What Does "Skumtomte" Mean?

by Erik Wilhelm Gren

What does Skumtomte mean?

For many Swedes, the word Skumtomte is heavily associated with Christmas[1].

A Skumtomte is a sweet candy with a flavor of strawberry and has the shape of a small Santa. The word Skumtomte is actually a combined noun[2] of the two Swedish words skum and tomte meaning foam[3] and Santa[4]; “Foam-Santa”.


Skumtomte is actually officially sold as Juleskum (“Christmas-foam”). Depending on where in Sweden people come from, they prefer to either name the candies by Skumtomte or Juleskum. Personally, I would never call them Juleskum.

The candy is sold by Cloetta and can actually be found in Denmark as well as in Norway. However, not at all to the extent that you can find it in Sweden during Christmas.

So, Why Name the Website Skumtomte?

First of all, why not? Secondly, more seriously, there is actually a bit of history behind the name. I have been interested in programming for many years and I’ve done everything from simple games, Arduino-based robots to, well, basically anything programming-related.

My first website on the internet was hosted by a free service called “biz.nf”. They let you host a website with a custom subdomain of their “co.nf” domain. For example, “skumtomte.co.nf”, which happened to be the name I chose back in 2014 for my first www-debut. I chose this name for no particular reason at all or for reasons that have now been forgotten.

Two years later, in 2016, my father gave me a peculiarly flat Christmas gift. My family has a history of not giving money as gifts, so I was really excited about what could be hiding inside there. The answer was a small note with the domain “www.skumtomte.com” written on it.

The reason my father knew what skumtomte meant to me was that I had proudly shown many finished products to my father, all on the skumtomte.co.nf website.

I was extremely happy for the gift and decided to make something with it. The result became, well, this website.

  1. Did you know that Christmas is actually celebrated the 24th of December in Sweden?

  2. See this article for more information about combined nouns

  3. Skum does not refer to literal foam, but rather to marshmallow. A skumtomte is, however, a notably bit more solid than a marshmallow.

  4. Actually, the Swedish word tomte is a more general term that refers to much more than just Santa. It can refer to Santa, but it also has the meaning of gnome or other small humanoid creature.

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