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Danish word of the day: Lækkersulten

Feeling peckish for vocab? Today's Danish word of the day will whet your appetite.

What is lækkersulten?

Lækkersulten is a compound of two words, lækker (tasty) and sulten (hungry), so literally means to have hunger for something that tastes good.

It is not used when you’re about to eat a full meal – then you would simply be sulten. So to be lækkersulten is to crave a tasty snack.

You can use lækkersulten as an adjective to describe yourself or others. The closest English equivalent (at least in the UK) is probably “peckish”.

Why do I need to know lækkersulten?

Lækkersulten is therefore a compound word which describes a specific type of hunger. In other words, it’s a way of saying you want chocolate or ice cream without actually saying you want chocolate or ice cream.

The word can also be used to clarify what you want to eat or your level of hunger. For example, if someone says Vi kan godt lave aftensmad nu, hvis du er sulten (“We can make dinner now, if you’re hungry”), you could respond by saying jeg vil hellere vente lidt – jeg er bare lidt lækkersulten (“I’d rather wait a while – I’m only peckish at the moment.”)

You may also hear småsulten being used in similar contexts to lækkersulten. Småsulten replaces ‘tasty’ with ‘small’ in the compound-adjective. The difference between the two is nuanced, but småsulten is perhaps less likely to be used in reference to junk foods: Jeg er småsulten – vil du også have en rugbrødsmad? (“I’m snack-hungry – would you also like some rye bread with topping?”)


Jeg var så lækkersulten, jeg var simpelthen nødt til at købe chips.

I was so hungry for a snack, I simply had to buy a packet of chips/crisps.

Er du lækkersulten? Så går jeg ned i kiosken og køber lidt chokolade.

Are you peckish? I can go down to the convenience store and get some chocolate.

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Danish word of the day: Tropenat

Today's word will make you kick off your bedsheets and open all the windows.

Danish word of the day: Tropenat

What is tropenat?

Tropenat means “tropical night” in English. It is formed by compounding the words for “tropic” and “night”.

Given that Denmark is a country perhaps more famous for its cold winters than warm weather, you may find it surprising that the language has a word for sweltering evenings.

The Danish Meteorological Agency (DMI) classifies a night as tropical if the temperature remains above 20 degrees Celsius throughout a 24-hour period. The same definition is used in other European countries, meaning tropenat is a widespread weather term.

Why do I need to know tropenat?

High daytime temperatures are sometimes be accompanied by ‘tropical’ nights, but this isn’t always the case in temperate Denmark. As such, even in summers which feel exceptionally hot for the Scandinavian country — when daytime heat pushes well over 30 degrees Celsius — a tropenat can still be a relatively rare event.

Because winters in Denmark are cold, homes in the country are designed to hold heat as much as possible. Therefore, if you see a tropenat mentioned in the weather forecast, you can probably expect an uncomfortable night’s sleep.

However, one particular Danish custom might come in as an unexpected ally on warm sticky nights.

People in Denmark (and Scandinavia in generally) sleep with two single duvets rather than a double one.

This helps deal with a tropical night as single duvets allow people to regulate their temperature better when they sleep. Poor temperature regulation and struggles with a large shared duvet contribute to a worse night’s sleep, according to experts.