Danish Is A Zoo! Posted by Bjørn A. Bojesen on Oct 19, 2016 in Nature, Slang, Vocabulary
Isn’t it fun that @ is called elephant’s trunk A (snabel-a) in Danish? 🙂 While I’m sure that other languages use animal expressions too, I love the way dyr (animals) keep popping up in dansk:
- If something costs en hund (a dog), you’ll have to betale (pay) et hundrede kroner (100 Kroner). Did you get the pun? 🙂
- A tudse (toad), on the other hand, is slang for et tusinde kroner (1000 Kroner), as in Det kostede kun en tudse (It only cost 1000 Kroner).
- Pay attention if your friend har en ræv bag øret (”has a fox behind the ear”). That means she’s probably up to some tricks… If she’s got en bjørn på (a bear on), however, she’s merely drunk.
- If you want to help somebody install an app and end up making a mess of everything, you’re really doing them a bjørnetjeneste (bear service = ”disservice with good intentions”). Some old folks complain that some young folks have flip-flopped the word, making it mean ”friendly favour” instead. (But that’s still not ”official Danish”!)
- When something spooky’s going on, you can say Der er ugler i mosen! (”There are owls in the bog!” When there were still packs of wolves roaming Denmark, I’ve heard, people used to say ”there are ulve…” – which makes a bit more sense!)
- Do you like to make dog-ears in your bøger (books)? In Danish, for some reason, they’re called ”donkey-ears” (æselører).
- Gåsevin (goose wine) is a fun way of saying vand (water). According to media, the Danish PM Lars Løkke would rather drink a fadbamse (draught [teddy] bear), which is slang for ”draught beer”.
My own favourite animal expression in Danish is hestens fødselsdag (the horse’s birthday). It’s sometimes used as a fun remark to someone who’s cut a slice of rugbrød (rye bread) so thick that only a horse can chew it! 🙂 Birthdays and rye bread and humour combined – can anything be more Danish?
Do you know some fun expressions involving animals, in Danish or your own language?