Danish word of the day: Svedig

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.


Svedig sko, mand!

Sweet trainers, dude!

Jeg var til koncert med Drew Sycamore for leden, kæft det var svedigt.

I went to a Drew Sycamore concert the other day, it was incredibly cool.

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Danish word of the day: Fråderen

Today's word is a slang expression that could have you licking your lips.

Danish word of the day: Fråderen

What is fråderen?

The verb at fråde gives rise to some strong images, meaning literally “to foam at the mouth”. It’s not an equivalent to “dribble”, which is at savle, and unlike at savle, it only really has negative connotations.

You can savle in response to the smell of delicious food, for example, but if you fråder, you “secrete foamy spit in the mouth — because of aggressiveness, having a fit etc.,” according to the dictionary definition.

In fact, at fråde can also used metaphorically to mean going into a rage, skipping entirely the step where you froth at the mouth in anger.

In contrast, fråderen means something very positive or enticing, and it’s therefore important not to confuse the two, even though the latter word is derived from the former.

There are a few Danish slang words that are formed by shortening another word and adding the definite article -en on the end. These generally emerged in the 1990s when children shortened or changed the words, although fråderen is thought to come from a little later, around the early 2000s.

We’ve previously written about grineren and nederen, which are probably the most common slang words of this type, and elaborated a little on how the words were formed and shortened from their original, more formal guises.

Why do I need to know fråderen?

At fråde is a Danish verb you might not hear very often, while fråderen has probably given at a new lease of life by bringing it to the attention of a younger generation.

As alluded to above, fråderen is a positive adjective used to describe something that looks good, tastes good or generally seems very enticing. Presumably so much so that it makes you lick your lips in overdrive, causing the metaphorical foaming at the mouth.

Another way of using fråderen is to have fråderen på, literally (and clumsily translated to) “have a foaming at the mouth episode going on”. This means to feel excessively hungry with a particular craving for sweets or tasty snacks. A more common Danish word with the same meaning as this is lækkersulten (“tasty-hungry”).


Ej, har du popcorn med?! Kæft hvor fråderen, mand.

Oh wow, have you brought popcorn? My gosh, how enticing, man.

Kan du ikke købe de der doughnuts, når du går ned i Aldi? De er simpelthen så fråderen.

Would you mind buying those doughnuts they have when you go to Aldi? They really are quite delicious.