The hockey playoffs have started here in the Elitserien. Unfortunately our local team Brynäs lost their first game (of a best of 7 series) last night to a team from Stockholm. I was reading an article about the game in the local paper and came across a new word – possibly my new favourite svenska ord. The article was describing how Brynäs has a number of very young players that may have watched playoff games on TV before but have never had the chance to even try to grow their own slutspelsskägg. That’s right, the Swedes have a dedicated word for ‘playoff beard’. I figured the tradition of not shaving during the playoffs was a North American thing, but apparently they have adopted it here as well.
Like many good Swedish words slutspelsskägg is a compound word – in this case a triple compound word. Slutspels combines slut which means ‘end’ with spel which means ‘game’. So the playoffs are literally the end game. And skägg means ‘beard’ so put them together and you get slutspelsskägg – the playoff beard!
Old Molson Canadian advertisement