Seventeen also

Inspired by the highly enjoyable Advanced swearing in Finnish and a short (but unrelated) philosophical corridor discussion the other day, I post a couple of questions which I haven’t found an answer to. They’re about using numbers when swearing.

Why do Finns use sixteen in “Helvetin kuusitoista” (Hell’s sixteen) and Swedes seventeen in (a somewhat leaner form) “Fy sjutton” (Phew seventeen) and “Sjutton också” (Seventeen also)? Is it so that the Swedes use a bigger numer to compensate for the lighter tone of the swearing?


1 comment

  1. Long long time a go finnish man hitted his finger 16 times during building his house up his swedish cousin hammered his toe one more time :) …

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