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Most Danish Words Posted by on May 31, 2018 in Denmark and the World, Vocabulary

Which words or phrases are the ”most Danish”? Of course, such a spørgsmål (question) is very hard to answer… Besides, there are so many to pick! Below are my (current) candidates for the prize – do you (dis)agree?

(Free photo from Pixabay, no copyright.)

øl [url] (beer). Of course, not every Dane drinks beer… But in the home country of the Carlsberg brewery, you have to close your eyes a lot in order not to see all the beer-drinking going on! 🙂

rødgrød med fløde (red fruit porridge with cream) is much less common on the tables, but many Danes love when you try to pronounce the tricky phrase! 🙂

strand [stran] (beach). In summer, Denmark has some of the most beautiful beaches… (In winter, some of the saddest.)

skov [skorw] (forest). When bøgen (the beech) has got lysegrønne blade (bright green leaves) in May, the woods of Denmark are really ”Danish” – in a pleasant way…

havfrue (mermaid). Because of The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) statue in CPH, based on a fairytale by H.C. Andersen, everybody associates Denmark with this mythological lady. With a bit of imagination, you might see her in the seas around the Danish øer (islands).

hygge is a no-brainer. There’s been written so much about hygge, that I’ll just keep quiet on this one. 🙂

dejlig [diely] means nice or pleasant. The word has a ”hygge” vibe, and – isn’t it just dejlig to say?

fællesskab (community, togetherness). From music festivals to garden parties to højskoler, Danes love doing things together in groups. (Yes, I know, sometimes non-Danes find it hard to get into the fællesskab. But please believe me on this: Once you’ve ”cracked the code” – most often the Danish language – the majority of Danes are very welcoming.)

morgenmad (breakfast, literally ”morning meal”) is just such a Danish word to me… And compared to people in southern countries such as Italy, Danes do eat a lot of breakfast… A very Danish thing to eat in the morning is rundstykker (bread rolls).

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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.


Comments:

  1. Nicol:

    The most danish word for me is smørbrød. I know, maybe it’s not creative, but still true 😉

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Nicol @Nicol – thanks for the word! 🙂 I absolutely agree with you. It belongs on the list!