Danish Expressions

Idioms can be difficult to understand, however fun!

Like most languages, also Danes use expressions that can be difficult to understand for non-Danish speakers and often the google translator does not help much.
Did you for example know, that in Denmark the politicians can “get a nose”, if they make a mistake!? If you google “få en næse”you will get that direct translation = “get a nose”, but that doesn’t make much sense does it?
Politicians in Denmark can “få en næse”and it can be both a “lille/small”or a “stor/large”all depending on how big a mistake they have made.
In the headlines last week, you could read that our tax minister Karsten Lauritzen got a nose after giving wrong information to the “Folketinget”:
A so-called political nose, means that a majority of the Folketinget express their criticism of a minister and all depending of the criticism, the nose varies in size!
…and there are so many more that you might find fun to know about. Here are some of my favorites:
In Danish Google translate The real meaning
Lægge hovedet i blød
Put your head in soft
To think
Ingen ko på isen
No cow on the ice
No problem, no danger
Slå på tråden
Turn on the thread
Make a phone call
Spis brød til
Eat bread
Take it easy
Der ligger hunden begravet
There lies the dog buried
There is the problem
Bide i det sure æble
Bite into the sour apple
To do something you don’t really want to do
Hale torsk i land
Haul cod in land
To snore
Der er ugler i mosen
There are owls in the bog
Something is wrong
Få blod på tanden
Get blood on your teeth
Eager to try something new

For more, check this great site from Copenhagen Language Center for more: https://www.kbh-sprogcenter.dk/en/blog/danish-idioms-expressions/!

Written by Anette Pilmark

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