Favorite false friends

Tis’ the season for temperatures and Netflix season premieres to drop. Whilst spending your staycation binge watching take a moment to spot a false friend or two when skimming the subtitles in Danish – I promise you, both Netflix and HBO offer plenty of them. False friends are deceptive Danish words that are deviously close to similar sounding words in English – but the similar English word means something completely different. Oh, and yes – vice versa.

These are a few of my “favorite” friends:

English to Danish:

  • Warehouse = varehus (department store red.). Don’t ask where the men’s shirts are located when you enter the warehouse. Just don’t.
  • Back bone = bagben (the back legs red.). You might work out those back legs at the gym, but working on a stronger backbone requires a different kind of practice.
  • Scum = skum (foam red.). If she calls you scum, it’s not a (tasty) compliment!


Danish to English:

  • Indre by (city center red.) = Inner city. No, Bettina, I know for a fact that you didn’t buy that handmade, organic sweater in a tiny, local shop in the hood.
  • Blå bog (a Who’s Who publication red.) = Blue Book aka the National Income and Expenditure – in other words, a slightly different ballpark.
  • Chef (boss or manager red.) = chef. Has your private chef been a pain in the ass all week as well? You should fire him. You can.


Same same but different.


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