Danish expressions and phrases

This is yet another collection of Danish expressions and phrases. Some are used more than others, but most of them are known by the Danes. Great conversation topic.

Danish expressions and phrases (Part 2)

We can agree that some of the time, Danish, is not a fun language to learn. When you need a break from the grammar, Danish expressions and phrases can brighten up your day and make it more fun and enjoyable to learn Danish.

Here, we have collected some funny Danish expressions and phrases. Some are used more than others, but most of them are known by the Danes. Great conversation topic, if you want to break the ice and talk to a Dane.

Danish expressions and phrases klap lige hesten

 ’Klap lige hesten’

When a Dane says  ’just pat the horse’, s/he means that you should just relax, calm down, take a deep breath and don’t get so worked out.

You can use this expression when someone is stressing you out, for example, pressuring you to make an immediate decision. It’s also an expression you can use when you think that someone is too busy and needs to take a break.

 ‘Hov, hov ... Klap lige hesten.’ (Now, now ... Just relax.)

‘Klap lige hesten, der er ingen grund til at hundse med mig(Calm down, there is no reason to rush me)

Danish expressions and phrases no problem

 ‘Så er den ged barberet’

When a Dane has completed something, s/he might say ‘now that goat has been shaved’. It means that the work is done, or that the problems have been solved.  

 ’Det tog 5 dage, så var den ged barberet. (It took 5 days, then the work was done.)

danish expressions very windy

 ‘Det blæser en halv pelikan’

When it’s extremely windy, Danes will say that it’s ‘blowing half a pelikan’. Use this expression when you want to emphasize on how violent the wind blows.

The Danish weather is well known for being windy around 75% of the time. Don’t worry you will get a lot of opportunities to use this expression.

 ‘Jeg kan ikke cycle i dag. Det blæser en halv pelikan.’ (I can’t cycle today. It’s extremely windy.)

Danish expressions and phrases

’At sluge en kamel’

For a Dane it’s not ’a hard pill to swallow’, it feels more like ‘swallowing a camel’.

This expression is used when you want to say that you had/have to accept something that you don’t like or something that contradicts your beliefs and wishes.

’Det er ikke en anden løsning. Jeg er nødt til at sluge en kamel.’ (There is no other solution. I'll have to accept it even though I don’t like.)

Back to you

Do you know other Danish expressions and phrases? Don’t keep them all to yourself, sharing is caring. For more expressions also read our blog Danish idioms and sayings (Part 1).

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  • Sussi Goff

    I’ve always been fond of “gummiged” or wheel loader.

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