Before the 12th century when Sweden became a kingdom, the term Swede (Swedish: Svear) refers to one of the peoples inhabiting the area known as Sweden today, the others being Danes, Geats, Norse and Sami.

The Swedes lived mainly in the fertile lands around lake Mälaren, west of where you find Stockholm today, and along the east coast. The Swedes and the Geats joined their kingdoms around 1100 A.D. and are collectively called Swedes (Swedish: Svenskar) after that.

In fact, according to the IMDb, Swede Johanson; a memorable character in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge.

The Swede is one of the privates that Clint has to train, but he is not there for the first few days. The other soldiers wait for the Swede, to crush Clint Eastwood, who is giving them a through bad time.

When the Swede returns to the base, Clint's character and the Swede lock horns to the other soldiers' chant of:

Swede!, Swede!, Swede!, Swede!, Swede!, Swede!

Despite the Swede being a walking giant, Clint Eastwood beats him, and later on (in the traditional Hollywood tradition) they become good buddies.


We also had a Swede in our Computer Structure class. We called the teacher Iron Sarge (which was the local name of Heartbreak Ridge) and this big guy just had to be the Swede.

Swede is also a slang word in some areas for 'head', especially if the head in question is considered to be pretty much empty.

I'm pretty damn certain that the slang term comes from the vegetable sense of the original word, rather than the nationality. Feel free to call me out on that one if you think otherwise.

For crying out loud man, use your swede!

Swede (?), n. [Cf. G. Schwede.]

1.

A native or inhabitant of Sweden.

2. Bot.

A Swedish turnip. See under Turnip.

 

© Webster 1913.

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