"De levde fra hånd til munn."

Translation:They lived from hand to mouth.

September 28, 2015



What does it mean?

September 28, 2015


it means to be so poor that you can only afford food and perhaps some other basics, but nothing else

September 28, 2015


Perhaps even more literally - you are living so close to the edge that you consume everything you can get your hands on - there's nothing in the pantry, nothing to set aside - as soon as you get it, you use (eat) it.

December 1, 2015


That's a good explanation. I just knew the German form of this phrase and did not understand it. "Er lebt von der Hand im Mund" means "He lives by the hand in the mouth." Now I know the phrase is wrongly used here. It should be "Er lebt von der Hand in den Mund" = Hand to mouth, not IN the mouth. Great, thank you!

July 21, 2019


This phrase is familier in English. Is it common in Norwegian?

May 26, 2017

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Yes, it's a well-known phrase, but thankfully not a reality for most people.

November 17, 2017


I'm not familiar with this phrase; had to read the other comments. Are you from the UK (or outside of North America)?

September 26, 2017


I've heard it a good number of times. I've lived all over the USA and don't think it is regional here. Not an everyday expression, perhaps, but one you hear once in a while.

September 27, 2017
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