Flag of Denmark in front of Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark. Photographed by Niels Bosboom.
Flag of Denmark. Photo: Niels Bosboom

My mate said, and added: “I figured you’d get a kick out of that”. And of course I did!

Some of you might have come across this piece of information while browsing the infinite void that we call “the Internet”. After some research, I found out that the word to express these two meanings in Danish is “gift”, which brings a whole new level of greatness to the situation.

Just imagine the infinite number of puns that the Danes must be enjoying. I feel left out already. Also, imagine how much pleasure you’d get when walking around an English-speaking country and reading “GIFT SHOP” above the door of some store!

If any Danish linguist would be so kind as to share with me the etymology of this term, I’d be forever grateful. I’m just very curious to find out how this homograph came to exist. I mean, we can all come up with some personal conclusions, can’t we?

About the Author Agustina Marianacci

I’ve been actively studying the English language since the age of 5, when my mother decided that speaking English would be an asset for me in the future. I don’t think she anticipated how much of an asset and what an enormous part of my life it would turn into. I’m now a full time English-Spanish translator, editor and interpreter living in Wellington, New Zealand, blogging about languages, this beautiful profession and other such things at translationswitham.com.

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