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  5. "De levde fra hånd til munn."

"De levde fra hånd til munn."

Translation:They lived from hand to mouth.

September 28, 2015



What does it mean?


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


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.


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!


that's me. But in 2020. So I can get some other basics... as duolingo. Even the Sun King could not have that.


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


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


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


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.


More likely to be heard in the USA is "They lived from paycheck to paycheck". It means they don't make enough to save up money, and have to carefully use everything of one paycheck to make it to the next one alive.

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