yourself.
    If you were curious of the words' etymological development, the answer is that you probably can find a dialect or sociolect that still uses gosse and maybe a few more that use grabb but that on the whole, these words are, or are being, marginalized in terms of everyday speech.

    EDIT: I have encountered grabb being used by fathers (in their fourties or fifties) to refer to their sons.
     
    Last edited:

    Lugubert

    Senior Member
    I'm close to 70 (cf. my "grabb" as first synonym) and on the Swedish West coast. "Kille" is not a normal word for me. It sounds a little Stockholm-ish to me, replacing the South Stockholm "kis" [ki:s],which has been dead for some two generations.

    One of the most famous "grabb" must be by the late singer-songstealer Cornelis Vreeswijk: he uses "grabben din och du" addressing a father and his son. Compare when in a recent thread quoted my fairly formal "far min" vs. the more normal "min pappa". (The original Dutch song was about a father-daughter relationship.)
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    However, while I can't tell you for certain that no one uses gosse and grabb, I can tell you with certainty that I haven't heard anyone do it (in a serious context). That said, I've limited experience of socializing with people of the working class who are from the country side or smaller towns and whose main interests are cars and beer.
    Working at an emergency department at a hospital means meeting people from all walks of life and experience many different sociolects.
     

    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Having now moved to a different part of Sweden, I have noticed that the word "gosse" is more in use here than where I lived before. I often hear doctors often talking about a "nyfödd gosse" (newborn boy), or "treårig gosse" (three-year-old boy) when typing case records.
     
    Top