Each to his own, as the saying might go. Well, it isn’t any different in the Danish Alps in the Winter.
The proud people of the Alps have their own vocabulary, which other cultures have assimilated over time. These terms are only used in the Winter months, when life is hard and tempers are high. Here is a short list of them:
Toque – This classic woven hat is traditionally made from the fur of the Danish Buffalo. It is said to have been handed down from the Vikings, who used it in the Summer months to transport warm water, and in the Winter months to “cool the head in times of hot-headedness” – excerpt from “History of The Danish Alps” by C.Y. Ranny.
Kerfuffle – A fiery discussion with your Mother in-law. In the Danish Alps, the discussion starts off in a pleasant way, called Kerf. The Kerf phase is characterized by smiles, laughter and the acceptance of each other for what they are. The problem usually comes when Danish Snaps is involved. Then the discussion turns ugly, the Uffle phase, when you find out that you are no good, and never have been, you are definitely not suited to raise your Children, and you speak Danish like an addle-headed American. That last part being true, even if you are not an American!
Skookum – This is synonymous with the sense of well-being. It might have occurred just after your first ascent of one of the Twin Mystery Spires, or perhaps having scored your first cup of hot chocolate, without having to marry the innkeeper’s daughter! It might also mean that you have inadvertently parked your Jutland Jeep too close to the edge of the road, and it became the sound made, as it disappeared from view. This is only considered good, if your Jeep was on its last legs, and you knew it was time that it journeyed off to Valhalla, or the happy hunting grounds, or whatever they call it, when a vehicle is past its prime, and needs to be put out to pasture.
Toonie – This last term is another classic of the Alps! It come from the Folk Song: “Toonie, En Pæn Pige fra Mit Nabolaug. It has been used to coin many a phrase, at least 2 that I can think of, that is, a 2-phrase coiner.
Remember to use these terms, though only in the Winter months, otherwise you’ll end up laughing all the way to the bank! You see, it is not legal to use these terms in the warm months, without paying a fine, for incorrect usage of the Native Language of the Alps!