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Danish-English Genealogy Dictionary


Last updated: February 26, 2011

For those of you who are (or are planning on) doing your own research, I have put together a small genealogy centered dictionary of danish words that I have encountered again and again while doing my own research. You will find that these are invaluable words to be familiar with - memorize them!  Note that Danish has three additional letters in its alphabet: æ, ø, and å (old style: aa); they follow after the letter z.

The following links lead to other pages on my website dealing with: My Home Page is where I introduce myself and the reasons for my website coming into being in the first place. Download Database contains information about the structure and contents of my database - which is a completely interconnected family tree; it is where you can download the GEDCOM in zipped format. Links contains links to the Danish, Swiss and other genealogy web sites that I have found the most useful. The Information for Genealogists page has information that I have gathered while doing my own research: such as what are the most useful types of sources, some aids for reading the old handwritten records, and Danish cultural information that I hope other researcher's will find helpful and interesting. Some Danish History has a concise history of Danmark and the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Under My Ancestors can be found an ahnentafel report on my own ancestry.

If you have any additions to, or comments on, this dictionary please feel free to contact me at: Norman Lee Madsen


A

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

adel

noble

|

anden gang

second time

adelsmand

nobleman

|

apoteker

pharmacist

af

of, from

|

april

April

afdød

deceased

|

arbejder, arbejdsmand

unskilled labourer

afgangen (ved døden)

departed (deceased)

|

Arkeliemester, Artillimester

Master Gunner

alder

age

|

arvinger

inheritor, heir

almisse

alms

|

august

August

amme

nursemaid

|

avl

farming, breeding

amt

county

|

avlsbruger, avlsmand

small farmer

anden

second

|


B

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

bager

baker

|

borgmester

mayor, burgomaster

baptisat

baptism

|

borgerskab

trade license in a borough

barn

child

|

brændevinsbrænder

distiller of spirits

barsel

childbirth

|

broder, bror

brother

barselseng

childbed (giving birth)

|

broderdatter

brother's daughter

bedsteforældre

grandparents

|

brodersøn

brother's son

begravet

buried

|

brudevielse

married

beliggende

situated at

|

bryllup, brøllup

wedding

bestyrer

estate manager

|

brødre

brothers (plural form)

blind

blind

|

by

town, village

bo, boet, boede

reside

|

byfoged

town bailiff

bolsmand

smallholder (1-2 td. land)

|

byskriver

town clerk, notary

boende

residing

|

bødker

cooper, barrelmaker

bog

book

|

børn

children

bogbinder

bookbinder

|

børnebørn

grandchildren

bonde

peasant farmer, serf

|

bøssemager, bøssesmed

gunsmith

bavnemester, bognemester

signalman

|

bøsseskytte

marksman

bopæl

residence

|

baadfører

helmsman

borger

burgher (middleclass citizen)

|

baaret

borne, carried


C

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

cand. jur.

Bachelor of Law

|

confirmeret

(see: konfirmeret)

cand. mag.

Bachelor of Arts

|

Constabel

(see: Konstabel)

cautionsmænd

witness, co-signer

|

copuleret

(see: kopuleret)

cautionisterne

witness, co-signer

|

curator

(see: kurator)


D

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

dag(e)

day(s)

|

desponsat

betrothal, engagement

daglejer

day-labourer

|

dom

legal judgement

daler

dollar

|

dommer

justice of the peace

datter

daughter

|

drejer

woodturner (lathe operator)

de

they, those, the

|

dreng

boy

december

December

|

døbt

christened, baptized

degnen

The deacon

|

død

died, dead

degnegaard

deacon's residence

|

dømt

sentenced (judgement)

dem

them

|

døttre

daughters (plural form)

den

it, that, the

|

døv

deaf

der

there

|

daab

christening, baptism

deres

their

|

daabsattest

certificate of baptism


E

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

edele

(see: ædel)

|

emigrere

emigrate

efter

after

|

ene

alone, one

efterlade, efterlatte

bereaved

|

enke

widow

efterlevende

deceased's surviving kin

|

enkestand

widowhood

ejer

owner

|

enkemand

widower

embedemand

official

|

er

is, are


F

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

faddere

sponsors at baptism

|

forlovet

engaged (to be married)

