"Brandmannen är drygt två meter lång."

Translation:The firefighter is slightly more than two meters tall.

December 24, 2014

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Adding a link to an interesting newspaper article about the new usage of drygt: http://blog.svd.se/sprak/2012/04/16/dryga-metern-%E2%80%93-ar-det-95-eller-105-cm/

The author has asked 1000 people and 80% of them use drygt the traditional way, 13% think it means 'about' and 7% think it means 'slightly less than'.

It's not very practical if people start to change the meaning of words like this, and there is no other word that means drygt in Swedish, so the author recommends sticking to the traditional usage, I quote

Knappt = slightly less than
Ungefär = about
Drygt = slightly more than


Me and my family are part of those 13% then, hallelujah! It'll be hard to re-learn a word you've used your whole life, but I have to try x)


Same in German:

  • Knappt = slightly less than = knapp
  • Ungefär = about = ungefähr
  • Drygt = slightly more than = gut


Just wondering if the firefighter could be -fully- 2m tall. (in English)


As a native English speaker, this suggestion makes my inner book nerd very happy. The only potential problem I see is that "The firefighter was fully 2m tall" sounds rather expressive, like something I would read in a novel but wouldn't ever really say. Sometimes it might be a good, poetic translation, but...


Thanks for your support BryanRicht, it is not often I am considered poetic.


Are those words also used in Calculus? Something like "x->3- the limit when X tends to 3 from smaller values [from the left] [~knappt] and x->3+ the limit when X tends to 3 from higher values [from the right] [~drygt]?


Nope, they're not used like that. :)


Is there an accompanying article about your two meter tall firefighters? :P


nice to have one word for each situation!


Are these correct? drygt= + nästan = - ungefär´+/-


Yes, that's about it. Drygt is slightly more than, nästan means almost, and ungefär means "approximately, about".


I think in some cases "good" works for this in English, just like in German. In German it's knapp, ungefähr, gut (knappt, ungefär, drygt). In English you can say "it took a good two weeks" to mean something like "drygt". I am not sure though if that works for things other than time. Any native English speakers here to whom "he's a good two meters tall" sounds natural? I live in Canada but am not a native speaker, and I'd totally use that construction.


I am a native English speaker. It sounds natural. It means that two meters is a very good approximation. He is at least two meters tall (if not more) would be similar.


Can someone explain why it's "Drygt" instead of "Dryg", even though the genus is utrum rather than neutrum?


It's an adverb here, so it always ends in -t.
If it's used as an adjective, it means 'which lasts for a long time' about things, or something like 'stuck-up' about a person, and then it changes: Brandmannen är dryg 'The firefighter is stuck-up' but Brandmännen är dryga 'The firemen are stuck-up'.


We still use 'fireman' in England - why is this not accepted?


We actually do accept "fireman" synonymously with "firefighter" here, so if you got marked wrong for using it, either there was a bug or you had another error without noticing.


"Slightly more than"? Shouldn't "about" or "around" be a better translation?


For most Swedish people ”drygt” is about or around but only over the thing stated. So he could be 2 metres or 2.01, or 2.02, but not 1.99. If you translate it to ”about” or ”around” it could equally well be 1.98, in my experience.


I'm a native swedish speaker and I've used "drygt" as "slightly more than" all my life. I didn't even know it could mean around until right now. Have I been doing it wrong?


As I said, your usage is the traditional usage and the meaning ’around’ is newer.


I've never in my life heard "drygt" to be the same as "slightly more than". If someone said "brandmannen är drygt två meter lång" to me, I would think of it as that he can be anything from 1.98 to 2.02, without a doubt.


I agree with you. I’ve always seen it as a synonym for ”ungefär”, but this is a newer usage I think. I know many people have protested when I’ve used it to mean slightly less.

Also think of ”dryga ut” which is to add more, but not take away.

It’s the opposite of ”knappt” which is slightly less but not above. You can read more here.


Totally agree, the around meaning is a new usage that has not (yet) spread to the point where it has to be accepted.


could "drygt" be translated to "barely"?


As a native English speaker, barely would mean the opposite - just a little less than two meters. It could mean that two meters is possible but you may be over estimating his height.


No, it just means "slightly more than".

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