13 Danish Phrases That Make No Sense In English

Friends Talking
Friends Talking | © Anna Vander Stel/Unsplash
Aliki Seferou

As it happens with every country, Danes have some phrases that no matter how hard foreigners try to translate or use their common sense in order to at least guess their meanings, they always seem like locals’ inside joke. Here are 13 of those phrases that non-Danes just won’t understand.

Jeg har det som blommen i et æg

Danes say, ‘Jeg har det som blommen i et æg‘ which translates to ‘I feel like an egg yolk’, but it actually means that someone feels comfort and fulfillment.


Jeg ligger vandret i luften

Jeg ligger vandret i luften translates to ‘I’m lying horizontally in the air’, and Danes use it when they want to say that they’re incredibly busy.


Du kan få en prut og pille i’

‘Du kan få en prut og pille i’ translates to ‘You can have a fart to play with’ and is used as an answer when someone asks you to do something and your reply is no.


Spis lige brød til

Spis lige brød til’ translates to ‘Have some bread with that’ and is a phrase usually used to say take a breath to someone who has worked hard for something difficult.


Jeg har ikke en rød reje

‘Jeg har ikke en rød reje’ translatesto ‘I don’t have a red shrimp’, and it means I am broke.

Red shrimp

Håret/skægget i postkassen-Fletningerne i postkassen

‘Håret/skægget i postkassen‘ translates to ‘hair/beard in the mailbox’ and is used for or by men when they want to say they have a tricky problem and/or they’re about to be uncovered. For girls, the equivalent expression is ‘fletningerne i postkassen‘ which translates to ‘braids in mailbox’.

Mail Box

Det blæser en halv pelican

Det blæser en halv pelican‘ translates to ‘is blowing half a pelican’ and is used to describe a windy day or when Danes want to make fun of the hard and cold weather conditions.


Det er ingen ko på isen

Det er ingen ko på isen‘ translates to there is no cow on the ice and the actual is used when someone wants to say that ‘There is no problem’.


Trutte i trompeten

Trutte i trompeten‘ translates to ‘Blowing the trumpets’ and is used to make fun of someone who is sick and blowing his nose.

Marching in Cusco

Så falder der brænde ned

‘Så falder der brænde ned’ translates to ‘Wood will fall down’ and when someone uses this phrase, they mean that he’s so angry that is about to explode.


Oppe på lakridserne

‘Oppe på lakridserne’ translates to ‘up on the licorices’ and means get on your (dirty) toes.


De penge kan du kigge efter i vejviseren

De penge kan du kigge efter i vejviseren‘ translates to ‘you can look for your money in the yellow pages’ which means that if you asked someone to lend you some money, the answer is no.


Det koster spidsen af en flyvemaskine

Det koster spidsen af en flyvemaskine’ translates toit costs the tip of an airplane and means that something is expensive.


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