"Swedish table"


Czech, Czech Republic
Hello everybody,

I'd like to ask if the term "Swedish table" is a common and appropriate expression to design a table with all kinds of foods from where each person takes what she/he likes and eats that. It usually occurs at rather formal parties or wedding receptions.

If "Swedish table" is not the right expression (and just a word-by-word translation of the Czech expression for that) which term could be used to design the above mentioned 'thing'?

Thank you.
  • aj+fj

    Czech, Czech Republic
    Thank you panjandrum.
    For me, 'buffet' doesn't have any 'elegant' connotations at all because of the influence of my native language (in which 'bufet' is a place where you can buy food like sausages with bread, chips, some cookies and drinks... or in another context it's a kind of canteen) - so I though this term wouldn't go well with a wedding reception.

    It's nice to see how things are in English.
    It's always fascinating to see what meanings and associations seemingly the same word can have across the languages.
    Thank you again.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hello--in AE we would also say (and do also say!) "buffet", which can be more or less formal depending on where it is held (and what it includes). In parts of the U.S. there are restaurants that advertise themselves as "Smorgasbords" (more in the midwest, perhaps because of higher numbers of Scandinavian immigrants) but in the case of a wedding reception I don't believe we would ever use "Smorgasbord"--just buffet. Sometimes "hot" or "cold" or "hot and cold" are added, as well.

    Yes, it's fascinating to see different word usages and evoutions!
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    Czech, Czech Republic
    Thank you dg spain for the point of you of an AE speaking person as well as for the more detailed information about the areas where those expression are used. Take care.