Danish words and what they (might) mean

Anya Jensen19th April 2017

The Danish language is a funny one. You see, many of the phrases we use don’t exactly mean what you might think. These are idioms or old proverbs, many of them are still used today’s world.

I wanted to share some of the most common expressions you could come across if you ever visit Denmark.

Simply Danish Living - words


Tak for kaffe!!

Well, it does actually mean “Thanks for the coffee” – but it is often used to express surprise like ‘Oh my God’ – if someone has done something you were surprised or miffed about – then you’d say TAK for kaffe!

Ingen ko på isen!!

“No cow on the ice”!!  Not really – it means I’ve got this – no problems, nothing is wrong.

Ugler i mosen!!

“Owls in the meadows” – the total opposite of the cows on the ice, meaning there is something dodgy going on – something not quite right.

Håret i postkassen!!

“Your hair stuck in the mailbox”? It actually means you got yourself into trouble and now you are stuck (with your hair in the mailbox).

Det var dråben!!

“That was the drop”? Meaning it was the straw that broke the camels back – we just use it like ‘the drop that made the cup overflow – enough is enough –  quite often said to kids…

Du er ikke tabt bag en vogn!!

“You have not been dropped behind a cart”. Basically, it means you are not stupid, and you managed to figure it out.

Ikke se skoven for bare træer!!

“Not see the forest for trees” –  Meaning you can’t see the bigger picture – even if you keep staring at it.

Klap lige hesten!!

“Go pet the horse”. It means for you to take a chill pill – to take it easy.

Stikke fingeren i jorden!!

“Stick your finger in the soil” – doesn’t mean to go and dig a hole in the ground, but it means to take a moment to think about it before you jump into conclusions, decisions etc.


I hope you liked reading this – and perhaps getting to know the Danish language a bit more. We have many other interesting words and phrases, and I will share them here soon.


If you are a brand who fancy collaborating I am happy to hear from you – anya@simplydanishliving.com.







Comments (3)

  • Mel

    21st April 2017 at 20:01

    Your hair stuck in the letter box? Haha I laughed so loud at this one! Love it. Thanks for sharing Anya. The latest edition of the mag is beautiful 💙

  • Susanna

    19th April 2017 at 18:44

    Hej Anya, jeg syntes det er helt igennem fantastisk at du deler vores skønne gamle ordsprog, for ja selvfølgeligig kan det være underligt at høre sætninger som dem hvis du er fra et andet land.

    Keep ’em coming. 🙂


  • KizzyDoll

    19th April 2017 at 11:13

    This is brilliant, loved learning these x

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