A bazillion Danish abbreviations to speed up your day

Danish abbreviations are a painful but necessary part of learning Danish. To help you out, we’ve collected and attempted to organize a bunch of the most commonly used and seemingly random letter combinations with explanations and pronunciation.

You’ve probably realized that Danish is a language with the power to create words of unfathomable lengths – hello arbejdsløshedsunderstøttelsesundersøgelseskommisionssekretariat – no, not really a word, but any Dane would easily understand it.

So it should come as no surprise that it’s also a language with a deep love of abbreviations. As a non-native speaker, these abbreviations can often throw you for a loop. Which brings us here.

As you happen upon these seemingly random letter combinations, Danish quickly devolves into a cruel guessing game, as the voices in your head laughing at you grow louder, and louder, and LOUDER!

OK, you’re right, no need to go full Edgar Allan Poe on y’all. Let’s reel it in for a sec.

Point is, we want to help you ace the obstacle course and read your way through any Danish text without stumbling and scraping your corneas on the page.

Everyday abbreviations in Danish

According to Dansk Sprognævn – the deciders about correct Danish a.k.a. the grammar police – an abbreviation is “A word or expression that is not written out in its entirety.” Duh. Still though, it’s good to know that we we’re all talking about the same thing here.

Unfortunately, the whole time-saving point of abbreviations flips a 180 as you spend eons trying to decipher an abbreviation, while efficiency shapeshifts into frustration.

And let us tell you – speaking from bitter experience – old pal Google ain’t much help when you’re battling a tome full of three letter riddles wrapped in mysteries inside enigmas.

In this blog, we’d like to share a bunch of commonly used and more obscure Danish abbreviations. Have a gander and discover what these Danish abbreviations actually mean. As an added bonus, lend us your ear and we’ll sing you a sweet song of Danish abbreviations (ok, we’ll just speak them, and not even in Joe Cocker voice, but still).

A quick side note: We’ve sifted through the seemingly boundless realm of Danish abbreviations to bring you the highest quality, most relevant explanations for use in everyday life. The following overview is by no means exhaustive. For additional verification or explanation of an abbreviation, we refer to Dansk Sprognævn (we love you grammar police!).

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Some of the most common Danish abbreviations

Abbreviation Defination and translation
alm. (Almindelig / almindeligt) - Common / general / ordinary
ang. (angående) - concerning / regarding
bl.a. (blandt andet) - among other things
ca. (cirka) - approximately
div. (diverse / division) - miscellaneous  / division
dkr. / DKK (danske kroner) - Danish kroner
dvs. (det vil sige) - that is to say / in other words
eks. (eksempel) - example
evt. (eventuel / eventuelt / eventuelle) - “evt.” eludes direct translation, but along the lines of: optionally, if you wish, if applicable, if relevant. It’s often kind of like saying, “I’m not saying that you have to, but you could…” – which is where Danish turns into a guilt-tripping mom who means that you pretty much have to, or at the very least it would be a disappointment to the speaker/writer if you didn’t.
f.eks./fx (for eksempel) - for example
gl. (gammel) - old
gns./gnsn. (gennemsnit / gennemsnitlig) - average
hhv. (henholdsvis) - respectively
if. / Iflg. (ifølge) - according to / in accordance with
ifm./i.f.m. (i forbindelse med) - in connection with
ift./i.f.t. (i forhold til) - in relation to / compared to
iht. (i henhold til) - referring to / in compliance with
kgl. (kongelig) - royal
kr. ((Danish) krone / kroner) - (Danish) krone / kroner
m.fl./mfl. (med flere) - and others
m.h.t./mht. (med hensyn til) - with regard to / regarding
m.m. (med mere) - and other things / matters
mv./m.v. (med videre) - and so on
o.l. (og lign.) (og lignende) - and similar
osv. (og så videre) - and so on / etc.
pga. (på gr. af) (på grund af) - due to / because of
pr. (per) - per / as of (date/time)
s.u. (svar udbedes) - please reply / R.S.V.P.
stk. (styk / stykke) - unit(s) / pieces(s)
str. (størrelse) - size
t.o.m. (til og med) - up to and including / through
t/r (tur-retur) - round trip
vedl. (vedlagt) - enclosed
vedr. (vedrørende) - concerning / regarding
vha. (ved hjælp af) - by means of
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Danish time-related abbreviations

Time-related abbreviations

Abbreviation Defination and translation
d. (den) - Literally “the”. Used in front of dates, e.g. d. 3. november.
d.d. (dags dato) - today’s date / as of today
d.m. (denne måned) - current month
d.å. (dette år) - current year
f.Kr. (før Kristus) - Before Christ (BC)
e.Kr. (efter Kristus) - After Christ (AD)
kl. (1. klokken / 2. klasse) - 1. Used like “o’clock”, but in front of the time e.g. kl. 16.30. 2. More rarely used for "class".
md. (måned) - month
mdl. (månedlig / månedligt) - monthly
mdr. (måneder) - months
p.t. (pro tempore (yes, this is Latin)) - at present
ugtl. (ugentlig / ugentligt) - weekly
årh. (århundrede) - century
årl. (årlig/årligt) - annually
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Danish abbreviations with places

