Funny word – Smorgasbord

it looks Scandinavian and it is – only that in Swedish this word would be spelled like so: Smörgåsbord

A real smorgasbord -yum! pic:

In Sweden a Smörgåsbord is a meal served buffet-style with many dishes of various types of foods on a table.  Smörgåsbord came to the new world and was transformed into  Smorgasbord in 1939 when it was served in the Swedish pavilion during the New York World fair.

Since then the word has considerably broadened its meaning in English and now is used to describe a large heterogeneous mixture of almost anything.   Here are a couple of examples:

Tourist after a visit in an all-inclusive resort: “Every day we could choose from a smorgasbord of different activities.  It was great.”

HR person at a company meeting: “as you can see, we offer a smorgasbord of different benefits for you to choose from.”

Smorgasboard is one of the few Swedish words that have found their way – minus a few dots and circles – into the English language.


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