far, fader

father

|

formand

council chairman

farbroder, faderbroder

father's brother

|

forpagter

leaseholder

farfar, farfader

father's father

|

fortov, fortog

footpath, pavement

farmor, farmoder

father's mother

|

forældre

parents

faster

father's sister

|

fosterbarn

foster child

fattig

poor, indigent

|

fra

from, of

fattiglem

pauper

|

fredag

Friday

februar

February

|

Frue

Mrs. (only for upper class)

felbereder, feldbereder

tanner

|

fruentimmer

woman, virago

femte

fifth

|

frøken

young lady, Miss

Feltskær

Military Surgeon

|

fyrmester

lighthouse-keeper

Fenrik, Fændrik

Sub-Lieutenant, Ensign

|

fædrene

paternal, ancestral

fisker

fisherman

|

fæstebonde

copyhold farmer

fjerde

fourth

|

fæster

copyholder

fodgarder

guardsman

|

fætter

male cousin

foged

bailiff

|

fødested

birthplace

forhen

formerly, previously

|

født

born

folketælling

census

|

før

before, stout

forlovere

best men (marriage witnesses)

|

først

first


G

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

gammel (gl.)

old, aged, elder

|

gudmoder

godmother

gartner

gardener

|

guldsmed

goldsmith

garver

tanner

|

gæstegiver

publican

gift (med), abbreviation: g.m.

married (to)

|

gaard (gård)

farm, courtyard, garden

glarmester

glazier

|

gaarde

farms, gardens

god

good

|

gaardbeboer

farm resident

gods (i.e. ryttergods)

property, estate

|

gaardejer

farm-owner

godsejer

squire, estate-owner

|

gaardmand

farm copyholder

grund

leased plot on a farm

|


H

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

ham

him

|

holtzforster

forest steward

handelsmand

tradesman, businessman

|

hugger

hewer, logger

handskemager

glover

|

hus

house

hans

his

|

husbonde

head of household

har

has, have

|

husejer

homeowner

hattemager

hatter

|

husfoged

advocate, lawyer

havde

had

|

husholderske

housekeeper

hellig

holy, pious

|

husmand

smallholder

Hl. (abbreviation of hellig)

title for a clergyman

|

husmoder

housewife

Hellig Tre Konger

Epiphany (January 6)

|

hustru

wife

hende

her

|

hvad

what

hendes

hers

|

hvem

who

Herre (Hr.)

Mr. (only for upper class)

|

hvor

where

herred

district

|

hyrde

shephard, herdsman

herredsfoged

district bailiff

|

højadel

a noble of the peerage

hjemme

at home

|

højbaadsmand

boatswain

hjemmedøbt

home baptism

|

haandværker

craftsman, tradesman


I

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

i

in, at

|

indsidder

tenant farmer

ikke

not, no (negative)

|

introduceret

introduced into church

imellem

between, among

|

isenkræmmer

ironmonger


J

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

januar

January

|

jordløs

landless

jeg

I

|

juli

July

Jomfru

Miss (only for upper class)

|

juni

June

jord

land

|

jæger

hunter, game-keeper

jordbrug

farming

|


K

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

kaldet

called

|

kongelig

royal

kapellan

curate

|

Konstabel

Artilleryman, Gunner

karl

farmhand (block)

|

kopuleret

married

kiereste

(see: kæreste)

|

kromand, krovært

innkeeper

kirke

church

|

kræmmer

shopkeeper

kirkebog

parish register

|

kuld

brood, litter

kirkebøger

parish registers

|

kundskab

knowledge

kirkegaard

church cemetary

|

kurator

trustee

kirkeværge

churchwarden, verger

|

kusine

female cousin

klokker

sexton, bell-ringer

|

Kvartermester

Quartermaster

kobbersmed

coppersmith

|

kvinde

woman

kokke

cook

|

kæmner

town treasurer

kokkepige

cook (feminine form)

