The Most Important Swedish Word You Need to Know (It’s not ‘Meatballs’)

A shoutout to LinkedIn for making me smarter (even if it’s unintentional).

Last week, I came across an interesting new word: “fika” (pronounced “fee-kuh”) from a company called KWH Karl und Wagner Haustechnik (quite a mouthful!). 

In Sweden, this magical word means “to have coffee” or “take a coffee break”—often with a tasty treat on the side.

Now, this “fika” thing sounds suspiciously similar to our good old English tradition of “Elevenses.” You know, that delightful moment around eleven o’clock when we all down tools and head for the kettle or coffee machine?

I decided to revive my own Elevenses habit a while back. Every day, around eleven-ish, I head downstairs for a mug of coffee.

It’s a simple routine: hot coffee, a sprinkle of sugar, a dash of cream (“You’ve got to treat yourself sometimes,” or as they say in German, “Man gönnt sich sonst nichts.”) And sometimes, just to live a little dangerously, I might even grab a chocolate biscuit (or a “choccy bickie” as we Brits call it) and dunk in my coffee. Because, you know, #treatyourself!

So, my question to you is this: Do you have a special break time in your day? If so, what do you call it, and what kind of treats do you indulge in?


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Foto Christine Sparks

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