Danish word of the day: Mums

The Local (
The Local ([email protected])
Danish word of the day: Mums

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Today’s word will have you licking your lips.


What is mums? 

Mums is a kind of onomatopoeic word in Danish. You say it to describe a nice-tasting food, so it's about equivalent to 'yum!' or 'mmmm!' in English.

That similarity makes it clear where this word comes from. It's simply inspired by the appreciative sounds people tend to make while enjoying the perfect kanelsnegle (cinnamon roll), to use a tasty Danish example.

But like most parts of language, it can all change depending on the context, so you might say 'mm, mums' in a sarcastic voice if someone mentions a distinctly un-appetising meal too.


Why do I need to know mums?

Danish has a similar related word to mums, also onomatopoeic and similarly best suited to informal use: namnam.

The two are almost interchangeable and quite babyish in their nature. Nevertheless, they are good alternatives to the classic dictionary translation of “tasty”, lækker. Lækker can mean a range of different things depending on context including "tasty" but also "high quality" and "sexually attractive".

Another, more formal, alternative is velsmagende, literally “well-tasting”.


Mums! Den her småkager smager af mere.

Yum! These biscuits are very moreish.

Vi fik sushi og hvidvin på vores dateaften. Det var mums.

We had sushi and white wine on our date night. It was yummy.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also