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Book chapter, 2020

Nattwaka - ett spök- eller dialektord för tallbit, Pinicola enucleator (L., 1758)

Danell, Kjell; Svanberg, Ingvar


In his Fauna svecica (1761), Carl Linnaeus mentions several dialect names for pine
grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator. However, only for one of them is the provenance stated,
namely nattvaka (‘night vigil’), i.e. Västerbotten (which before 1810 covered both
Västerbotten and Norrbotten). Th e word is unknown among today’s dialect speakers,
and for local ornithologists the name makes no sense. It is sparsely recorded in dialect
lists, and it could have been infl uenced by earlier literature. Th e form vaka (‘vigil’) is
found from some places in northern Sweden. Among Swedish-speakers in Finland,
however, the word is recorded, especially from Ostrobothnia. Whether it has been a
dialect word in northern Sweden is, however, still unclear, but discussed.

Published in

Svenska Linnésällskapets årsskrift
2020, number: 2020, pages: 81-90
Publisher: Svenska Linnésällskapet