Nobody I know uses the word "cohabitant," which in English doesn't connote a romantic relationship anyway. I don't think we have a specific term, except for maybe "live-in boyfriend."
I also wanted to let people know that "sambo" is something you don't (in English) want to call anyone with dark skin; in America it's racially insensitive and, according to Wikipedia, in the UK it is considered offensive. There was a children's book called "Little Black Sambo" which popularized it (the main character was actually from India -- one can tell because he's dealing with tigers).
"Sambo" is much more than a 'boyfriend/girlfriend', since in Sweden it is very often the partner you have children with (without being married). And furthermore, in Swedish I really think that the connection between the name 'Sambo' is the fun part that made the concept stick in the Swedish Language. Bo = live, Sam = short for 'tillsammans" = together, move it around, and you get the name 'Sambo'. Which - yes - in Swedish too, a hundred years ago, was used racially, but now has lost that bias completely, thanks to it now meaning 'partner'.
You don't apply for it, you're considered to be sambo automatically. If you split up, both of you may have a right to your apartment if you had one, even if only one of you is on the contract. (if you enter legal procedures over it, it will be give to the person who is considered to need it the most) And the things that have been bought for your common living are by law required to be split between you, even if only one of you paid for them.
Being a sambo can also influence your right to some social benefits. If you're sambo with a person who earns over a certain sum, you're not entitled to welfare (you can still get unemployment benefits, because they're unrelated to your income). So you have a certain obligation to support your sambo. People who live with friends may have to prove this to the authorities in some cases (e.g. if one of them needs welfare and the other one earns too much).
We have a law regulating some of the issues concerning unmarried couples living together, "sambo-lagen". But still, it does not help you if your partner dies, You will not inherit someone you are not married to, if you don't have a "will" that says so. And, unfortunately, not many unmarried couples know this. so if the couple does not have children the dead persons parents will inherent instead, and if there are children, the children inherit, but will have to be represented by a trustee in money dealings, not the living parent, etc
We have common law marriage in the US. After cohabitating for a certain amount of time (I believe this varies by jurisdiction, though) you can begin to reap the legal benefits, at least so far as taxation goes. I'm unsure if this pertains to medical care, visitation in prison, end of life care, etc. but you get the tax breaks. Some insurance companies even allow benefits to extend to common law situations. This was one of the early ways same sex couples "married" before we (as a country) got our ❤❤❤❤ together. I don't believe, however, there is any legal recourse after a split, as it appears there is in Sweden. Additionally, "Sambo" is WAY sweeter than "common law spouse," and I immagine it wouldn't carry the same sort of semi-taboo connitation that common law marriage does States side.
I recall that there were also Sambo's restaurants that went out of business sometime during my childhood. I don't think my family ever ate at one, but I vaguely remember some hullabaloo about the theme and decor being considered "prejudiced against black people." I thought it was a family restaurant themed after an old children's book.
I didn't know "sambo" had ever been a racial slur. That's an ugly piece of news.
I did a little web search and I see the author and illustrator was a Scottish woman and the book was published in 1899. The book has been published many, many times since then with illustrations by lots of different people. I don't think any racism was intended by the author. Sambo was a brave and likeable little boy with ordinary, nice parents. I see that some of the later illustrations were kinda gross, more like caricatures, and the little family looked African, not Indian.
The book I remember had nice illustrations. It was probably published in 1960 or so, though there were evidently quite a few versions before that with lovely illustrations. I certainly never picked up anything racist from the book. It wasn't a favorite or anything, but I do remember an odd little story about tigers turning into butter, and a cute little boy hero who wore bright new clothes.
It turns out the restaurant was originally named after the two owners, with Sambo's being a combination of their names/nicknames, Sam (Sam Battistone) and Bo (Newell Bohnett). They borrowed the book's characters to promote the restaurant chain.
I can see why people got offended by the name of the restaurant, but at the same time, it seems like an over-reaction when the story itself was not at all derogatory towards Indian or dark-skinned people. Perhaps people were reacting to the racism of those who adopted "sambo" as a racial slur, or some of the derogatory illustrations of the story.
I guess Sam and Bo picked the wrong children's book to promote their restaurants. After the chain went out of business, the one original restaurant remained and is still in operation in California. There's also one restaurant in Oregon with a similar name, "Lil' Sambo's," that is also themed after the children's book but is not affiliated with the "Sambo's" chain of restaurants.
It's really dumb that people took the name of the hero of a children's story and made it a racial slur (not even aimed at the same people). I'm glad that that racist insult has dropped out of our collective vocabulary, and I'm glad I didn't know about it (until now). My parents did a pretty good job of shielding me from that kind of garbage. Racism is so stupid, on top of being evil.
Yeah, I didn't know neither that "sambo" was a slur. I had the book with nice and not racist illustrations but I remember that when my nephew asked me to read it to him, I was really uncomfortable with the title so I read "Sambo and the tigers"... It's like when you read the smurfs, as an adult you see all the awful sexism in it that you didn't see when you were a child...
Yes it is a slur but not because of the little black sambo book (which, as rightly pointed out, is about a Sourh Asian child). That was just an unfortunate name choice. "Sambo" was a common slave name already by the late 1700s (slave names were names Africans were forced to adopt by their masters). And after slavery was abolished it became a common racial epithet or "nickname" forced on black people to remind them of their low status. An interesting account of the history of the term is at http://www.thefullwiki.org/Sambo_(ethnic_slur)
What an interesting thread! I recognised the etymology of the Swedish word at once - of course it's pure coincidence that it's homonymous with the word for an ethnic Indian or African. THAT word was originally one of a truly amazing array of terms used in the Spanish colonies in the Americas, denoting all possible admixtures of Spanish, ❤❤❤❤❤ and Native American races. As to "Little Black Sambo", yes, it's a charming book - one of a series of similar books by the same author (Helen Bannerman), and not at all offensive: in my childhood just about every kid in the school could practically quote it from start to finish.
Has no one in this thread heard of the acronym POSSLQ? Forty years ago, the U.S. Census Bureau sought to assess the prevalence of male/female cohabitation in the United States. To do so, it added a new demographic category: "persons of opposite sex sharing living quarters," abbreviated POSSLQ (pronounced "PAH-sehl-kyoo"). Charles Osgood -- the American writer and radio/TV commentator -- penned a marvelous satirical poem exploiting this neologism. It includes the following lines:
There's nothing that I wouldn't do
If you would be my POSSLQ.
You live with me and I with you
And you will be my POSSLQ.
I'll be your friend and so much more:
That's what a POSSLQ is for ...
The full poem may be read here: https://tulsaworld.com/archive/posslq-poem-celebrates-relationship/article_f7e4f4b8-5fc0-57b3-9aa8-73c24c8f714d.html
While "POSSLQ" made it into The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=POSSLQ), this acronym is no longer in widespread use in the USA.
"domestic partner" is actually probably the best possible translation of sambo. It's exactly what the phrase means, assuming the partnership is romantical. I get why you prefer saying "life partner" or "love partner", but that really doesn't express the meaning of sambo, though.
I know we accept "domestic partner" for other questions using sambo, so if it isn't accepted, it should absolutely be added.