sweden01'moderation, balance, just right…'

lagom [pron. lar-gom], according to many Swedes, is the essence of Swedish-ness.

Lagom is an example of the double edge of cultural discourse. It can be negative; as in - Swedish and lagom (average, drab, a bit boring); or positive; as in - lagom is best (the golden mean, just right, perfect).

"Lagom means according to the law (lag = law)"
Swedish Academy's official definition.

"In the old days Vikings would sit around a big table as a lag (lag = team) and share a bowl of mead (beer). The bowl had to go around the team (om = around) in order that everyone get their fair share, hence lagom - around the team." Popular folk definition.

76% of Swedish people consider lagom as positive; and 24% negative. Swedish poll, SVT, 2007.

"Contrary to what many Swedes believe, the lagom concept exists in many languages." Lagom finns bara i Sverige: och andra myter om språk, (Lagom is Only Swedish, and Other Myths of Language, 2009) by linguist Mikael Parkvall.
"My favourite Swedish word is skitstövel (crap-boot = an unsavoury or untrustworthy fellow). I use it a lot." Will Ferrell, American actor married to Swede.