Swedish Quotes & Proverbs

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that Swedish Freak will earn a commission if you purchase anything from these links. Thank you for your support!

Sometimes knowing the most famous and used quotes of a country can give you a sneak peek into their culture and way of thinking. Here are some great Swedish quotes and Swedish proverbs for you to ponder upon.

[button url=’#proverbs’ icon=’iconic-chat’]Jump Straight to Swedish Proverbs[/button]

Swedish Quotesborta bra bag for $25

The longest journey is the journey inward.

–Dag Hammarsköld

To write well and to speak well is mere vanity if one does not live well.

–Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373)

The present moment is significant, not as the bridge between past and future, but by reason of its contents, which can fill our emptiness and become ours, if we are capable of receiving them.

–Dag Hammarsköld

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

–Ingrid Bergman

Life only demands from you the strength that you possess. Only one feat is possible; not to run away.

–Dag Hammarsköld

You have to find it. No one else can find it for you.

–Bjorn Borg

Friendship needs no words — it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.

–Dag Hammarsköld


Swedish Proverbs



Bättre en fågel i handen än tio i skogen.

Better a bird in hand then 10 in the forest.


Borta bra men hemma bäst.

Away is good but home is best. (For some reason the är, or “is” is left out of the Swedish proverb).


Kom och gå en mil i mina mockasiner innan du bedömer vem jag är.

Come and go a Swedish mile in my moccasins before you criticize who I am.


Allt är inte guld som glimmar.

All aren’t gold that glimmers.


Magra myggor biter värst.

Thin mosquitoes bite the worse.


Bättre sent än aldrig.Swedish proverbs bag for $25

Better late than never.


Man ska inte köpa grisen i säcken.

One shouldn’t buy a pig in a sack.


Bra karl reder sig själv.

(A) good man will cope on his own.


Bättre lyss till den sträng som brast än aldrig spänna en båge.

Better listen to a broken string than never having bent a bow.


Bättre älskat och förlorat än att aldrig ha älskat.

Better [having] loved and lost than never [having] loved.


Det man förlorar på gungorna tar man igen på karusellen.

The loss on the swings is won back on the merry-go-round.


Det som inte dödar, härdar.

What doesn’t kill, hardens.


Eget beröm luktar illa.

Own praise has a bad smell.


Ensam är stark.

Alone is strong.


Finns det hjärterum så finns det stjärterum.

If there’s room in your heart, there’ll be room for an ass.

(To make room for one more person in a crowded place)


Har man tagit fan i båten får man ro honom i land.

Have you taken Old Nick in the boat, you row him ashore.

(About taking responsibility for your actions)


I mörkret är alla katter grå.

In darkness all cats are grey.

(As an excuse for a mistake that wasnt easily avoided)


Kärt barn har många namn.lagom mug for $14.45

Dear child has many names.

(Ironically about delusive names and descriptions)



Lagom är bäst.

“Lagom” is best.

(…”lagom” describes an amount balanced by your judgment and discretion, sufficient for its purpose, a fair share, not encroaching on other’s rights)


Man ska inte skåda given häst i munnen.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

(A horse’s age can be judged by its teeth, but it’s bad manners to criticize the quality of a gift or to complain about a benefit that’s free.)


Man ska inte sälja skinnet förrän björnen är skjuten.

Don’t sell the pelt until you’ve killed the bear.


När fan blir gammal blir han religiös.

When the Devil grows old he’ll become religious.


När Gud kommer med döden kommer Fan med arvingarna.

When God brings death, the Devil brings the heirs.


När man talar om trollen!… (så står de i farstun).

When you talk about trolls!… (they stand in the hall).

(When the subject of a conversation unexpectedly shows up/happens.)


Sagt ord och kastad sten kan inte tas tillbaka.

A word that’s been said and a stone that’s been thrown cannot be taken back.


Små sår och fattiga vänner ska man inte förakta.

Small wounds and poor friends should not be despised.


Tomma tunnor skramlar mest.

Empty barrels rattle most.

(About braggers)


Väck inte den björn som sover.

Don’t wake a sleeping bear.


Vägen till helvetet är kantat med goda föresatser.

The road to hell is lined with good resolutions.

Now all the Swedish proverbs in one place! Fill out the form below to get a PDF of all the Swedish Proverbs we have.

[gravityform id=”3″ title=”true” description=”true”]

Swedish Proverbs in English

Swedish Quotes

“Even a small star shines in the darkness.”

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”

“An hour lost is often a year lost.”

“Joy and sorrow are next door neighbors.”

“Love me when I least deserve it because that’s when I really need it.”

“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.”

“Where there is modesty, there is virtue.”

“Eyes that do not cry, do not see.”

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm”

I hope you enjoyed these Swedish quotes and proverbs. Have any that we should add? Please contact us!

Leave a Comment

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.