Det knallar!

One of the Swedish phrases I learnt this week was Det knallar!, which means “it’s okay; it’s business as usual” [source] or literally “it bangs / crashes / pops”. I like the sound of it, so thought I’d write about it.

The verb knalla means to bang, crash or pop [source], and knall means bang, crash, pop [source]

Related words and expressions include:

  • knalleffekt = bombshell, sensation, sensational effect
  • knallgul = bright yellow
  • knallröd = bright / vivid red
  • knallhatt = percussion cap
  • knallskott = jumping jack / quockerwodger
  • det knallar och går = I’m jogging along, I’m managing

Is it used in any other interesting expressions?

8 thoughts on “Det knallar!

  1. As a native English speaker I find pronouncing “k-n…” words hard enough, but this phrase with the t-k-n sequence just kills my mouth and results in an absolute car crash of consonants. Is this something that Swedish speakers get used to, or does the ‘t’ more-or-less disappear?

  2. In Plautdietsch, the t is still pronounced, so I had no problem with it. While “Dot knolt” does literally means “It bangs/pops/crashes”, it doesn’t mean “It’s OK” like in Swedish, for that we would say “Dot jët” (It goes).

  3. Jonathan, presumably you would have even more difficulty with the Georgian verb გვბრდღვნი (gvbrdghvni), meaning “you tear us”, which begins with no fewer than eight consonants!

  4. Is that a ‘real’ language, Marc, or something like Klingon? If the former, please identify it.

  5. It’s Nuxalk, a Salishan language spoken by 17 people in Bella Coola, British Columbia
    It means “he had had in his possession a bunchberry plant”

  6. While I’m not up to Georgian or Nuxalk levels, I like to think I’m pretty good (for a native English speaker at least) with Russian consonant clusters. I was recently reviewing some Russian and was happy I could do okay with “к счастью”, “k schast’yu” (= ‘fortunately’). Which is why I was surprised that t-k-n was forcing me to put a schwa between the ‘k’ and ‘n’. Makes me feel some sympathy for native Japanese speakers who have to turn “baseball” into ‘besuboru”.

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