Cozy or comfy?

Icelandic has a slang word kósi which of course is a borrowing of the English term cozy. I do not know where the English term comes from exactly. Comfy, on the other hand, I know is an abbreviation of comfortable, which is a latinate. 

Icelanders say when they are inviting people over to their house that people should come over and "hafa það kósi."  Now in English we usually reserve cozy for when a couple is snuggled together on the couch under a blanket, or when a parent is trying to settle their child down before bedtime. That is cozy in English. I think the way Icelanders use kósi is therefore more akin to English comfy, as in the equivalent of a host saying in English, "make yourself comfy." This means to come over to the house and have a casual, comfortable evening without a lot of pretense, just relaxing and talking.

Comments

Anonymous said…
yeah, the connotations are definitely not quite the same. The translation of comfy or comfortable would be "þægilegt" but that also doesn't really get more than a part of the meaning.

The thing is, that apart from really basic words like yes and no, there are hardly any words that mean exactly the same thing between languages.

My favourite untranslatable word in Icelandic is "nenna". Ég nenni þessu ekki! The closest thing in English I've found is "I can't be bothered", but that doesn't mean quite the same at all.
Lissy said…
Hmmm, I would translate "nenni þessu ekki" as "I can't deal with that right now".

And of course I agree with words having different connotations, it is just funny when it happens with loan words!
Anonymous said…
Það er næstum því ómögulegt að þýða nákvæmlega orðið "frekja". Það er vissulega hægt að "næstum því" þýða það í ýmsu samhengi en nákvæm þýðing er sjaldnast í boði.

Kv. Kristín (sem les oft bloggið þitt en kommentar aldrei).
Anonymous said…
yeah, I know you know - it just happens I suppose. Words change over time.

Yes, "I can't deal with that right now" is closer than "I can't be bothered" but I suspect the meaning is somewhere in between. Still doesn't quite get the feeling.
Lissy said…
Oh, I thought of an English phrased used exactly the same way as nenni þessu ekki: "I am not in the mood." Parents can say it to their kids in an annoyed tone, friends can say it to each other in a tired apologetic tone, etc.

But of course, "I am not in the mood" is also sometimes used when a wife does not want to sleep with her husband. Is the Icelandic used that way?
Lissy said…
And Kristín, definitely frekja is very hard to translate! Brat is what I usually say, and I think it is pretty close, except every once in a while, Americans can sort of jokingly say "stop being such a brat" without it sounding as harsh as when one says frekja in Icelandic, I think.
Anonymous said…
amm "not in the mood" is another one but still doesn't quite get all the different tones I suspect. No I don't think we'd use it in bed, not at all ;) Also "Ég nenni þessu ekki can be used as" "I give up/I'm sick of this" or I'm out of here!

Yeah, frekja's another good one. I at least wouldn't use that as a good-natured banter word. Frekja can also mean the action of being frekur (brattiness) (rosaleg frekja er þetta í stráknum!)

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