|

kæreste

fiancé(e), sweetheart

komme

come

|

køb

purchase

kommune

municipality

|

købt

bought

kone

wife

|

København

Copenhagen

konfirmeret

confirmed

|

købmand, kjøbmand

merchant

konge

king

|

købstad

provincial town


L

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

landmand

farmer

|

linnedvæver

linen weaver

landsby

village

|

liv

life

landsdommer

chief justice

|

livstid

lifetime

landsret

high court

|

lod

portion, share

Landsting

provincial congress or diet

|

lods

pilot, steersman

lav

guild (i.e. skomagerlav)

|

lov(en)

statute, permission

lavværge, laugværge

guardian (for a widow)

|

læge

doctor

lejer

tenant

|

lærer

teacher

lig

corpse

|

lærling

apprentice

ligbærer

pallbearer

|

Løjtnant

Lieutenant

lille

little

|

lørdag

Saturday


M

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

madmoder

housewife

|

mester

master (in his profession)

mai

May

|

moster

mother's sister

maler

painter

|

mor, moder

mother

mand

man

|

morbroder

mother's brother

mandag

Monday

|

morfar, morfader

mother's father

mark (mk.)

a coin of the realm

|

mormor, mormoder

mother's mother

marts

March

|

murer

mason, bricklayer

Matrone

Mrs. (upper class matron)

|

murermester

master builder

matros

navy seaman

|

myndig

above age of majority

med

with

|

myndling

under age of majority

meget

very, much

|

mødte, møtte

present, in attendance

medhjælper

assistant

|

møller

miller

mejerist

dairyman

|

maaler

weight measurer

mejerske

dairymaid

|

maaneder

months

menighed

congregation

|

maaneder

months


N

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

navn

name

|

nuhavende

present

nemlig

namely

|

nuværende

present

niende

ninth

|

Nytaarsdag

New Year's Day

nogle

some

|

nær slægt

close family

nord

north

|

nær søskendebarn

near relation

november

November

|

næringsdrivende

tradesman

nu

now

|

nørre, nordre

northern


O

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

offentligt fruentimmer

prostitute

|

opførsel

behaviour, manners

og

and

|

ophold(sted)

residence

oktober

October

|

opsidder

farm manager

omkring (omk., o.)

circa

|

opvarter

waiter

onsdag

Wednesday

|

ottende

eighth

opdrage

educate, train

|

over

upper


P

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

parykmager

wigmaker

|

proprietær

landowner

pelsner

furrier

|

protokoller

register, ledger

penge

money

|

provst

dean (clergy)

pige

unmarried female

|

præste

clergyman

Pinse

Pentecost

|

præstegaard

rectory

plejebarn (plejebørn)

foster child (foster children)

|

paa

in, of

politibjent

police constable

|

Paaske

Easter

pottemager

potter

|

paatage

assume responsibility

prokurator

attorney

|

paategnet

endorsed, signed


Q

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

qvinde

(see: kvinde)

|

Qvartermester

(see: Kvartermester)


R

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

rebslager

rope-maker

|

rokkedrejer

spinning wheel woodturner

ridefoged

bailiff, mounted police

|

Rytter

Cavalryman

rigsdag

parliament

|

ryttergods(et)

cavalry property

rigsdaler, rixdaler

royal dollar

|

raadhus

town hall

ringere

less, minus

|

raadmand

alderman, councilman


S

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

sadelmager

saddler, upholsterer

|

sognedegn

deacon, parish clerk

sagfører

lawyer

|

sognefoged

parish bailiff

salig (sal., sl.)

blessed, deceased

|

sognepræst

parish priest

samme

the same

|

soldat

soldier

sammen

together

|

som

who, which

sandemand

reeve

|

spinder

spinner

sejler

sailor

|

spinderske

spinner (feminine form)

september

September

|

sted

place

selvejerbonde

freehold farmer

|

stedbarn (stedbørn)

step-child (step-children)

sepultis (sep., sepul.)

buried

|

stedfader, stiffader

stepfather

side

page

|

stednavn

place-name

siden

since

|

stilling

occupation

sig

oneself, themselves

|

store (st.)

big, great, large

sidst

last, latest

|

studiosus

scholar

sin

his, hers, one's

|

styrmand

coxswain

sin egen

his/her own

|

susceptrix (susc.)

