Nov. 30, 2005


I ran across gemütlichkeit in Wikipedia and I like its connotation of “a cosy place”, but with a meaning conveying more than just “cosiness”:

Gemütlichkeit is a German abstract noun whose closest English equivalent is cosiness. However, rather than basically just describing a place as not too large, well-heated and nicely furnished (a cosy room, a cosy flat), Gemütlichkeit connotes, much more than cosiness, the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the spending of quality time in a place as described above. […]

The article went on to say that Queen Victoria was one of the first to use the adjective gemütlich in English; since it seems to be a useful word, I might be inclined to do the same. How would it be pronounced, though? Something like geh-MUTE-lish?

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6 Responses to “Gemütlichkeit”
  1. Josh says:

    Or maybe a guh-moot?

  2. Adrian says:

    geh MOOT lichh (where the chh is a raspy sound coming from the back of the throat).

  3. Alex says:

    Your German expertise is most appreciated. Thanks.

  4. andy (not andyl) says:

    Unless you’re Koelsch, or otherwise from Nordrhein-Westfalen, in which case it would be something like gehMOOTlishhhhhhh. They love their ending sh sounds, that’s for sure.

  5. Jim says:

    The trick is the ü sound.

    The easiest way to pronounce it (for the native speaker of American English) is to form your lips like you’re about to say “OH” and say “EE” instead. See? It’s fun!

    I can’t think of any easily recognizable American words with the ü sound.

  6. Alex says:

    Goodness, that is actually fun! üüü!

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