Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Your Language: Dot Wordsworth

Magazine article The Spectator

Mind Your Language: Dot Wordsworth

Article excerpt

'If there's one thing I can't stand,' said my husband, 'it's scented candles.' Now, we have never knowingly harboured a scented candle in the house. He was merely rebelling against the notion of hygge , named by Collins' dictionaries as one of the words -- English words -- of 2016. The motive for naming it may stem from the dictionary wars mounted by rival publishers' marketing departments, but hygge is indeed everywhere, not least bookshops, where the Christmas shelves offer Hygge , The Book of Hygge , The Little Book of Hygge , How to Hygge , Keep Calm and Hygge , The Cosy Hygge Winter Colouring Book . I'll stop there.

What does it mean? 'Cosiness'. It is a noun, pronounced hue-guh with the first vowel resembling that in French vu , then a hard g and an indeterminate vowel after it. The adjective is hyggelig . All those books find attraction in its connotations, said to be essential to being Danish. The appetite to be Danish has never before been so developed, except among Danes. It is even said that the crime serial The Killing conveyed hygge , but, beyond Sofie Gråbøl's sweaters, I find that unconvincing. (The serial was called Forbrydelsen , 'crime', in Danish. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.