”It is on this document, Andrew Peterson’s diary, that I have based my summarization of the very interesting and peculiar spoken and written language used by the settlers, that is, the origin of the ”American Swedish”. (Moberg’s own words about the settlers’ Swedish-American language, SvD 22nd of May, 1960.)
In Roger McKnights doctoral thesis about Andrew Peterson’s diary one finds many of the same words and expressions, some of them quite peculiar turns of phrase, that are so fascinating to come upon when reading Moberg’s novels.
Here are some examples of funny words – funny and ‘sweet’ for Swedes that is – that English speakers easily can understand:
“Grubbade” (using a stump grubber) “plantade” (planted) “miiting” (meeting) “votade” (voted) “claimade” (claimed land) “spikmiiting” (information meeting, lecture, “speak-meeting”) “lumberbillen”(the bill for the logs or the bill from the lumberman),“nattjonalpapper” ( identification papers “national-papers”) “insurenskompaniet” (insurance company) “suprajsade” (surprised) “ej duglig att gå ut i krigett”(not fit for military service) “smågöra” (have some small things to do) “varjehanda”(a little bit of everything) “var i bädden” (lying in bed) “shanty” (shanty – ‘timmerkoja’ in Swedish)
The ‘Andrew Peterson Society’ has, during a project we worked on for 3 years (2005-2008) managed to interpret and transscribe a very large portion of Andrew’s diary and bookkeeping – as well as compiling a dictionary for Andrew’s ”swenglish” words and expressions. Many of these words can also be found in Moberg’s novels.
You will find more affinities in our pamphlet: ”Andrew Peterson, the model for Karl Oskar – 100 similarities”.
Copyright Andrew Petersonsällskapet