If I asked you, “Where are you overnighting?”, you might think it a bit strange, except in certain circumstances, but you’d probably guess that I meant “Where are you staying (overnight)?”.
In Swedish, I discovered this week, this wouldn’t sound strange – Var övernattar du? is one way to say “Where are you staying?”.
The verb övernatta (“to overnight”), means to stay overnight or to stay the night. Övernattning means a sleepover, overnight or accommodation, and övernattningsstuga means a refuge.
Apparently övernatta is usually used to refer to staying for one night, but sometimes for two of three nights as well.
Other ways to say to stay in Swedish include:
- sova över = to stay the night (“to sleep over”)
- stanna (över natten) = to stay (overnight)
- sitta inne = to be / stay indoors
In Scotland if someone asks you “Where do you stay?”, or in Scots “Whaur dae ye stey?”, they usually mean “Where do you live (permanently)?” and not “Where are you staying (temporarily)?” When I first heard this, it confused me a bit, but I’m used to it now. Another way to say this in Scots is “Whaur dae ye bide?”.
In Scots to stey means to stay, stop, dwell, reside, make one’s home. So it seems that it can mean both to stay somewhere temporarily, and to live somewhere permanently.