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Idioms in Danish


just found an article (thank you, @valessia.c) about some idioms in danish (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/11461198/The-10-funniest-Danish-expressions-and-how-to-use-them.html) and wondered when/if we'll see a unit on those, here on duolingo.

Also, never thought "tak for kaffe" could have a double meaning like that...or at all! Danes are strange :D

March 20, 2015



My personal favourite is "the sausage of death", "dødens pølse". Said about something boring or annoying.

Example: "Det er dødens pølse at tage bussen" - "Taking the bus is the sausage of death"

Similarly, meaning the same is "dødsygt" which literally translates to "dead sick".

Also, note that the inflection of "tak for kaffe" meaning "oh my god" is very different from using it in its literal sense.


Thanks for the contribution! I ate pølsen while on holiday in Copenhagen and it's really funny to think about a deadly type of it (the bright-reddish ones seem particularly fit imo)... The real meaning though is quite different from the idiom!

Regarding the inflection, is there some audio/video to hear the difference?


As a Dane, I have to admit I didn't know some of them. One that is common in the younger generation is "så dør baby" literally: "then baby dies". It is often used sarcastically for when someone takes something too serious.


This is very rarely used as anything other than a joke. It's from a sketch show where the mother of a baby would often make ridiculous requests of her husband and exclaiming if he didn't do it, "then baby dies" - "så dør baby".


Wow this one is strange and dark, I like it :P I don't know how many idioms would be needed for a unit but with this we're closer to the goal! Have 5 lingots in hope of having more come


Mange tak! Du er op på lakrids! (Is that right?) You're so right -- an idiom unit would be a blast! Have a couple of lingots!


Close but no cigar. Actually it is "oppe på lakridserne".


A comment on the link: "spis lige brød" should be "spis lige brød til". "hyppe kartofler" should be "hyppe sine kartofler". "up on the liquorice” should be "oppe på lakridserne". Let me add some more: "av min arm" (ouch my arm) - used like "that's bad". "gå i spåner" (go into wood chips) - for falling apart mentally. "en gang til for prins Knud" (one more time for prince Knud) refers to the former king's (Frederik IX) brother, who was known to have to get an explanation more than once. "gå til vaflerne" (go to the waffles) - means attacking a task in a fierce manner. And one of my favorites: You may stumble upon the word "genoldig", which you will not find in any dictionary. And I know, that at least some Danes use it without knowing its origin. Which is from the spoonerism (had to look that up): "genoldige vasser". The first word should be "gevaldige". You do the math.


Thanks for coffee! If people don't keep making elephants from mice, I'm going to be like water for chocolate.

Idioms are fun.

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