hygge

hygge – sostantivo non numerabile

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special.

Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, the Danish word ‘hygge‘ (pronounced ‘hooga’) translates roughly to ‘cosiness’.

Pronounced “heurgha” (imagine the sound you make clearing your throat), the word hygge defies literal translation (though it may be a distant etymological cousin of the English word “hug”).

Hygge is catnip to social media: on Instagram there are almost 1.5m #hygge posts of falling leaves, bowls of pumpkin soup and babies adorably wrapped in blankets.

Per affrontare gli inverni scandinavi lunghi, rigidi e bui, i danesi hanno adottato una strategia vincente definita hygge, parola che di recente è entrata nel linguaggio sdoganata dalle riviste di lifestyle. Quello che sembra essere l’antidoto ideale alla tristezza invernale, per i danesi è uno stile di vita basato su ‘intimità e convivialità rassicuranti che generano sensazioni di appagatezza e benessere’: parliamo dunque di piccole cose, che vanno da una cena a lume di candela tra amici a una tazza di cioccolata calda da sorseggiare davanti al caminetto.

La frequenza d’uso di hygge ha avuto un’impennata repentina e massiccia: oggi una ricerca su Google ha generato circa 12 milioni di risultati, e di hygge si parla in numerosissimi articoli e libri (nonostante pare non si riesca a mettersi d’accordo su come pronunciare la parola, in inglese). Forse è proprio quello che ci vuole, dopo un anno che ci ha lasciato, per molti versi, costernati.

Origini del termine

Il concetto di hygge fa parte della cultura danese sin dal 18esimo secolo; nei Paesi anglofoni si è fatto strada solo negli ultimi anni.

 

Traduzione di Loredana Riu

hygge – noun uncountable

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special.

Hard to explain and even harder to pronounce, the Danish word ‘hygge‘ (pronounced ‘hooga’) translates roughly to ‘cosiness’.

Pronounced “heurgha” (imagine the sound you make clearing your throat), the word hygge defies literal translation (though it may be a distant etymological cousin of the English word “hug”).

Hygge is catnip to social media: on Instagram there are almost 1.5m #hygge posts of falling leaves, bowls of pumpkin soup and babies adorably wrapped in blankets.

 

Since Scandinavian winters are even longer, darker and colder than British ones, it comes as no surprise that the Danes have come up with a strategy for easing the pain. Hygge, which has recently made its way into English via the lifestyle pages of magazines and newspapers, is the perfect antidote to winter blues, focusing as it does on the enjoyment of small pleasures – candlelit dinners with friends, hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire – in a domestic setting.

 

The hygge explosion has been both sudden and huge. At the time of writing hygge has almost 12 million hits on Google, and is the subject of innumerable books and articles, despite the fact that seemingly no one knows exactly how it should be pronounced. It seems to be just what people need after a bruising and confusing year.

 

Origins

While the concept of hygge has been around in Denmark since the 18th century, it has only come to the attention of English speakers in the past few years.

 

Wordwatch è l'osservatorio sui neologismi della lingua inglese curato dalla redazione del dizionario Ragazzini.

A cura di Liz Potter