One of the phrases that came up in the Swedish lessons I did yesterday on Duolingo was about writing things down, which in Swedish was skriva upp (“write up”). This seemed a bit upside down, or downside up, so I thought I’d invesigate.
Skriva upp means to book, charge, enter, note, put down, set down, take, stick, sign up or sign in [source], so in this context it’s being used to mean ‘put/set down’. A related expression is skriva upp på lista (“write up on list”), or to list.
Other expressions featuring skriva include:
- skriva ut (“write out”) = to print, draw, check, make out, discharge
- skriva över (“write over”) = to overwrite, replace,
- skriva under (“write under”) = to sign, endorse, approve, subscribe
- skriva på (“write on”) = to subscribe, commit, sign in
- skriva om (“write about”) = to profile, rewrite
- skriva ner (“write down”) = to dash off, record, write down
- skriva ned (“write down”) = to bang out, set down, trace, write down. For example, skulle du kunna skriva ned det åt mig? (Could you write it down for me?)
- skriva in (“write in”) = to key, register, book in, inscribe, pencil in, sign in
- skriva ihop (“write together”) = to scribble, compile
- skriva av (“write of”) = to duplicate, extract, transcribe, cancel, write off
While writing this, I realised that subscribe literally means “underwrite”, from the Latin sub- (under) and scribo (write) – also the root of skrifa. However, underwrite means something different: to assume financial responsibility for something, and guarantee it against failure, or to lend support to something [source].
In English when you might write up notes you wrote down during an interview, making them more complete and detailed, or write up your diary, bringing it up-to-date. Maybe you’ll write off or write in to a newspaper and ask for your write-up be published. Maybe your debts will be written off (cancelled), and hopefully your car will not be a write-off (damaged beyond repair).
Can you think of other interesting expressions featuring write?