Parental Metaphors

14 March 2007 at 23:17 1 comment

The year I lived in Sweden the phenomenon of curlingföräldrar — curling parents — was a hot topic in the media.

To understand this expression, it helps to know that the sport of curling is much more popular in Sweden than in the U.S.  You don’t need to be an expert on the sport to get the joke, though.

If you’ve ever seen a clip of a match from the Olympics,  you can probably imagine the way the curlers scrub at the ice with their brooms, clearing a path for the stone. Curling parents are just as intent as they try to smooth the way for their precious offspring.

Ever since I heard about curling parents, I’ve lamented the fact that there was no equivalent expression in English. “Overprotective” isn’t quite the same thing, and “over-involved” isn’t nearly as vivid.

Now, thanks to my college alumni magazine, I can rest easy. The most recent issue features an article on helicopter parents — so-named presumably because of their hovering.


Entry filed under: Language, Sweden.

Dish of the Day: Quick Pasta for One Signs of Hope

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jon  |  23 April 2007 at 22:09

    The term in Canada has always been “Hockey Parents”. Maybe you’ve seen them in Boston, parents fighting in the stands, yelling at the refs, in the coaches faces questioning every descision. And this is at the 6 year-old group!


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