Scandinavian Words of Nature & Climate

Updated: Feb 2

As a nature-loving artist with Swedish ancestry, I resonate to the idea that Swedes hold Nature in high regard. Swedes have long lived in tune with the seasons, and even created nature based surnames, like Åslund (little forrest on a ridge), and one from my own family, Berg (mountain). I see it as a language and culture born of survival and hardship beneath mesmerizing northern lights in the land of the midnight sun. I believe finding deeper meaning through our language and experiences of the wilderness enhances our lives and appreciation of our environment - noteworthy for conservation efforts.


My son Owen contemplating Owen Pond in the Adirondacks, NY

Nature Words:


Allemansrätten Swedish right to roam the countryside. Guaranteed by the constitution, as long as one uses fridlysta where you do not disturb or destroy, but protect nature.

Badkruka diving into water, no matter what the temperature.


"eldsjäl" : (fire soul) passionate, driving spirit.


Färgglad 'color happy', colorful


Friluftsliv ‘free air life’


Gökotta “to have a picnic at dawn to hear the first bird’s song,” or to simply appreciate nature.

kura skymning: "sitting quietly pondering dusk"

Lagom “not too little, not too much… but just right”


Livsnjutare loves life deeply.


Mångata moonbeam. the glimmering, road-like reflection the moon creates on water. A pathway to peace


Orka – Energy, vitality, strength.


Skyfall heavy rain in summer months


Smultronstalle ‘wild strawberry place’. A special place for relaxation, free from stress.


Sommarmorgon summer morning.


These beautiful poetic words help define and preserve the character of Sweden's northern climate.


Changing Climate


As Sweden faces the effects of climate challenges from melting high peaks to unprecedented Arctic wildfires, the country offers new words reflecting environmental stewardship:


Flygskam ( Fleeg-skaam) 'flying shame' guilt from flying due to the impact on the climate. Swedes may be more climate-aware than many nationalities, but they fly more often and further than average.


Nollavfall - 'zero waste', a lifestyle or policy of producing no waste that can't be recycled or composted.


Plogga to jog and collect litter.


All interesting, modern concepts inspiring us to respect Nature through sustainable initiatives for healthier living.



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