Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spotted: Words That Make You Go Hmmmm...

Context is so important when living in a foreign country. It's the difference between thinking it quaint that Danes love to write "Satan" in graffiti to realizing it's actually a Danish curse... Unfortunately, in the absence of comprehending jokes in Danish, my daily doses of humor in Denmark have been reduced to a practically childish, grade-school level. Here are a few of my favorite recent giggle-inducing discoveries.

Sluts abound in Copenhagen. Having nothing to do with questionable morals or loose women, it's just the word for final when used alone. It can also be used in sentences like the one below, which translates more like an ending or "No more gray days!" It's also only funny in print as it's pronounced more like "sloot".

Even funnier are slutspurts which happen fairly frequently as they are final or end of season sales. I got a good belly laugh over thinking about what happens when my favorite kitchen supply store "Kok" -pronounced like a certain male body part - has a slutspurt.

As you are now discovering too, most of these juvenile encounters can be put into one of two categories - bad words or bodily functions. Below is a good example of the latter.

Fart in Danish means speed - words involving fart generally relate to travel or speed of movement, like farthinder which is a speed bump or turistfart which is not a rude noise made by a foreigner but, as when written in large letters on the side of a bus, simply means touring.

You could combine all these into one big English bathroom-humorous mess by saying, "Farten til "Kok" fordi de har en enorm slutspurt." [If you really want to try it: Fahrt-n tee cock for-dee day hah en enorm sloot-spurt.] Don't worry about offending anyone over here - you'd only be saying, "Go to 'Kitchen' because they're having a big final sale."