Like a cup of hot cocoa topped with melty marshmallows, some words have the power to make us feel comfy on cold winter days. Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is the epitome of these types of cozy words. A Danish word that’s been added to English dictionaries, it perfectly describes that feeling of comfortable conviviality that spews contentment and well-being. (And, doesn't it just make you want to cozy up in a warm blanket like that cute cat? Well, you can!)
The Danish people say hygge is fundamental to their culture and that it includes many pleasures they associate with everyday living, including relaxing with friends, enjoying good food, and lighting candles. Hygge comes from the sixteenth-century Norwegian term hugga, meaning "to comfort or console," which is actually related to the English word hug, and it can be used as a noun, adjective, or verb. While hygge can’t be translated into other languages using a single word, the feeling behind the word makes us warm inside.