Danish word of the day: BMO

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

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash and Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Today’s Danish word of the day, BMO, puts a youthful twist on an old classic.


What is BMO? 

The title of this article is not completely accurate, because BMO is an acronym, not a word.

It stands for bolle med ost, meaning “a bread bun with cheese”, also sometimes known as an ostemad (literally, “cheese meal”).

This is a hugely popular offering at Danish cafes and bakeries and has been for decades. It consists of the titular bread roll with cheese, usually with a generous spreading of butter.

As such, the closest relative of BMO in the English language is probably “BLT”, the popular abbreviation given to a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.

Why do I need to know BMO?

A bolle med ost has been a staple food for generations of Danes but even if you’ve lived in Denmark for many years, you won’t have heard of a BMO until 2023.

That is because the acronym is entirely new and appears to have emerged in Copenhagen at some point this year before being enthusiastically adopted (mostly by young people) around the country.

Such is the extent of its breakthrough, it is among the nominees for broadcaster DR and the Danish Language Council’s poll “Youth Word of the Year”.

According to the judge who nominated the word for the poll, Marianne Rathje, it reflects a trend of seeing something fancy in the mundane, DR writes.


It is also interesting in that, unlike many new words which enter the Danish language, BMO is itself Danish and not a loan word from English.

So if you want to sound like you have your finger on the pulse of Denmark's language, you could order a BMO with your coffee next time you get the chance. But a word of caution: it appears to be a bit of an opinion-splitter. I’ve already heard my Danish Gen-Z brother-in-law say it casually but my wife, a Millennial, bristles at the sound of it and describes it as the “most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard”.

According to her, it’s “easier to just say bolle med ost”.


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