Swedish: typ


Dutch - The Netherlands
I've heard the word 'typ' in conversations with Swedes and I was wondering when you can use it. One Swede couldn't explain what it meant, the other said it means about the same as the American word 'like'. Would you agree with this? Or is there a different way of explaining what it means?

And I am also wondering where it comes from. I have heard the word 'typo' in Brazil, also with a similar meaning as the American 'like' (the youth uses it often). But I haven't heard it in other languages. Is this word a modern word in Swedish, and does anyone know the origin?
  • Södertjej

    Senior Member
    Spanish ES/Swedish (utlandssvensk)
    It's a word you often use with no exact meaning, just like you use "kind of" or "like" in English sometimes and you don't always mean "a kind of something".

    I'm kind of tired - It's a kind of tree.

    "Liksom" was used the same way, but not so much anymore, "typ" is more common now in this meaning. Otherwise typ is a Swedish word meaning type, kind.


    Senior Member
    No, not at all.
    We have the word "type" (~kind), as does English, but the Swedes use it in their own way. miyamoto was only telling how the word arrived into Swedish. (I was also wondering slightly about what you really meant by "where it comes from" - the word "type" is common to most western European languages, so perhaps that wasn't what you meant?)

    Btw, I think it would have been a good idea to give a few examples in your first post of what you meant - you get better answers that way.


    Senior Member
    I'm much too old to get all its connotations, but in addition to what's mentioned, I sometimes feel that my understanding is "compare:" (like "like") , or perhaps "imagine this".


    New Member
    I think typ is way too overused, even though I use it myself in casual conversations.
    You could say it's like Like and/or Kind of. But sometimes we just end our sentences with typ when we're unsure of something.
    At least that's what we do where I live.

    Here's an example:

    - Den är typ orange och rund och växer på träd.
    - It's like oragne and round and it grows on trees.

    (bad example, yes I know)

    And this a friend of mine said today:

    - Han är typ ful.
    - He's kind of ugly.

    And typ could also mean type
    Type as for example "Not my type of guy", you know.

    Hope you get it, my English is pretty poor compared to others' on here.


    New Member
    I remember very well when I first time heard the word "typ" being used in the modern way it is now often heard. It was as late as in 1987, when a teacher, twenty years older than me, said: "Vi kan kolla upp detta om tre-fyra veckor, [brief pause], typ! - [and added:] Som ungdomen säger nuförtiden." (- Let's have a check-up in two or three weeks /"typ"/ Like the young tend to say nowadays.) In that context "typ" would mean "approximately" (3-4 weeks).

    Like someone said, the word appeared as a replacement for, or an alternative to, the formerly popular "liksom". Both words mean something like "as it were", and can be added to, or inserted in, almost any sentence. They are used in careless speech, as pleonastic additions. The use of both words outside their original meaning is not accepted in educated language, not in spoken everyday language either, and certainly not in any written Swedish. As always, however, when the use of a word persists for many years it becomes more accepted with time. This is true about "liksom" which today is used much less than before, but now can be used regardless of age and without being as stigmatizing as "typ". I sometimes use "liksom" myself, for instance in lectures - but not in too many sentences. "Typ" retains a strong association to young people/teenagers who are unsecure and uncomfortable with trying to explain something, and grasp for "typ" all the time as the nearest "filler". In the 1950s and '60s "liksom" was used in the same way.


    New Member
    Spanish - Spain

    I still have a new question for the use of this word 'typ'. Reading all your answers, I'm still trying to see how to fix it in this song lyrics. The song is the Swedish version of Ed Sheeran's song 'Shape of you', sang by Swedish singer Molly Sandén and called 'Kär i din kärlek' (if anyone needs the lyrics, let me know if you cannot find them).

    There is a line where she says: "Tiden är inne, blir typ tyst om en timme, vi kan kalla det en dejt...". So I can try to translate it to some kind of "The time has arrived, (I assume she is talking about herself + another guy) we are staying in a kind of silence around one hour, we can call it a date..." Specially I have difficulty to translate this 'blir typ tyst om en timme'.. So if anyone can help, I would really appreciate it!

    Tack så mycket!


    Senior Member
    Can you provide the original language version of the sentence?

    "(det) blir" is future tense. "It will be/get/become".

    "typ tyst".... well, I'd say "like quiet/silent".

    ", it'll be like quiet in an hour"

    Hard to say if it means something else though without further context.


    Senior Member
    In the Norwegian case, it would be "type". Norwegian has picked up a lot of Swedish slang, but I don't think "type" meaning "like", "kind of", "-ish" is much used. At least not as much as in Sweden.