Direction and place abbreviations

Abbreviation Defination and translation
adr. (adresse) - address
Kbh. (København) - Copenhagen
Kbh. K (København K) - Central Copenhagen (the “K” stands for København - it ain’t NY, NY, but it is København, København)
kt. (1. konto/ 2. kontor / 3. karat) - 1. Account, 2. department / office, 3. carat
lejl. (lejlighed) - apartment
mf. (midtfor) - straight in front / in the middle (describes where on the floor of the building you can find the residence, e.g. 2.mf. – second floor, straight ahead / in the middle)
ml. (mellem) - between / among
N / Ndr. (Nord / Nordre (in location names)) - North / Northern – e.g. København N – Copenhagen North
o.g. (over gården) - Across the courtyard (indicates that the entrance to the address is in a building located in a courtyard or annex)
S / Sdr. (Syd / Sønder / Søndre (in location names)) - South / southern – e.g. København S – Copenhagen South
st. (stuen) - ground floor
t.h. (th.) (til højre) - To the right (describes where on the floor of the building you can find the residence, e.g. 2.th. – second floor, to the right.)
t.v. (tv.) (til venstre) - To the left (describes where on the floor of the building you can find the residence, e.g. 2.tv. – second floor, to the left.)
V. (Vest / Vester / Vestre (in location names)) - West / western – e.g. København V – Copenhagen West
v. (ved or van/von (in names)) - by/close to – or “van/von” in names
Ø. (Øst / Øster / Østre (in location names)) - East / eastern – e.g. København Ø – Copenhagen East
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Abbreviated titles and forms of address

In Denmark, titles and formal forms of address are rarely used these days. Mostly used as an exception to the rule, they can come across as a bit stuffy and old fashioned.

Abbreviation Defination and translation
dir. (1. direktør / 2. dirigent) - 1. managing director / executive officer. 2. More rarely  conductor.
fhv. (forhenværende) - former
fm. (fuldmægtig) - officer – e.g. AC-fuldmægtig (administrative officer)
fmd. (formand) - chairperson / foreman
fr. (fru / frøken) - Mrs. / Ms.
frk. (frøken) - miss
H.M. (Hendes / Hans Majestæt) - Her / His Majesty
hr. (herre) - Mr.
Danish abbreviations

Miscellaneous abbreviated letter closings

Here’s a slew of Danish abbreviations used as closings to quick messages, e-mails and letters.

Abbreviation Defination and translation
Vh (Venlig hilsen) - “Friendly greetings”. Dry and curt closing that’s a pretty big hit in the boomer segment.
Mvh (Med venlig hilsen) - “With friendly greetings”. Neutral and friendly closing.
Bh (Bedste hilsner) - “Best greetings”. Still curt, but a bit warmer than Vh. (NB! Bh is not to be confused with bh/BH)
Dbh (De bedste hilsner) - “The best greetings”. A polite closing.
Kh (Kærlig hilsen) - “Affectionate greetings”. In the past this closing was seen as intimate, but it is now used by many as a standard closing. However, hierarchies and relations still play a role in the closing you choose. You usually let your boss or the customer use this closing first.

International abbreviations used in Danish

Abbreviation Defination and translation
g (gram) - gram
kg (kilo/kilogram) - kilo/kilogram
mm (millimeter) - millimeter
cm (centimeter) - centimeter
m (meter) - meter
km (kilometer) - kilometer
mio. (million(er)) - million(s)
mia. (milliard(er)) - billion(s)
nr. (nummer) - number
tlf. (telefon / telefonnummer) - telephone / telephone number
min. (minimum) - minimum
maks. / max (maksimum / maksimal / maksimalt) - maximum
bh/BH (brystholder) - bra / brassiere. NB! Not to be confused with Bh
ekskl. (eksklusiv) - excluding
inkl. (inklusive) - including
p.t. (pro tempore) - at present
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Informal and RENEGADE abbreviations 🤘

The Danish language is constantly evolving. Words grow obsolete and fall to the wayside because they are no longer used. And new words come to the fore. The same is true of Danish abbreviations.

Abbreviation Defination and translation
aht (ad helvede til) - (go) all to hell
arb (arbejde) - work
cføli (selvfølgelig) - obviously / of course
ilm (i lige måde) - the same to you
ngt (noget) - some / something
p.b.a / pba (på baggrund af) - on the basis of / in the light of
perf (perfekt) - perfect
pft (på forhånd tak) - thank you in advance
self / selvf. (selvfølgelig) - sure / of course
sq (Abbreviation of another Danish abbreviation: sgu (så Gud hjælpe mig)) - so God help me (usage is close to English use of “damn/damned”)
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Assorted Danish abbreviations

This last motherload of Danish abbreviations is a mixed bag of goodies eluding categorization. Here goes!

Abbreviation Defination and translation
A/S (aktieselskab) - Limited company
ApS (anpartsselskab) - Private limited company
afd. (afdeling) - department
ank. (ankomst) - arrival
afg. (afgang) - departure
afs. (afsender) - sender
el. (eller) - or
el.lign./e.l. (eller lignende) - or the like
egl. (egentlig / egentligt) - actually
jf. (jævnfør) - confer / cf. / see
knsp. (knivspids) - a pinch of
m.a.o. (med andre ord) - in other words
modt. (modtager) - receiver
o.a. (og andet / og andre) - and other(s)
off. (officiel / offentlig) - official / public
o.fl. (ofl.) (og flere) - and more
o.m.a. (og mange andre) - and many other
pk. (pakke) - package / parcel
pkt. (punkt) - item / point / section
spsk. (spiseske(fuld)) - tablespoon
tsk. (teske(fuld)) - teaspoon
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Did we forget some gems?

As you can see, Danish has more than its fair share of abbreviations. Did we remember all the essential ones, or would you like to see one or more that we missed in this blog?

Leave a comment below with your favorites and/or the very best (or worst) Danish abbreviations.

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