Ten Danish towns with hilarious literal translations

The Local Denmark
The Local Denmark - [email protected]
Ten Danish towns with hilarious literal translations
Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Most native English speakers in Denmark have probably laughed at words like ‘fartkontrol’, ‘slut’ and ‘skat’, but what about names of towns and villages?


A closer look at the map reveals several gems that had us giggling away. Here are our favourites.

1. Sæd

A tiny village down by the border with Germany, ‘Sæd’ translates literally to ‘sperm’.


Den bliver aaaaaldrig for gammel #sæd #sønderjylland #detersjovtfordi

A post shared by Esben Korsgaard Poulsen (@esbenkorsgaard) on Jun 26, 2016 at 7:41am PDT

2. Voldby

On the surface an innocuous town near Aarhus with a population of under 500, Voldby sounds a little more sinister if it is translated literally, since vold is the Danish word for violence and and by means town. Would you dare take a trip there?

3. Helved

Quite literally, Hell (ok, almost – the spelling of the Danish word is one letter different from the town name). A small village on the southern island of Als, ‘Hell’ boasts a private school and a now-inactive water mill. And yes, there is a road that goes there.

4. Tarm

Intestine, bowel, gut. We couldn’t stomach leaving this West Jutland town off our list.

Photo: Iris/Scanpix

5. Bækager

The word ‘bae’ recently entered the English lexicon and should have positive connotations, given its use to mean boyfriend, girlfriend or loved one. Turn the ‘ae’ into the Danish letter æ, though, and you end up with something quite different. Bækager translates literally to ‘crap cakes’.


Gad vide om byen Bæ-kager har et bageri? #bækager #bæ #kager #bæk #sommanlæserder

A post shared by Sophie og Lisette ( on May 24, 2017 at 3:50pm PDT

6. Boller

Boller is the present tense of a colloquial and somewhat 1980s Danish slang word for having sex. ‘Shagging’, if you will. The village of Boller near Horsens has both a forest and a country manor named after it.

7. Odder

We fear we’re getting a bit carried away with the toilet humour in this list, so here’s something a bit cuter. Odder does not in fact translate to ‘more odd’, but is the Danish word for otter.

The town of Odder, a few kilometres south of Aarhus, did not have an unusually high population of semiaquatic carnivorous mammals last time we passed through.

Photo: Iris/Scanpix

8. Hundested

Ever heard the expression ‘this place has gone to the dogs’? Head to the coast of northern Zealand and you can actually visit the Place of Dogs, if Hundested’s name is to be taken literally.

With its pleasant harbour, sometime sand sculpture festival and charming ferry across the Isefjord bay, we can’t imagine what this friendly coastal town could have done to deserve such a bad reputation.

Photo: Peter Karlsson/Flickr 

9. Snave

Snogging, making out, necking, smooching. The name of this small town on Funen appears to have a similar effect to standing under the mistletoe.

10. Lolland

It’s an island, not a town. But LOL-land sounds like a pretty funny place. Amirite?

READ ALSO: The absolute worst words in the Danish language



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also