Danish Language Blog

Danish Candy Posted by on Nov 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

These pieces of slik are just waiting for all the slikmunde to pick them up… (Photo courtesy of Lisa Risager at Flickr, CC License.)

Er du en slikmund? (Do you have a sweet tooth?) In Denmark, the nearest slikbutik (candy shop) is never far away. In supermarkedet, købmanden, kiosken, biografen (the supermarket, the grocer’s shop, the kiosk, the cinema) – everywhere folk (people) happily buy slik (candy, sweets) to bring along or enjoy at the movies. Whether you’re fighting to få dit blodsukker op (”get up the blood sugar”) or just want to spend a hyggelig moment with your venner (friends), Danish slik does the trick. 🙂

Many Danes have gode minder (good memories) of getting fredagsslik (Friday candy) as kids – although one colleague recalled getting ondt i maven (stomach ache). Another colleague distinguished between luksusslik (luxury candy) and ”junkieslik” (”junkie” candy). The first one, she said, is quality slik like konfekt (assorted chocolates), that you nyder (enjoy) when you really need to forkæle dig selv (give yourself a treat). The second kind is things like cheap vingummi (wine gum), that you just can’t stop eating because you’re a … slikjunkie.

The word slik is related to the verb at slikke – to lick (of course, much Danish slik you also need to chew or suck, such as tyggegummi, chewing gum, and the giant holdkæftbolsje = shut-up-candy!) Snold [snoll] is another common word for slik. When you snolder [snollo] you’re out buying sweets! 🙂

Bland selv-slik (”mix yourself-candy”) is exotic to people from Japan and some other countries. Instead of buying pre-packed candy, you mix your own pose (bag) of favourite sweets, which you pick from open boxes using a small skovl (shovel). You then weigh your bag on a vægt (scales), and prisen (the price) is decided by the vægt (weight – yes, that’s a word with more than one meaning! 🙂  )

Hvad skal jeg vælge? (What should I pick?) There are lots of sweet possibilities for your hygge moment, blandt andet (among other things):

  • flødeboller (cream puffs, snowballs) – cakes or candy? No matter what you call the chocolate-covered, cream-filled beauties, they’re an all-time Danish favourite!
  • chokolade [shockoLATHeh]. Denmark is full of busy makers of both lys og mørk (light and dark) chocolate.
  • karameller (caramels) are usually meget søde (very sweet)
  • vingummi (wine gum) comes in many shapes and farver (colours). Especially the vingummi of the brand Haribo (no PR intended!) has become ingrained in Danish culture.
  • bolsjer [bolshor] (drops) come in many flavours, and often have fun names like ”spejderhagl” (scouts’ hail) or ”andemad” (duckweed).
  • slikkepinde (lollipops) are bolsjer on a stick 🙂
  • lakrids (liquorice) is a very Northern European thing (in my experience). If you’re not used to the black ”gum” in your culture, be careful: Lakridser are often not sweet at all, but rather strong or salty! The latter kind is even called saltlakrids… So, now you’re warned! 🙂

Karius og Baktus. These ”mouth trolls” from Norway are feared by many Danish children… (By Thorbjørn Egner (The artist’s son Bjørn Egner) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Of course, hvis du spiser for meget slik (if you eat too much candy), you’ll get huller i tænderne (holes in your teeth). Many Danish children know the story of the ”bacterium trolls” Karius og Baktus (by Norwegian author Thorbjørn Egner) – who are removed from a boy’s teeth by tandlægen (the dentist). So, as the story points out, it just might be a good idea to børste tænder (brush your teeth) between your slik sessions! Or maybe throw some sundt slik (”healthy candy” such as gulerødder, carrots) into the mix.

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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.


  1. Polderjoch:

    I never leave the house without a bag of saltlakrids (or salmiak(ki) as is called in NL), I just munch on them basically all day.

    They’re also a great way to have some fun with foreign friends who don’t know what they’re gettng into 😉

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Polderjoch @Polderjoch. Haha, I can understand you! 😛 Yes, lakrids can be a great conversation starter. 😉