Danes, often hailed as some of the happiest people on Earth, love nothing more than to hygge. That could mean reading a book while snuggling in a blanket (likely made from wool from a sheep on the Faroe Islands, also part of Denmark), or a cosy night in with loved ones, laughing in the velvety candlelight with a cup of hot chocolate, gløgg (mulled wine) or coffee, depending on the time of day and year.
But this picture is almost too idyllic, according to a BBC.com feature. Too perfect. Even Danes have rainy days. So what do we do, then, when there isn’t any help to be had from these cosy accompaniments?
We say the magical word: ‘”pyt” [“pyd”]. Or press “pyt-knappen” (the “pyt” button).
Just like “hygge,” “pyt” does not have a direct English translation. Some interpretations include “never mind,” “don’t worry” or “forget about it” – but these expressions don’t convey the positive aspect of the word. “Pyt” is used to express that you accept a situation is out of your control, and even though you might be annoyed or frustrated, you decide not to waste unnecessary energy on thinking more about it. You accept it and move on. “Pyt” is also used to comfort other people and diffuse unfortunate situations.
“Pyt” is so beloved by Danes that in September 2018 it was chosen as the nation’s favourite word in a competition held by the Danish Library Association during the country’s annual Library Week. Interestingly, “hygge” didn’t even make the winning shortlist.