What is Gezellig?

I’m not Dutch (although my mother-in-law is). I’m not even of remotely Dutch extraction. I haven’t lived in the Netherlands for any length of time. In fact, I’ve only been there twice, for less than a fortnight each time. In retrospect, these are all things I probably should have considered before choosing a Dutch word as part of my blog name in 2006.

The truth is, I just really love the Dutch word gezellig. (I also love winkelwagen and sinaasappelsap, but “shopping cart” and “orange juice” aren’t as easy to work into a title.)

According to Wikipedia, gezellig is one of the most difficult words to translate in the Dutch language. There is no literal equivalent or similar word in English. Gezellig is very colloquial, and is most often used in these contexts: one is with family and/or friends, light is right, people are right, music is right, conversation is right, then the feeling is gezellig.