What hygge is and isn’t: Thoughts on a misused word

Hygge is big business. Hygge housewares catalogues offer candles, soft blankets, earthenware coffee mugs, and warm socks that will help you, too, experience hygge. Hygge tours are offered in major Danish cities. And authors who write about hygge are richly rewarded. They’re interviewed by glossy magazines, their books are arranged in elaborate piles in the shops at Copenhagen airport, and they speak to adoring audiences in London, Paris, and Rome. Selling hygge has become an industry. But hygge, like love, is not really something you can buy. It’s also not something you can show off, which doesn’t mean that people don’t try.