Posted: 13 March 2018 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  3132
Joined  2007-01-30

From a review of a TV drama.

This was a hygge drama: the kind of show you want to watch on a chilly winter night while wearing fuzzy pajamas, wrapping your legs in a chenille throw, drinking chamomile tea, and lighting vanilla bean-scented candles.

New to me but as it’s used with no explanation I can only assume it’s been around in English for a while. As one site explains it’s “a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special.” Anyone else come across it?

Posted: 14 March 2018 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  6692
Joined  2007-01-03

It’s in the OED:

Esp. with reference to Danish culture: a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being; contentment from simple pleasures, such as warmth, food, friends, etc.

In English use from 1960 for the noun, 1963 for the adjective.

Posted: 14 March 2018 05:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  4700
Joined  2007-01-29

I’m surprised you haven’t run across it before; it’s become wildly internet-popular in the last few years.  It’ll go away and be replaced by some other cute-and-fuzzy Foreign Word of the Moment.

Posted: 14 March 2018 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  1300
Joined  2007-03-01

I’m surprised you haven’t run across it before

Me too. But here in the UK it has only really been current for about five or six years. For example I searched The Times for the word, and the first instance of its use is from 2003 (‘Danes love to create a warm and cosy communal feeling; they refer to it as hygge). After that come 9 results in as many years, and 170 results from August 2012 to the present. 

Its popularisation in recent years solved one mystery for me; my mother’s family used to have a word of their own, higgish, to describe a person who was pleasant and easy to be with, or an occasion or an atmosphere that was relaxed and happy. None of them could say where they had got it from. But when I first heard hygge , a decade or so ago, although I knew of no connection between the family and Denmark it seemed to me that must surely be the origin. I asked my mother if they had had any Danish friends and said yes, when she was very small (she was the youngest of a large family) they had had neighbours who had lived in Denmark, and it was quite possible that her elder siblings had picked it up fromthem.

Posted: 14 March 2018 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Total Posts:  916
Joined  2013-10-14

I’m surprised you haven’t run across it before; it’s become wildly internet-popular in the last few years.

I might have run across it, but I don’t recall. I tend not to look up every trendy word popularized by the internet.

As with many foreign words, it has a few pronunciations. I think the more common one for English speakers would be, “hoo-ga” or “hʊɡə” or “h(j)uːɡə”.

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