Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Stålbad - från medicamentösa bad till nedskärningspolitik
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2013 (Swedish)In: Språk & Stil, ISSN 1101-1165, no 23, 9-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the past two decades, the Swedish word stålbad – a compound word combining stål (steel) and bad (bath) – has frequently been used as a designation for and summary of a neoliberal economic policy. The article traces the semantic development of the word, with its roots in two disparate, literal meanings, both of which – at least partially based on the German Stahlbad – were established in the middle of the nineteenth century: the first is a medicinal, curative bath in iron saltwater (a chalybeate bath), the other is a metallurgical term of art (steel melt). Common to both oft hese meanings is the notion of a positive result, that something good is generated in the course of events, and this semantic component is also found in the different metaphorical usages. At the earliest stage, the metaphor stålbad had solely positive connotations in most cases: It was applied to experiences that were not only invigorating but also quite pleasant. However, the metaphor later developed – here too in line with the use in German – to exclusively designate different kinds of painful but supposedly hardening experiences, such as poverty, unemployment and, not least, war. More and more marginalized after the second world war, the current – and for Sweden unique –use of the metaphor was apparently triggered by a speech given by the Minister of Finance in 1989, where he in rather archaic terms connected the word stålbad with the threat of growing unemployment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Adolf Noreen-sällskapet för svensk språk- och stilforskning , 2013. no 23, 9-30 p.
Keyword [en]
lexicology, semantics, literal and metaphorical usage, language contact, political parlance, Swedish
Keyword [sv]
lexikologi, semantik, egentlig och metaforisk användning, språkkontakt, politiskt språkbruk, svenska
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-213735OAI: diva2:683302
Available from: 2014-01-03 Created: 2014-01-03 Last updated: 2014-09-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(170 kB)258 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 170 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Larsson, Lennart
By organisation
Department of Scandinavian Languages
In the same journal
Språk & Stil
Languages and Literature

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 258 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 634 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link