The Hygge Conspiracy

The Hygge Conspiracy

The Guardian, 2016

Editorial Rating



For many, 2016 was a challenging year. Who doesn’t want to go inside, shut out the world and sit by the fire with a nice, hot cup of tea? In late 2016, writers, journalists and retailers discovered the Danish idea of hygge, a special kind of “coziness” that you can foster with simple props like candles and cushions. Culture writer Charlotte Higgins explores where it came from, and how the international version differs from the original. In her interviews with Danes, she uncovers a dark side to hygge that the beautifully illustrated books don’t tell you. getAbstract recommends this linguistic exploration to anyone who would like to find the meaning behind the merchandise.


One of the biggest cultural trends of an unsettling 2016 was hygge, a Danish word which many books and articles circulating on the topic roughly translate as “coziness.” The Sun says the word rhymes with “cougar,” and its usage is all over social media this year. It describes a sense of comfort that comes from sharing simple pleasures – a roaring fire, a glass of wine and some home-baked goodies – with loved ones. In spite of its humble qualities, hygge has spawned a thriving industry, with loads of books and consumer items promising to enhance ...

About the Author

Charlotte Higgins is the chief culture writer of The Guardian and a member of its editorial board.

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