In almost all words from Old Swedish -u, -o, from the Old Swedish genitive form of Germanic feminine ōn-stems.

Alternates with -o- according to Old Swedish rules of syllable weight, where -o was used after heavy syllables and -u after light.




  1. Genitival interfix used to link elements in some compounds.

Usage notesEdit

  • Used as interfix in compounds with some old weak feminines with a former light syllable ending in -a. Some common ones are gata (street), e.g. gatukontor (highway department); lada (barn), e.g. ladusvala (barn swallow), etc.
  • Alternates with a zero interfix (vowel deletion) in some words, cf. gatukontor (highway department), but gatlykta (street lamp).
  • The interfix was formerly mostly confined to the written literary language, whereas the spoken colloquial language preferred compounds with no -u- or with -e- in some dialects, cf. dated stugudörr with modern stugdörr, and the common pronunciation lagård for ladugård (barn). However, for some words, -u- is common in compounds even in the modern spoken language.

Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit


  • Teleman, Ulf; Hellberg, Staffan; Andersson, Erik & Holm, Lisa (1999). Svenska akademiens grammatik 2 Ord. Stockholm: Svenska akad.
  • Wessén, Elias (1958). Svensk språkhistoria. 2, Ordbildningslära. 3. ed. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell