Danish expression of the day: Over stok og sten

Sticks and stones (probably) won't break your bones in today's expression of the day.

What is over stok og sten?

This expression translates directly to “over stick and stone” or “over cane and stone”.

Its meaning, however, is not related to the old-fashioned (and very much debunked) English expression “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”.

Rather, it means to do something as quickly as possible with little thought or consideration for potential obstacles or barriers that might be in the way, with the potential to trip you up.

READ ALSO: Danish expression of the day: Spænder ben

If you go over stok og sten, then, you proceed roughshod (figuratively), even recklessly, in an effort to get to your destination or objective as quickly as you possibly can.

Similar English expressions are “at breakneck speed” or “more haste, less speed”, although the latter is more a forewarning that rushing things could cost you time in the end, rather than a simple statement that you’re making haste without due precaution.

Why do I need to know over stok og sten?

There’s a fair bit of debate about the origins of the expression, but Danish language regulator Dansk Sprognævn states that the “sticks and stones” refer to terrain and that riding over them is to ignore the possible bumps in the road ahead and speed forwards as fast as you can.

An alternative explanation is that the phrase comes from craftsmen who, in years gone by, painted trussed walls “over the (timber) posts and stones” in order to speed up the job, with the side effect of leaving the wall painted all in one colour, a less desirable aesthetic outcome.


Når hun tager opvasken går det over stok og sten. Der bliver kastet til højre og venstre med bestik og tallerkener.

She does the washing up at 100 miles per hour. Cutlery and plates fly about all over the place.

Det gik over stok og sten på vej igennem skoven, og det endte med at jeg kom til at vride om på anklen.

It was full speed ahead through the forest and I ended up spraining my ankle.

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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.