Is this word more often used than 'skarp'? Can you say 'hen är en vass polis?
Both are a common and they are synonyms. Sure, "en vass polis" = "en skicklig polis".
Have you heards the expression "Hen är inte den skarpaste kniven i lådan"?
I don't think I would ever say "Knivarna är skarpa", but I've googled it and seen that some people do. However, it is much more common to use the word "vass" about knives, so I'd recommend that. I also say "… inte den vassaste kniven i lådan", not "skarpaste".
I just googled "vassaste kniven i lådan" and "skarpaste kniven i lådan" and you are right, "vassaste kniven" is more common. To me "en skarp kniv" sounds fine though, so maybe there are regional differences. Or I am old-fashioned :).
I was wondering whether it's a regional thing too, it doesn't sound familiar to me.
The original saying på finska goes something like "S/he is not the sharpest pencil of the pencil case", but I've also heard the one you mentioned. And the funniest I've heard is "S/He doesn't have all the moomins in the valley" :)
There are loads of variations on this one in Swedish. E.g. "Hissen går inte ända upp" (the elevator doesn't go all the way up) and my own favorite, "Det är inte skottat ända fram" (The snow hasn't been cleared all the way) :-D
Hey, I take offense to that ;). Is this what you people that go clear away the snow one minute after it stopped snowing think of the rest of us.
This is the second time i have seen "hen". Please define. Skarpaste, is that a hard k?
Aha, so hen is sort of unisex, or if you're not sure which one it is. :) tack
No, I don't think so. "Keen" remains broadly synonymous with "sharp" in the sense of intelligence; e.g., "he has a keen mind for the law". But to say that a knife is keen sounds old-fashioned to the point of being Tolkien-esque.