Tag Archives: sk盲ggebarn

Children 鈥 Barn

Don’t worry! I won’t post pictures of mine. Perhaps because I don’t have any, or perhaps because I care about my readers.

A few brief reflections however …

If you are a woman and want to know if a man likes children or not, ask him! Don’t ask another man “Does X like children?”, or actually, you can ask that question but ask the man himself too, then you’ll find out if the first guy is a liar. If another man says X doesn’t like children, there’s still 90 % chance that he does 鈥 at least his own.

In Yorkshire barn is a dialectal word for children. In Sweden barn is the word in standard language. In Gothic it’s barn. In Syriac it’s yalud (infant) or taly. However son is bar 軖塥 . Coincidence?

Sk盲ggebarn is a new word in Swedish. It is made up of two pieces 鈥 sk盲gg = beard, barn = barn. And then there is the connecting vowel. Swedish doesn’t use as many connecting vowels as Danish and Scanian so the form sk盲ggbarn could have been expected, and indeed it occurs but rarely perhaps even more often than sk盲ggebarn (corrected based on feedback from a reader).

A sk盲ggebarn is a man aged above 18, who travels to a foreign country (such as Sweden) and upon asylum claims that he has lost his ID-card and that he is x years old, where x << 18. This simple deception has been well known for at least five years and it is not clear why the migration authority insisted on getting fooled in the face of criticism. Today, they have been ordered by the government to switch to a restrictive extreme, as if a car driver who has been in the left roadside ditch could make up for her mistake by slipping into the right one as well.

I found it curious that /e/ was used for connecting vowel here. Some investigation revealed that the forms with /e/ were mostly used by people from central Sweden. Scanians used /a/ at least as often. The connecting vowels are not completely understood. I suggest /a/ is partitive and /e/ is locative or instrumental. Lucazin1 suggest it is genitive and should be /a/ for masculine and neuter nouns, and /e/ for most feminine except some old irregular ones. In this case our rules agree and it should be sk盲ggabarn in Scanian.

1 Utkast till ortografi 枚ver det Sk氓nska spr氓ket, tabell 12.1 sid 124.