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Word Of The Year, 2016
We leave out post-truth and coulrophobia to focus on hygge (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 334)
Nov 23, 2016 Culture & Entertainment
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Every year the Oxford Dictionaries publishes a shortlist of new words, one of which will be chosen as the "Word of the Year". This year's choices includes coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) and chatbot (a computer program humans can have a conversation with). Also on the list is a word from Denmark - hygge. Some words are almost impossible to translate and hygge is probably one of them. The Oxford Dictionaries defines it as "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)".

You can see why it is probably impossible to find a word in English (and probably other languages too) that quite captures the meaning. Danes themselves say that it is a word that needs to be "felt" rather than translated. Even saying the word can be a bit tricky for non-Danes. It is pronounced something like HOOG-uh (which rhymes with sugar).

Recently hygge has become something of a fad, with books, websites, cafes and even hashtags making use of the word. Writers try to make sense of the word and books have been written telling how to achieve it. But probably the best way to understand hygge is evidence of what it looks like in practice.

The Guardian newspaper gives us a list - 'coffee pots, cinnamon buns, candles; cashmere socks, hands wrapped around mugs'. The danish website www.visitdenmark.com explains it this way: "Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that's hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life."

Perhaps the fact that hygge is unique to Denmark might go some way to explaining why a country that in winter experiences freezing cold as well as darkness for 17 hours a day, can still be judged the 'world's happiest country' by the World Happiness Report in 2016.


What is common between the descriptions of hygge by the Guardian newspaper and the Visitdenmark website?
They both mention coffee
They both describe winter
The both talk about candles
They both talk about warmth
Why is it a bit surprising that Denmark has been awarded the world's happiest country?
It is a warm sunny country all year
It is a popular place for tourists
It is in northern Europe
It has very little sun in winter
A person who comes from from Denmark is referred to as a …?
Danish
Denmark
Dane
Hygge
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ash

the powdery residue left after the burning of a substance or emitted by a volcano


n.灰

at-mos-phere

the gas around the earth or a planet; the mood or feeling of a place


n.大气层/气氛

cash-mere

soft wool from a Kashmir goat


n.羊绒

clown

an entertainer, especially in a circus, wearing makeup and funny costumes


n.小丑

com-for-ta-ble

relaxed, no worries


adj.自在/安逸

con-tent-ment

being happy and satisfied


n.满意

con-vi-vi-a-li-ty

being friendly and lively


n.欢乐

co-si-ness

the quality of being cosy, or comfortable


n.舒适

coul-ro-pho-bi-a

an extreme fear of clowns


n.小丑恐惧症

cult

something really popular amongst a group of people


n.礼拜    

de-fi-ning

describing the meaning of


v.定义

en-gen-ders

causes or leads to


v.产生

e-vi-dence

facts that show something is true


n.证据

ex-pe-ri-ence

come into contact with


v.经验

ex-plain

make something clear or add detail


v.说明

free-zing

below zero degrees celsius


adj.冷冻

guard

one of the positions a player takes in a basketball game


n.后卫/守卫

hash-tags

on social media, a word used to show a message is on a certain topic


n.主题标签

hyg-ge

living well and living simply


n.简单舒适的生活

im-pos-si-ble

not able to be done


adj.不可能

prac-tice

in real life, rather than just words


n.实践

pro-nounce

make the sounds of a word


v.发音

qua-li-ty

how good something is


n.质量/品质

re-cent

not long ago


adj.最近    

re-cent-ly

not long ago


adv.最近

rhymes

sounds that match


v.韵律/押韵

trans-la-ted

write the meaning of something in another language


v.翻译

tri-cky

a difficult problem needing care or skill    


adj.棘手/讨厌

u-nique

the only one, not like anything else


adj.独特