skämskudde

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Swedish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈɧɛmsˌkɵdːe/

Etymology[edit]

From skämmas (to be embarrassed) +‎ kudde (pillow; (couch) cushion). It refers to the idea of seeing something so embarrassing that one gets the urge to hide one's face in a pillow or couch cushion, for example when watching a television program from a couch. The word has been attested in writing from at least 2002 and was possibly used as early as the 1980s.[1]

Noun[edit]

skämskudde c

  1. (humorous) a real or imagined pillow used to cope with the awkward feeling caused by witnessing something embarrassing; literally "embarrassment pillow".
    • 2004, Katarina Sahlin & Eva Åkesson,[2] Göteborgsposten
      Fotboll- och Faddergala i TV 4. Där i alla fall den första kräver en "skämskudde" i beredskap.
      Football and mentor gala on TV 4. At least the former will require keeping an embarrassment pillow at hand.
    • 2007, Peter Flinth, Svenska Dagbladet, "Ett mycket långt jaha"[3] [review of the film Arn]
      Kalkonstämpeln ligger annars nära till hands när en svensk film vågar sig in på riddardomänen, och den kommer allt närmare för varje krona som filmen bryter ljudvallen för dyraste någonsin. Men skämskudden ligger kvar bredvid biostolen, oanvänd sånär som vid några väl stolpiga repliker och Gustaf Skarsgårds lösmustasch.
      When a Swedish film dares enter the domains of knights it always risks being branded as an embarrassment, and the chances increase with every krona that the film breaks the barrier of most expensive [Swedish] film ever. But the embarrassment pillow still lies in the seat next to me, unused with the exception of some awkward comments and Gustaf Skarsgård's false moustache.
    • 2008, Moa Kärnstrand, Metro[4]
      Och den amerikanska varianten av Idol är dessutom flera resor värre än den svenska. I går fick jag nästan äta upp min skämskudde. Vad kommer det sig att vissa människor inte förstår att de borde stanna hemma och hålla tyst – för allas bästa?”
      And the American version of [American] Idol is much worse than the Swedish edition. Yesterday I almost had to eat my embarrassment pillow. Why is it that some people don't understand that they should stay at home and keep quiet – in everybody's best interest?
    • 2012, Johan Esk, Dagens Nyheter, "Esk: Folkets lag lyser inte"[5]
      Det här fick mig att desperat längta efter skämskudde eftersom brandtalet inte funkade i miljön.
      This had me desperately longing for an embarrassment pillow since the fiery speech didn't work in this context.

Declension[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Swedish Language Council, march 2008[1]