Att simma över sjön tog nästan kol på mig.

English Translation

Swimming across the lake almost finished me.

Not sure if it shouldn’t be “tog nästan kål på mig”.


It’s definitely “ta kål på” (or even “göra kål på”)

In the 1700s and 1800s “Kål” (something more like a cabbage soup) was a common dish. If you were lucky you could have some small pieces of meat in it (probably pork or poultry)
So the expression comes from how you prepare the dish - chopping the cabbage into pieces.


Is that comparable to the expression “making chop suey of someone”, when talking about murder? Or did I completely misinterpret the expression?

Well, I haven’t heard that English expression before (i think), but yes if you say Jag vill ta kål på dig/ Jag vill göra kål på dig it could meen that you intent to chop someone into pieces.

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