Colour words in Danish

Words for colours in Danish (dansk), their meanings and related expressions.

Note: when talking about neuter nouns, you add a t to end of the colour word. For example, Grasset er grønt (The grass is green). With plural nouns you add an e to the end of the colour word, e.g. sorte biler (black cars).


General colour-related words:

  • farve = colour, tint, hue, dye
  • få farve / kulør = to colour
  • farvede = coloured
  • farverig / blomstrende = colourful
  • farveblindhed = colour blindness
  • lyse = light (coloured)
  • mørke = dark (coloured)

black sort [soɐ̯d̥] - black, illicit (without incurring taxation)

Etymology: from the Old Norse svartr (black), from the Proto-Germanic *swartaz (black), from Proto-Indo-European *swordo- (dirty, dark, black).

Expressions:

  • skrevet sort på hvidt = written in black and white
  • en sort liste = a black list
  • sorte får = black sheep
  • sorte hul = black hole
  • Sortehavet = The Black Sea

white hvid [viðˀ] - white, blank

Etymology: from the Old Norse hvítr (white), from the Proto-Germanic *hwītaz (white), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱweytós (bright, white).

Expressions:

  • hvid dværg = white dwarf
  • hvid elefant = white elephant
  • Hviderusland = Belarus (“White Russia”)
  • hvidkål = whtie cabbage
  • hvidløg = garlic (“white onion”)
  • hvidvin = white wine

red rød [ʁœ̞ðˀ] - red, blushing

Etymology: from the Old Norse rauðr (red), from the Proto-Germanic *raudaz (red), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁rewdʰ- (red).

Expressions:

  • rødkål = cabbage
  • rød glente = red kite
  • rødlig = reddish
  • rødvin = red wine

yellow gul [ɡ̊uːˀl] - yellow

Etymology: from the Old Norse gulr (yellow), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰelh₃- (to flourish, green, yellow).

Expressions:

  • gult kort = yellow card
  • gulsot = jaundice (“yellow sickness”)
  • gule trøje = yellow jersey

blue blå [b̥lɔːˀ] - blue

Etymology: from the Old Norse blár (blue), from the Proto-Germanic *blēwaz (blue). from Proto-Indo-European *bʰleh₁-. (blue, dark blue, grey, black).

Expressions:

  • blålig = bluish
  • blålig grøn = bluish
  • blåt blod / blågrøn = bluish green, cyan, teal
  • blåmejse = blue tit
  • blåhval = blue whale
  • blåbær = blueberry

green grøn [ɡ̊ʁɶnˀ] - green

Etymology: from the Old Norse grœnn (green, fresh), from the Proto-Germanic *grōniz (green). from Proto-Indo-European *gʰreh₁- (to grow, become green).

Expressions:

  • grønlig = greenish
  • grønt område = green space
  • grøn te = green tea
  • grøntsag = green vegetable
  • grønspætte = green woodpecker
  • grønthandler = greengrocer’s
  • grøn te = green tea

brown brun [b̥ʁuːˀn] - brown

Etymology: from the Old Norse brúnn (brown, bright [metal]), from the Proto-Germanic *brūnaz (grey, brown). from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerH- (grey, brown).

Expressions:

  • brunlig = brownish
  • brun bjørn = brown bear
  • brunhåret = brown-haired

pink lyserød [ˈlysəʁœ̞ðˀ] / pink - pink


orange orange [oˈʁɑŋɕə] - orange


grey grå [gʁɔːˀ] - grey, deal, dismal, drab, dull, gloomy, leaden, mousy, sullen

Etymology: from the Old Norse grár (grey), from the Proto-Germanic *grēwaz (grey). from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰreh₁- (to grow, become green).

Expressions:

  • at gråne = to go/become grey
  • gråt hår = grey hair

purple lilla [ˈlela] = purple, mauve, lilac

Etymology: from the French lilas (lilac).


Other colours

  • sølvfarvet [ˈsølfɑːvəð] = silver
  • guld [ɡ̊ul] = gold
  • turkis [tˢyɐ̯ˈkʰiːˀsˈ] = turquoise

Hear some Danish words for colours:

Information about colours in Danish
https://www.speaklanguages.com/danish/vocab/colours
https://ielanguages.com/danish-colors.html

Etymologies from: Wiktionary

Information about Danish | Useful phrases | Silly phrases | Numbers | Colours | Family words | Time | Terms of endearment | Tongue twisters | Tower of Babel | Learning materials

Colours in Germanic languages

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Colour words in other languages

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