godmother (witness)

sjette

sixth

|

svarer

representative

skibskaptajn

ship's captain

|

svend (i.e. snedkersvend)

journeyman

skibsror

navigator (of a ship)

|

sviger

in-law

skifte

probate

|

syd

south

skifteprotokoller

probate records

|

syvende

seventh

skilling (sk.)

smallest coin of the realm

|

søbruger

beachcomber

skipper, skibsfører

shipmaster (captain)

|

søfarende

mariner

skoleholder

schoolmaster

|

søfarer

seafarer

skomager

shoemaker

|

sølvsmed

silversmith

skovrider

forest steward

|

søn(ner)

son(s)

skriver

notary, secretary

|

søndag

Sunday

skrædder

tailor

|

sømand

seaman

skøde

deed of conveyance

|

søndre, sønder

southern

slettedaler (sldr.)

silver dollar

|

søskende

sibling

slægt

relative (i.e. cousin)

|

søskendebarn

sibling's child

smed

blacksmith

|

søskendebørn

sibling's children

snedker

joiner, cabinetmaker

|

søster

sister

sogn

parish

|

søstre

sisters (plural form)


T

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

Tamburmand

Drummer (military)

|

tobakshandler

tobacconist

testamente

last will and testament

|

tolder, toldskriver

customs officer

testes

witnesses

|

torsdag

Thursday

tiende

tenth, tithe

|

tredie

third

til

at, to

|

trolovet

betrothed

tirsdag

Tuesday

|

Trompeter

Trumpeter (military)

tjene

servant

|

træskomager

wooden shoemaker

tjener

work, earn

|

tærskemand, tærsker

thresher

tjenestefolk

servants, labourers

|

tømmermand, tømrer

carpenter

tjenestekarl

male servant, labourer

|

tønde (td.)

barrel, cask

tjenestepige

female servant, maid

|

tønder land (td.)

1.363 acres


U

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

udbygger

tenant farmer

|

undertagskone

retired woman

udenlands

abroad

|

under

under, lower

udi

from, in

|

Underofficer

Warrant Officer

udlandet

gone to a foreign country

|

ung

young

ugift

unmarried, single

|

ungefæhr

approximately

uge(r)

week(s)

|

ungkarl

bachelor

uldspinder

wool spinner

|

urmager

clockmaker, watchmaker

umyndige

under age (a minor)

|

urtegaardsmand

herb & produce farmer

undentag, undertag

retired

|

uægte

illegitimate

undentagskone

retired woman

|


V

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

vagter

guardsman

|

vie

marry

vagtmester

duty officer

|

viede, viet

wedded

var

was, were

|

vielse

wedding (ceremony)

vaskekone

laundress, washerwoman

|

vognmand

coachman, teamster

vejer

weigher

|

vogter

herdsman

veladel

honourable (literal: very noble)

|

vor

our

velagtbare

well respected

|

vurderingsmand

evaluator

velbyrdig

well-bred

|

væbner

esquire

velbaaren

well-borne

|

vægter

night watchman

velfornem(me)

distinguished

|

værge

guardian

vest

west

|

værtshusholder, værtshusmand

publican, innkeeper

vester, vestre

western

|

væver

weaver

vidnere

witnesses

|

væverske

weaver (feminine form)


Y

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

yngre

younger, young

|

 yngst

 youngest


Æ

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

ædel

see: adel

|

ægteskab

marriage

ædelsmand

see: adelsmand

|

ældst

eldest, oldest

ægte (med)

married (to)

|


Ø

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

øde

deserted

|

øster, østre

eastern

øre

a copper coin of the realm

|

Østersøen

the Baltic

øst

east

|

øvrige

remainder


Å

 (Aa)

Danish

English

|

Danish

English

|

aa

stream, brook

|

aar gammel

years old

aager

money lender

|

aarlig

yearly

aar

year

|

aarsag

cause, reason


Further Danish-English genealogical oriented word lists can be found on the following websites:

ˇ  The Danish State Archive Genealogical Dictionary

ˇ  The FamilySearch website has a Danish Genealogical Word List

ˇ  Webster's Online Dictionary has a Danish-English Translation page

ˇ  Google has an excellent free service for translating documents and websites at Google translate


| Home Page | Download Database | Information for Genealogists | Links | Some Danish History |
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