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Karen Douglas
12-07-04, 03:22
Hi there! Wonder if someone can help me out. My Finnish-born mother - who slipped into Swedish from time to time - used to call me "lillun." I'm not sure that's spelled correctly, but phonetically it's pronounced "lil-loon." I think it means "little one." Can anyone confirm the correct spelling (with umlauts, if needed) and the translation? Thanks! Karen Douglas :)

Gunnar Damström
12-07-04, 05:56
Lillan is a common nickname used in Swedish for the youngest daughter in the family. Lillen is the maskuline form, used for the youngest boy. There is a beautiful song, "När lillan kom till jorden, det var i maj när göken gol...", translated "when lillan was born it was in May when the cuckoo bird was crowing...".

Gunnar

sune
12-07-04, 10:46
Karen:

If your mother was from Österbottten you have got it right, spelling and all. (if there is a correct spellin for dialects). Lillan turns into Lillun in most of the Ostrobothnian Swedish dialects.

Sune

Karen Douglas
12-07-04, 17:53
Thank you, Gunnar and Sune, for your response to my query. My parents were, indeed, from Ostrobothnia, and I am the youngest daughter in the family. Gunnar, I loved the words to that little song - even though I was born in June, and at midnight. (Do cuckoo birds crow at midnight?) ;) Thanks for sharing! Karen

sune
12-07-04, 18:01
I don't know if "cuckoo" can be called "crowing". I thougt that was for crows only...

Sune

Gunnar Damström
12-07-04, 18:06
No, according to Webster's Dictionary of the English Language cocks crow, and even little babies crow contentedly.

Gunnar