Danish word of the day: Svedig

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Danish word of the day: Svedig

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Feeling hot? It's time for the word of the day.


What is svedig?

Svedig is the adjective form of sved, "sweat": in other words: sweaty.

The verb at svede, "to sweat", also comes from the same root: Jeg sveder for meget når jeg cykler op ad bakken, så jeg er nødt til at tage bussen på arbejde ("I sweat too much when I cycle uphill so I have to take the bus to work").

The adjective, svedig, can mean either to be soaked with sweat or to be sweating, much like you would use "sweaty" to describe either a thing or a person in English.

Why do I need to know svedig?

If you want a fresh-sounding slang adjective, equivalent to saying "cool", "sweet", "awesome" and so on, then svedig is a good option. It's a bit more up to date than the somewhat tired-sounding fedt (literally "fat", but also used to mean "cool" or "great" in the slang sense).

Other similar slang words are sej ("tough"), kanon ("cannon") and stærk ("strong"). The least cool-sounding word for "cool" is probably super ("super").


The new meaning of svedig as something too cool to actually sweat emerged relatively recently. Dictionary site ordnet lists examples from 1998 and 2003 which seem to suggest it underwent an evolution from describing music that can make you sweat from dancing, towards being a more general positive adjective.

In 2011 newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad reported that "the word svedig has taken a new meaning in the language of the youth".

"Svedig (now) refers (not only) to perspiration and dripping foreheads, but means something more along the lines of exciting, fantastic, cool... in all cases, something really good," it stated.


Svedige sko, mand!

Sweet trainers, dude!

Jeg var til koncert med Jada for leden, det var ret svedigt.

I went to a Jada concert the other day, it was pretty cool.


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