'Hygge' does not necessarily entail sitting in front of a fire with your socks on. Photo: Iris/Scanpix
It's been trending in the UK and US for so long that it has almost become a publishing genre in its own right. Now hygge is here to stay with its very own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).
The popularity of hygge has seen British as well as American media putting out article upon article on the culture behind the word – often holding forth on Danish clichés such as candles, wool, fireplaces and elderflower juice.
At least nine books have also been released on the topic over the last eighteen months.
Often mistranslated as ‘cosy’, hygge is most commonly used – at least in this reporter’s anecdotal view – simply to mean ‘having a nice time’.
Danish publisher Gyldendal's Danish-English dictionary translates the adjective form of the word – which can also be used as a noun or verb – as 'cosy', 'comfortable', 'pleasant' and 'homelike', amongst other things.
Oxford Dictionaries has previously defined hygge as a noun meaning “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)”.