In Swedish, there is an expression that goes "make speed". It is used for example when a child asks a parent to push the swing which the child sits upon. Or if a child sits in a soapbox and is being pushed forward by a parent, the parent is "making speed". The expression doesn´t just mean to "start the motion", but also to maintain it for an unknown period of time.

So, if I ask someone in Swedish: "Can you make speed?" that person will understand what I want him or her to help me with. But I am not sure it sounds good in English.

Here are some examples in sentences:

If you can imagine a giant with lungs so strong that he could blow on a swing to make it move the following sentence could be used in swedish: "He did not push the swing, but "made speed" by blowing at it"

Another example: Imagine a merrygoround which you put in motion by treading on pedals conected to it. Then I could say: "You do not "make speed" by pushing it, you have to use the pedals"   

Or lets say I have been "making speed" all day. I have pushed a swing, pulled a soapbox car, used my lungs to propell something into motion etc. Finally I get tired of it and say: "Why is it always I who have to "make speed" and not any of the others?"

What can you say in English that corresponds to this expression?

  • The best term is often the simplest. Perhaps you are looking for the word "moving"? Aug 19, 2017 at 19:11
  • 1
    On a swing or soapbox car a child would say, “Daddy, push me. Pleeeeeeaase?”
    – Jim
    Aug 19, 2017 at 19:13
  • Is there anything wrong with "push"?
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 19, 2017 at 19:13
  • I believe "propel" is closest in terms of both creating and maintaining motion - but it's not a word a child would use. Aug 19, 2017 at 19:17
  • But the Word "push" is not really what I am looking for. It is possible that it is the best one to use though. We can say "push" in swedish too, but the meaning is not as wide as "make speed". Because sometimes you create motion by other means than pushing.
    – Swede
    Aug 19, 2017 at 19:26

3 Answers 3


In English, make it go comes close to your Swedish make speed. With your examples:

  • the parent makes the swing or soapbox go by pushing (it keeps going for as long as the parent pushes);

  • the giant didn't push the swing but made it go by blowing at it;

  • you make a pedal-powered merry-go-round go by using the pedals, not by pushing it;

  • after tiring of making things go all day, you say, "Why do I have to be the one who has to make them go when none of the others do?"

go verb

7 [no object] (of a machine or device) function. ‘I needed two things: to put the tent up and to get the cooker going to provide heat for my hand and body.’

7.1 Continue in operation or existence. ‘All cooking was done over an open fire, which also their source of heat and which was kept going all the year round.’



"get me going" would be how I would my goal in requesting a push or help on a swing.

'Give me a push to get me going.' (perhaps if you were trying to pull a heavyload on a bike or to clutch start an engine on a motorcycle ... as well as the swing)

You do need to be a little careful when the context might be unclear as sometimes the phrase is used to get someone's sexual interest up ...

but you could also "get someone going" on a rant or political topic too.

related idiom 'get going' at Oxford free dictionaries

Start happening or taking place.

‘the campaign got going in 1983’


"Accelerate" means "to cause to move faster or to cause to undergo acceleration." M-W.

"Please accelerate my soapbox, daddy," would result in the parent pushing the soapbox in the manner you suggest, but it is a bit stiff.

  • 1
    Unfortunately thus would never be used in any real conversation.
    – Jim
    Aug 19, 2017 at 19:11
  • I admitted it was a bit stiff.
    – Zan700
    Aug 19, 2017 at 20:17

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