Sweden, May 2006: signs that make multilingual puns
These are signs I saw in Stockholm that make multilingual puns, with the exception of one at the bottom that’s memorable for other reasons. They appeal to my unsophisticated sense of humor.
One day I was standing with A at a bus stop in Stockholm near her home, when a neighbor walked up to her. They exchanged a greeting: “moron” — “moron”, and went on to have an ordinary conversation. I had to suppress a chuckle. Yes, I realized “moron” must mean morning in Swedish, but it was still funny. (Actually it’s spelled “morgon”, but the g is silent.) While this interaction was impossible to capture in a picture, other multilingual puns came in the form of signs posted around town, and I took several pictures of those.
A sign for an elevator says “Hiss”. I guess Swedish elevators are very quiet! I wonder if older elevators were called “clang” or “clatter”?
“Bemanning”, as one might rightfully suspect, means “staffing” in Swedish. And how charmingly quirky it sounds in English, with its archaic prefix be, like something straight out of high fantasy, similar to the words bestow or bedeck. “We will beman your castle walls with our sharpest-eyed Elven archers!”
A word on a billboard in a subway train, announcing the name of the next stop. It is not for nothing that Sweden gets its libertine reputation!
(… it means end station, or terminal, in Swedish.)
A Sprite ad in a Stockholm subway train that, unlike most advertising, does not try to make you feel good about yourself. But it surely gets your attention.
“Yes, you did see the old person that needed your seat.”
“No sugar, no bull***it”