Danish Language Blog

Veries Posted by on Oct 27, 2014 in Vocabulary

veryTo say something is ”very something”, the ordinary Danish word to use is meget:

Du ser meget glad og tilfreds ud. You look really happy and content.

Jeg er meget overrasket! I’m very surprised!

This word sounds nothing like it’s written. It’s usually pronounced [maath], somehow rhyming with the first syllable of the English word rather. If you watch tv in Denmark and hear a politician saying Det’ [maamaath] vigtigt, she’s really just saying Det er meget, meget vigtigt. (It’s really, really important.)

The language spoken in the streets of Denmark has a lot of ways to express the idea of very. Many young people say mega [MEHgah]: Det er bare mega irriterende. (That’s just ’mega’ irritating. – It’s often written as two words since mega has an independent stress and can be seen as an adjective here.) If you think this is just another international ”bug” in Danish, well, look how closely it also resembles the good ol’ word meget… 😉

There are a lot of other slang words like this. Some have been in the language for a while (and are at least a bit accepted):

smadder- • Du er smaddersød. (You’re very/so cute. This is already a bit old-fashioned.)

skrup- • Han er skrupskør. (He’s totally crazy.)

kanon- • Det smagte kanonlækkert! (It tasted ”canonically” delicious!)

død- • Jeg synes hun er dødsmuk. (I think she’s ”deadly” beautiful.)

Others are quite recent and are mostly used by youngsters:

super • Det er super ærgerligt. (That’s ’super’ annoying.)

herre- • Filmen var herregrineren. (The movie was very fun. – Litterally: The movie was ’lord-ishly’ ’laughter-ish’.)

A few are based on swear words – some people might get offended, so I recommend not using these too often! 🙂

skide • Vi havde det skide hyggeligt. (We were enjoying ourselves very much. Literally: We had it hyggeligt like sh*t.)

pisse • Det er pisse ligegyldigt. (That doesn’t matter at all. Literally: That’s indifferent like p*ss.)

Here we also find the f-ing word, taken directly from English, but used without the sexual meaning in Denmark (it’s just a ”bad word” used to intensify a meaning).

Finally, a handful of words have their very own ”very prefixes” that are normally not used in front of other words:

pæredansk • (very Danish, literally ”Danish like a pear”).

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.