What a lovely word! But I noted that it did not always appear in in the several dictionaries I checked.<2020 “C’mon, Get Happy
HYGGE: Here’s a little Danish for you. No, not the sweet, sticky breakfast treat, but the indulgence of self-care, comfort and relaxation we all crave and deserve — and the world’s happiest country has perfected — after a busy holiday season. What is hygge? Well in Denmark, where the Danes have pretty much nailed the concept, it is said you know it when you feel it — ‘it being a sense of contentment, coziness and a focus on the simple pleasures of life. But it’s also a joy of being more present: for your family, friends and even yourself. By creating simple rituals, you can incorporate hygge into your daily life so that it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event.”—AARP.org, 21 January>
When I did a Wordwizzard search to see if we had ever discussed this word before, I found that we had and here is the definition that Woz provided in his 2018 response, which was the last response, in Bobinwales 2013 ‘paraphernalia’ posting:
And here’s what the Oxford English Dictionary had to say:<2018 “HYGGE (Danish) – The emotional warmth created by being with good friends and well-loved family. The idea that hygge gets you through the winter, they say, but it’s more than that – it gets you through life. It is specifically about the “the reassuring emotional warmth, comfort and security that comes from being with good friends or family.” It is something you feel and you aim to create and return to.”
hygge: noun and adjective
Pronunciation: [[from other source]] hoo-gah [[I never did learn the OED pronunciation code. (>:) ]]
Origin: A borrowing from Danish. Etymon: Danish hygge.
Etymology: < Danish hygge (19th cent.) < Norwegian hygge, (Nynorsk) hyggje comfort, cosiness, friendly atmosphere, good cheer.
Especially 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 quot. 1960 with reference to the Danish system of cooperative farming.
<1960 “Today the Denmark farmer has so much ‘hygge’ (comfort) that it is now feared that he may become soft.”—Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin), 29 February, page 28/3>
<1967 “Older people . . . worshipped something called ‘hygge’ . . . Now ‘hygge’ was difficult to define. It was a feeling. It was the cozy feeling you had when you sat around a warm fire sipping tea with relatives you liked on a snowy Sunday afternoon.”—San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, 26 March (Sunday Punch section), page 1/4 >
<1977 “Other Scandinavians readily admit they do not have hygge. They blame their inhibitions on the isolated, rural communities from which most spring.”—Washington Post (Nexis), 15 July, page A24>
<2001 “Find a table in the sun and order a foaming glass of Tuborg beer or a chilled akvavit, and you'll be in an advanced state of hygge before you know it.”—Australian Gourmet Traveller, August, page 134/2>
<2015 “Christmas time, when loved ones sit close together on a cold rainy night, is a true moment of hygge.”—Communities, Summer, page 26>
Especially with reference to Danish culture: that inspires or engenders feelings of contentment or well-being as from experiencing cosiness, comfort, social harmony, etc.; pleasant, harmonious; cosy, comfortable.
The following are some recent quotes from archived sources:<1963 “The Danes have a word for the decorating theme of this apartment, ‘Hygge’ which means everything is cozy. People . . . will want the ‘Hygge Look’.”—Sunday Bulletin (Racine, Wisconsin), 10 March, page a9/2>
<1977 “On a sunny summer day here, relaxed crowds stroll past shops in the Stroeget . . . or sip beer at cheerful out-door restaurants in the Tivoli's oriental fantasy park. It is all very hygge.”— Washington Post (Nexis), 15 July, page a24>
2010 “Cafes and restaurants . . . spill out onto the pavements—. . . most will turn on gas heaters or provide you with blankets to help along that hygge (‘cosy’) feeling.”— Rough Guide Denmark, (edition 2), page 80>
_______________________________<2015 “Posen has a release show at House of Common . . . for her new album Mirror Maze. The album is eclectic and considered, two words that as well describe Posen’s background. Mirror maze starts with the instrumental Hygge which serves as an introduction of what’s to come.”—The Ottawa Citizen (Ottowa, Ontario, Canada, page 39>
<2017 “Nordic interiors are minimalist. So to prep for going hygge, you might want to try the KonMari Method, . . . The goal is to tame the clutter by keeping only things that ‘spark joy.’”—Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois), 2 February, page 5-4>
<2018 “Other trends have since appeared on the scene, including Hygge . . . , which places high value on invitingly warm, cozy environments and good interior acoustics.”—The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 19 August, page H1>
<2019 “Holiday décor adds to the hygge vibe of the three canvas shelters on the hotel’s terrace.”—Chicago Tribune (Chicago Illinois), 15 December, 6-9>
Ken Greenwald – January 22, 2020