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The satanic swear words

Learning Danish can be quite a traumatic experience. If you are about to give up or just want to learn something a little more unique than ‘Hej’, go for the swear words. They are satanic.

Meet the Danes |   06. Sep 2017

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


When foreigners come to Denmark and feel brave enough to learn some Danish phrases, most would probably go for the easier and more useful phrases such as; ‘hej’, ‘tak’, ‘ha’ en go’ dag’, ‘to øl, tak’.

But if you are on the brink of having enough of the boring Danish lessons, or just feel picky about what you want to throw yourself into language wise, I would suggest that you go for the swear words.

The Danish swear words are one-of-a-kind and much better than the mainstream and overused English ones. Besides, think about how cool it is to swear in another language whenever you hit your pinky toe, the referee is being an ass, or the printer decides to go on a strike.

Satan would swear in Danish

The amount of swear words within the Danish vocabulary is never-ending, but I’ve picked a few which are quite unique as they are in the category of, let’s just say… being satanic.

Translated to English they may not sound as good, just really odd and quite funny. But they work out in Danish. Here goes:

‘For satan.’ Satan is in Danish used as a swear word. And as some other swear words, it can indicate both something bad and something good. Like if you knock your forehead on a cupboard wicket, you could say: “Av, for satan.” You could also just go with the short form ‘satans’, if something screws up – like finding your bike with a flat tire.

‘Satans’ can also be used when something comes as a surprise: “Det var lige godt satans.” If it were to be translated it would be something like: That was just about Satan.

But ‘satans’ can also be used to describe something good – often food or a piece of music. “Det er satans godt.” Meaning, this is satanically good.

‘For helvede.’ Moving on from Satan, we go to where he lives: Hell. ‘Helvede’ in Danish is a much used swear word, and would be used in the same occasions as ‘for satan’. Remember when pronouncing this you have to go for the soft d. I’m so sorry that you have to twist your tongue a bit for this one.

If you are getting the hang of the swear words, you could easily combine ‘satan’ and ‘helvede’ by saying: “For satan i helvede.” Meaning: For Satan in Hell.

‘For fanden.’ Fanden – also pronounced with a soft d – is a great guy. Translated to English he is the devil, and he can be used in various ways just like ‘satan’ and ‘helvede’. If you add s to fanden, you could have the sentence: ‘Det er fandens godt.’ Meaning this is devilishly good.

But you could also do a bit of a twist to the word and say ‘fandeme’. It’s related to ‘fanden’, but when translated it’s more like bloody or damned. You could, for instance, say: ‘Det smager fandeme godt.” Meaning, this tastes bloody good.

The above mentioned swear words are just a tiny extract of the Danish vocabulary of swear words, but these are in the satanic category. What kind of swear words would be the most used in your country? Are any of them satanic?


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