01 April 2019

Oh, those dumb Swedes...

It's always difficult to blog an ethnic joke.  TYWKIWDBI has had readers in 212 countries, so no matter what nationality or ethnic group I choose, some reader might take offense.  I guess that's why movies use zombies and aliens for the bad guys.

My mother's family was Norwegian, and it was considered acceptable in my childhood to make jokes about Swedes.  We also told Ole and Lena jokes about Norwegians when my grandpa wasn't around.  But I'll target the Swedes for this one.

How do you keep a Swede busy all day?  (Answer at the link).

(Reposted from 2010 and 2013).


  1. Oh, you got me. You got me GOOD. And as a half-blood Norwegian, it shouldn't have taken me so long!

  2. Oh wow, you got me good there...

  3. Aw man... Substitute "Internet junkie" as the ethnicity and I fit.

  4. I'm not Swedish...but you got me good. ha!

  5. Haha Im swedish, i totally fell for that :D

    We joke about Norwegians all the time so it's totally okey! The funny thing is that most of the jokes from Norway are the same jokes as we tell about Norwegians :D or the other way around depending on where you're from :)

  6. That would be an interesting post- what ethnic groups are made fun of by others. For example, here in France, 'Polish jokes' (as we'd call them in the US) have BELGIANS as their victims. Wonder who gets the short end of the comedy stick in other cultures...?

    Also regional differences, for example both the extreme north of France AND the south get made fun of equally- the north for being alcoholics living in a climate so cold all you can do is drink, and the south for many of the same reasons Southerners are mocked in the states- the accent, being slow, etc... They even have their own set of 'rednecks' who come from a fairly rural and isolated region in the center of the country called L'Auvergne. Fascinating, I think...

  7. Very funny. But it's alright, we can take it!

  8. Got me, and yes my heritage is mostly Norwegian.

  9. The high-tech version of writing on both sides of a piece of paper, "PLEASE TURN OVER."

    I wonder how many links you'd have to loop together in a chain before someone would follow it indefinitely.

  10. A colleague of mine asked me "how do you know if a Norwegian is an extrovert?" Answer "he's looking at Y O U R shoes!". The colleague was actually Norwegian.

    1. Let me suggest you get some akvavit -


      - to share with your colleague and while doing so read him some Ole and Lena jokes:


  11. My grandparents lived in Stoughton, WI for many years. Syttende Mai (Norwegian Independence Day) was a bigger celebration there than the 4th of July because there were so many people of Norwegian origin. I heard so many Ole jokes and Swede jokes I couldn't count them all. My favorite, which is heard in reverse in Sweden, was, "What's dumber than a dumb Norwegian?" Answer: A smart Swede.

    1. I've been to Stoughton for Syttende Mai. It's a great town and festival.

  12. Yes, I am part Swedish, and yes, you got me! I was going to leave a Norwegian joke, but never mind!

  13. Being a "full bleed" Iowegian, I have always been proud of the fact that when we tell jokes about how stupid someone is (AKA Polack jokes) they are Norwegian jokes. For some reason Norwegians think it is clever to say we are dumb. It agrees with our sensibilities.

  14. For ethnic-type humor I think the more acceptable jokes are those based on envy. E.g., "blonde" jokes are more based on envy (who doesn't want to have nice blond locks?) than derision. And, it's usually a brunette who's guilty of the picking-on, e.g.:

    A blonde and a brunette go for a walk. The brunette says, "Oh, look! A dead bird!"

    The blonde looks up and says, "Where?"

    Same with Cadillac jokes:

    Cadillac: A car for rich people who don't know how to drive or park.

    In Europe, especially in Germany, they had Manta jokes:


    From wikipedia:
    "In German humour, a Manta joke (German: Mantawitz) is a joke cycle about the Mantafahrer ("Manta driver"), the male driver of an Opel Manta, who is an aggressive driver, dull, lower class, macho, and infatuated with both his car and his blonde hairdresser girlfriend."

    Most of the derision here resulted from the ostentatious way Manta drivers would "pimp up" their almost-a-Mustang nearly-a-sports-car, with racing stripes, overblown sound systems and add-on spoilers. Which brings me to my favorite Manta joke:

    Q: What's the last thing that goes through a Manta driver's mind as he plows into a brick wall?
    A: The spoiler.

    Other example:

    Q: How can you tell the Manta driver in the men's shower?
    A: He's the one with the arm tanned from the left elbow down.

    Shortest Manta joke:
    'Ne Manta sheht vor der Uni.
    (A Manta is parked in front of the university.)



  15. there is no answer at the link.


  16. Happy April Fools' Day to you, too. ��

  17. I'm Swedish and I have no problem with this. Interestingly, my husband is Brazilian and there they tell Portuguese jokes (Manuel and Maria). They're the same as the Polish jokes which are the same as the Sven and Olaf jokes.

  18. In Minnesota we tell Iowa jokes: Q: Why does the wind always blow from the North in Minnesota? A: Because Iowa sucks! or Q: What's the best thing to ever come out of Iowa? A: Interstate 35

  19. Not bad. Three clicks. Frustrated greetings from Uppsala!

  20. You know, it would be nice if we could all poke playful fun at our friends around the world...or around the block, without being mean-spirited or harsh, and both of us enjoy a good laugh.

    These remind me of the jokes we tell regarding our favorite football colleges. I'm a Seminole fan (FSU), and so my Gator (UF) friends and I love talking trash. For instance:

    How do you double to value of a car with a Gator bumper sticker? Fill it up with gas.

    A guy enters a store and orders three hamburgers and a chocolate shake.

    "You're a Gator fan, aren't you?"

    "Why, yes! How did you know?"

    "This is a hardware store."

    Being a big guy back in my high school days, I still recall laughing uncontrollably when one of my friends said, "You're so big that they have to take your picture with a satellite!" Ha! After all these years, it still brings a smile to my face. Why? Because I knew it was from a friend.

    Yankee and Rebel jokes are kind of the same way. We southerners like to act like our northern brethren are morons, etc. (and they enjoy returning the favor). But let someone mess with our northern friends (or our western ones), and we'll come runnin'! Just as they would do the same for us.

    It reminds me of siblings who enjoy yanking each others' chains, playing pranks, adn the like. Yeah, we're gonna do it, BUT DON'T MESS WITH MY BROTHER.

  21. I'm in California and it's usually Florida or Texas idiocy jokes that they well earn.


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