If you’ve been catching up on your slightly cheesy yet embarrassingly enjoyable (just me?) movies from the mid-2000s, you may have stumbled across one called Flicka. And if you’ve asked yourself “what is a flicka”, then surprise! You’re actually asking the wrong question.
That is, flicka actually has its own svenska meaning! (…with “svenska” being the word for “Swedish” in Swedish, by the way)
I’ll quickly show you what flicka means, how to pronounce it and just when you should be using it – which includes but definitely isn’t limited to situations when you find a wild horse.
(Let’s just say that that may make more sense if you watch the movie or read the book.)
What is a flicka?
A “flicka” doesn’t mean anything in English, although it is the title of a 2006 movie called “Flicka”, which was based on a 1941 children’s novel by Mary O’Hara called “My Friend Flicka”. The word is from the Swedish word for “girl”.
At the time of writing this book, O’Hara was married to a Swede and lived in Wyoming on a ranch. Given that both the book and the movie involve horses and are sent on a ranch, it’s pretty clear what influenced both the story and the title.
What’s the meaning of Flicka?
“Flicka” is the Swedish word for “girl” and is most commonly used when talking about someone of about pre-teen age. For example, saying “min flicka” (my girl) would likely refer to someone’s daughter rather than, say, being used in reference to a romantic partner.
In svenska, the flicka meaning isn’t overly complicated – so it’s not such a leap to see why a female horse could easily be given the name “flicka” too!
For words with a similar meaning to flicka in Swedish, you could also use “tjej” and “tös” as words for “girl”.
And while Swedish is great to learn… Do Swedish People Speak English?
How do you pronounce Flicka?
In terms of how to say flicka, pronunciation in this case is similar to English. You should make the “i” sound slightly longer, although not quite as long as if it were spelled “fleek”. The word also has a very slight pause on the “ck” sound.
Swedish isn’t hard to learn for English speakers and one of the reasons is that the pronunciation isn’t that different overall.
That said, if you want to hear how it really sounds, click the audio symbol on the Google Translate page for the word flicka to hear it pronounced by an actual Swede.
Does flicka mean “beautiful girl”?
No. Flicka simply means “girl” in Swedish, not “beautiful girl”. The term “beautiful girl” in Swedish is either “vacker flicka” or “vacker tjej”. Some also believe that flicka means “peaceful ruler”, derived from the Old Germanic term, “farica”.
It’s possible that there’s some truth in this last part, especially if the word “Flicka” is used as a name. That is, many names often have older, less immediately obvious meanings. But the svenska meaning is fairly straightforward – it’s simply “girl”.
And in terms of what flicka means in the movie (and the book), this is just a use of the Swedish word for “girl”. The reasoning is simple, in that the horse in question is female, but don’t forget what I mentioned earlier about how the author of the original book was married to a Swede at the time of writing it.
Based on that, it’s not hard to see how the book and movie titles are clearly based on the Swedish meaning of the word, not any sort of Old Germanic usage.