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Danish word of the day: Sammenskudsgilde

This Danish word can help you to enjoy a potluck of tasty dishes at your next summer party.

What is sammenskudsgilde?

Related to the English word guild, ‘gilde’ dates back to Viking-era Denmark, meaning a brotherhood, society or association in which peasants or subjects of the land united for a common benefit.

Guilds often met at large social occasions, at which a lot of eating and drinking took place, presumably including plenty of Viking-style throwing of gnawed bones over shoulders.

The root of the word in the old Nordic languages can also mean a payment or a fee, and this can be seen in the similarity with gæld (debt) in modern Danish.

Meanwhile, sammenskud is a contraction of sammen (together) and skud (literally, a shot, from the verb at skyde, to shoot). ‘Shooting’ something together in this context in Danish means to combine different contributions or components to form an overall product.

A social event, gathering or occasion in which everyone brings a dish to share with all the other guests is known as a sammenskudsgilde.

Why do I need to know sammenskudsgilde?

If you’re hosting a party or barbecue this summer and want everyone to bring a salad dish or their own contributions for the grill, you’ll need this word for the invitations. 

You can provide guidelines to guests so they know what to bring (asking some for salad, some to bring meat and so on), or leave things completely down to chance and enjoy the surprise.

It’s common for gatherings in Denmark to be planned as a sammenskudsgilde, saving the host the stress of preparing large quantities of food and minimising costs for all guests, as well as cutting waste should anyone not be able to make it at the last minute.

The concept is at its best you want good variation of dishes, plenty to go around and low costs for yourself and all your guests.


Min fødselsdagsfest bliver en international sammenskudgilde, hvor alle medbringer en typisk ret fra deres hjemland.

My birthday will be an international food party where everyone brings a classic dish from their home country.

Vi tænder grillen allerede kl. 17, så husk at tage kød med til sammenskudsgildet. Vi sørger for salat.

We’ll light the barbecue at 5pm, so remember to bring your own meat for the shared grill. We’ll provide the salad.

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For members


Danish word of the day: Nar

Have a look at the word of the day. You'd be a fool not to.

Danish word of the day: Nar

What is nar?

The original meaning of the word nar is similar to the English ‘jester’: a person who entertains the public or an audience by making a fool of themselves or of others.

Its use evolved at some point in the past — not recently, as it’s been around for a while — and it is now an insult. So if you call someone a nar you are slighting them and they are likely to be offended, as it’s not a word that is usually used lightheartedly, unlike some old-fashioned insults can be.

To call someone a nar, by the way, the correct phrase is din nar. This literally means “your nar“, because din is a possessive adjective or pronoun (like ‘your’ or ‘yours’). However, din nar actually means “you are a nar“. The same grammar applies with all insults: din idiot, dit fjols, din taber (you idiot, you fool, you loser) or din klovn (you clown). The latter is a slightly milder synonym of din nar.

Why do I need to know nar?

It’s a punchy putdown, but as mentioned above — be careful how you use it. It’s not really a word you can use in jest. As such, you’ll probably hear it used more often to talk about someone in the third person than aimed directly at someone.

Nar is also used in a variety of phrases to mean variations of being made a fool out of or being tricked.

For example, at gøre nar af (“to make a nar of”) someone is to make them the object of ridicule or to make fun of them. If you holder nogen for nar (“treat someone as a nar“) you could either be scamming or tricking them or, similarly to before, making them look stupid.


Han går hele tiden rundt og lyver over for folk. Han er simpelthen en nar!

He just goes around lying to everyone. He’s nothing but an asshole!

Hvorfor har du spist min sandwich? Der stod mit navn på papiret. Din nar!

Why did you eat my sandwich? My name was written on the package. You idiot!