"Ett täcke och en kudde"

Translation:A blanket and a pillow

November 25, 2014

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Sort of an odd question but does anyone know the origin of the word "kudde"? I don't know why but the word is so adorable and fluffy and I want to hug it. It reminds me of cuddly and I'm sure they share the same ancestor.

(Googling for origins of Swedish words is actually pretty hard, maybe because I google in English? Or maybe it's not a well documented area?)


There's quite a bit of documentation actually: the Swedish Academy has been working on "Svenska Akademiens Ordbok" (SAOB) since sometime in the 1800s. It's a historical dictionary documenting the Swedish language from 1521 to now. Like the Oxford English Dictionary, basically. It's available for free online: http://www.saob.se/

They've currently worked all the way from A to VEDERSYN.

(Not to be confused with "Svenska Akademiens ordlista" (SAOL), the regularly updated "definitive" glossary that people often use as a reference, also available for free online: http://www.svenskaakademien.se/ordlista)

So if you go to SAOB and search for kudde, one of the things you'll find is

"[sv. dial. kudde, ärtskida; jfr ä. dan. o. nor. dial. kodde, isl. kodde, kudde; jfr äv. mnt. kodde, kudde, gris, meng. codde, ärtskida, ävensom sv. dial. kudd, liten pojke, liten person; eg. identiskt med KODD o. besläktat med KOTTE o. KUT]"

Translated it would be read as something like:

"[Swedish dialectal kudde, ärtskida ("pea pod"); compare older Danish and Norwegian dialects kodde, Icelandic kodde, kudde; compare also Middle Low German kodde, kudde, pig, Middle English codde, pea pod, also Swedish dialectal kudd, small boy, small person; in fact identical to KODD and related to KOTTE and KUT]"


What a FABULOUS set of references. Deep bow for these.


Wow great! Thanks!


Searching in Wiktionary seems to be a great option, though seeing as this was a year ago, the database might not have some words yet. Anyway, the word comes from Proto-Germanic *kuddô, which means bag


SAOB seems to say kudde is related to “cut” words?


Is there any great difference between a quilt, duvet, blanket and a cover? I Googled, and, in fact, what shows up when you Google for täcke is more of a duvet/cover rather than a quilt (I didn't even know this word until today) My point is, if there's no vital difference, why not use more common words?


For me (a new Zealander living in the US now):

Quilt = the thin blanket generally sewn from squares of cotton (but can just be a thin cotton blanket also). Typically more suitable for summer temperatures.

Duvet = the plain white blanket traditionally filled with goose down (but often with polyester for cheaper modern versions) that goes inside a duvet cover. ie requires a cover.

Comforter = the thick blanket - often polyester filled - which is similar to a duvet but has it's own covering and does not require a duvet cover. More an American concept to be honest.

Doona = the american word for duvet that can also be used for comforter

Bedspread = a patterned blanket that goes on top of other blankets/bedclothes. Much like the fancy cover on hotel beds that is more for appearances that function.

Blanket = the blanket term for all of the above (see what I did there!!!) plus also includes woollen blankets and other styles that don't really fit into the above.

But from what I can see other cultures use these words more interchangeably than NZers do...


With these explanations it would be translated to:

quilt = lapptäcke (lit. patch ...), duvet = täcke or also duntäcke when filled with goose down, comforter = ?, bedspread = överkast (lit. throw-over), blanket = filt (the wool things etc, not in general for all the above).

"Täcke" is also used as suffix in e.g. "snötäcke" for a cover/blanket of snow outside.


Interesting that you think doona is American. It's Australian from a brand name and was unknown to Americans when I used to travel there in the early '90s. I seem to remember quilt being the main word used when I was there.


I'm from NZ too and your explanation sounds exactly right to me also.


And a doona and an eiderdown?


I never heard 'duvet' before. That's learning two by the price of one :)


I do not understand the difference between a duvet and a blanket...is this a european thing?


There's considerable regional difference in the English-speaking world. However, in general, this is a duvet:


And this is a blanket:



I looked up the etymology of täcke too; it appears to mean “cover” more broadly and is related to tak, roof. It also appears to be related to English deck. If I am wrong, please correct me.


Close - that's the origin of the verb täcka, from which täcke is derived.


Which means it's the origin of both. The origin of a river is its very beginning, not the bit just upriver (-:


Yes, I'm aware. That wasn't the point, though.


i previously learned that kudde means cushion and huvudkudde (head cushion) means pillow.. is this incorrect?

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I would never use "huvudkudde" unless I wanted to be extremely clear. Usually I'd just go for "kudde" both for cushions and pillows.


What about "dämpa"? Which one is used more often??


att dämpa is a verb meaning to reduce or moderate the impact of something. (Almost literally to "dampen" in terms of sound or blow!) I am guessing that the confusion arose because you got the translation to English as “cushion” - the verb form of the word. Eg I tried to cushion the blow.


From my experience living in Sweden, they just use 'kudde' for both- I suspect 'huvudkudde' would only be used when you need to draw a distinction between the two.


Thx for the clarification


I only started using the word duvet after I immigrated to Texas. Theretofore, a quilt was a comforter made of scraps.


Oh! I heard it as a roof and a floor! Silly me.


ett duntäcke = a down (stuffed) comforter, ett lapptäcke = a quilt, en filt = a blanket, ett överkast = a duvet, ett påslakan = bag for quilt or blanket, ett örngott = pillowcase


am saying this as it is presented


"A duvet & a pillow" not accepted ?? Why exactly ?


Because you used an ampersand instead of the word "and".


So I'm guessing that although an ampersand is still recognised as an informal abbreviation of the word "and" Duo lingo does not recognise it as such and so therefore use of it should be avoided.....thanks, good to know.


Yes, exactly. I mean, we get people complaining that we don't accept "r" for "are", and "u" for "you", etc. Most of the time, we just try to use all standard variations but not slang. Sometimes, an obviously correct solution is caught up in that. But there's also the issue that Duo's system automatically trims punctuation, so it wouldn't even recognise the ampersand.

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