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LIFE IN DENMARK

VOTE: Which of these 10 finalists is the best word in the Danish language?

The Local's readers nominated more than 45 Danish words to our competition. Here's a final shortlist – it's now time to pick a winner.

VOTE: Which of these 10 finalists is the best word in the Danish language?
Photo: Marek Studzinski/Unsplash

Thanks to everyone who took part in the first round of voting. The final shortlist is based on the number of nominations the words received, with our jury given the final say whenever a tiebreaker was needed.

 

Click below to upvote your favourite.

 

VOTE: What's the best word in the Danish language?

Upvote your favourite word and help The Local pick the best word in the Danish language.

 

Kæreste

Translating literally to 'dearest', kæreste “can be anyone who you love regardless of sex or gender, instead of calling (them) boyfriend or girlfriend in English. How lovely to say 'min kæreste' without any hesitation or boundary” explains Helen in Copenhagen, one of the readers who nominated it.

 

Ø

No man or woman should be an island, but the Danish word for 'island' is just that in a visual sense, consisting as it does of a single letter: the aesthetically pleasing Ø.

 

Overspringshandling

An activity used to kill time or avoid doing work or other chores which you really should be getting on with. Overspringshandling is “very descriptive”, Caroline in Copenhagen noted.

 

Flodhest

The Danish word for 'hippopotamus' translates literally to 'river horse'. Hippopotamus is a common word in many languages, but “Denmark stands apart with its gracious translation of these gentle giants”, writes Monica in Copenhagen, and we're inclined to agree.

 

Lykke

One of the most popular nominations we received, lykke can mean both 'happiness' or 'luck' and is also a girl's name. “Sometimes to be happy you need to be lucky”, as Valeria from Frederiksberg eloquently puts it.

 

Skat

We were surprised to see this word nominated, given it means 'tax'. It is also a term of endearment, though, which probably explains it. But can you imagine calling your sweetheart 'Tax'?!

 

Forelsket

The theme of love is strong in our readers' nominations. Forelsket translates to 'in love'. Its connotations are “deep and romantic”, wrote one of our readers in nominating it.

 

Pyt

This word was a popular choice for nominees, and is used as a comment to mean something like 'never mind': 'I forgot to wash my coffee cup before I went out this morning. Pyt!' It's “important to choose your battles wisely and sometimes the best response is just to shrug your shoulders and say 'pyt!',” writes reader Anita.

 

Tak

The Danish word for 'thank you' received several nominations. Heard “every day several times”, according to Abhay in Vanløse, it received praise for being short and polite.

 

Hygge

Yes, the most famous Danish word of them all is amongst our nominations, evidence that readers are yet to tire of it. So what does it actually mean? More on that here.

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WEATHER

Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and autumn, spring and summer)

Winter in Denmark is a shock to the system, particularly for those of us who come from warmer, drier climes. But if you know where to look, you can find the right rain gear to keep the Danish drops off your head.

Bicycling in wet Danish weather doesn't have to be
Bicycling in wet Danish weather doesn't have to be "træls" (bothersome) if you're kitted out in the right water resistant gear. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

This roundup is unsponsored and the fruits of much googling, review-reading, and recommendation-begging by a sad, damp American.

Where to shop? 

To try things on, the best places are Intersport, Spejder Sport (home to Columbia, Patagonia, Asivik and FjällRaven) and Eventyr Sport, as well as outdoor outfitter Friluftsland.  

To shop the Danish way, put in the hours combing the racks at your local second hand or charity shop. If you strike out there, search by brand on DBA.dk or Facebook marketplace.

Rain jackets: Regnjakker

Your rain jacket is your second skin in Denmark during the damp winter months. Helly Hansen is a go-to brand, according to a Johannes, a Jutland native who offered his recommendation to The Local. The Norwegian company offers well-made jackets at a reasonable price point, ranging between 600 and about 1,500 kroner. These can be ordered direct from the manufacturer or on Amazon.de (the German one) for delivery in Denmark—if you want to try before you buy, go to Eventyr Sport.  

A budget pick is McKinley, which you can pick up at Intersport. These cost between 200-400 kroner.

The classic Scandinavian splurge rain jacket is Fjällräven—these are available in stand-alone Fjällräven stores, Friluftsland, Eventyr, and Spejder Sport, and cost a not-unsubstantial percentage of your rent starting at about 2,500 kroner and climbing north of 6,000 kroner.

Rain pants: regnbukser

Rain pants are a novelty to those of us who don’t come from bike cultures, but after your first rainy day cycling commute leaves you at the office with drenched trousers you’ll understand the appeal.

The New York Times’ product review service Wirecutter highlights the Marmot PreCip Eco Pant as the best pick—here in Denmark, they’re available for men and women at outdoor gear purveyor Friluftsland for about 700-800 kroner.

McKinley also makes rain pants that will set you back around 200 kroner.  

Some of Patagonia’s rain pants, which we found at Spejder Sport, have side zippers for ventilation—if you’re on the sweatier side, this may be a good call. (Their website also proudly reports these rainpants roll up to the “size of a corncob.”)

Rain sets: regnsæt

Also on the market are rain sets, which are coordinating jacket-pant combos like this one from Asivik. It’s cheaper to buy the set rather than both pieces separately, but for many people it makes more sense to invest in a higher-quality rain jacket and go for a more affordable rain pant.

Backpack rain covers: regnslag til rygsæk

Backpack rain covers are an easy buy and cost orders of magnitude less than the laptops and other electronics they protect. Snag one on the way out the door at Intersport, Spejder Sport, or most anywhere that sells rain gear. Expect to pay about 60-180 kroner—just make sure it fits your backpack.

Gloves: Handsker

Your favourite fluffy mittens may not be well suited for your bike commute. GripGrab, a Danish company popular all over the world, offers a variety of waterproof and winterproof gloves— including the lobster style, which has split fingers that allow you the dexterity to ring your bell, pull your hand break and do a Spock impression at a moment’s notice. These are available at specialty cycling stores.

Rain boots: Gummistøvler

Perfectly serviceable budget rainboots are available at the same retail stores discussed above—though for longevity, look for boots made from rubber rather than PVC.

At a higher price point, Hunter rainboots are sold by Danish online retail giant Zalando and keep you dry and in style.

Tretorn is a Swedish brand over a hundred years old—their rain boots are available for both men and women through Spejder Sport and, of course, their website.

For women: available on the German Amazon website is the Asgard Women’s Short Rain Waterproof Chelsea Boot, one of the best reviewed women’s rain boots that doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing clown shoes.

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