What would the American speakers call a house / apartment that gives a feeling of comfort, silence (with a positive effect / quiet), warmth and usually small?

I have found three adjectives: "secluded", "cozy", "snug"

You entered to my house / apartment for the first time and say:

  • Nice. What a ........ house / apartment you have. (with a pleasure and a smile on lips)

But according to the dictionary explanations, what we have as an adjective can be expressed by a combination of these three adjectives.

I was wondering if you could let me know if there is a better adjective including all my definitions in English at all? If nit how can I combine these three words in a proper way?

  • Just out of curiosity, what is the adjective that means all three, and which language? That's a pretty useful adjective. Feb 11, 2017 at 14:42
  • 1
    "Time for bed! The Calf’s asleep, In his basket, snug and deep." Seriously, if you look up in the collocations dictionary, you'll see that best collocated with a flat, a room, a cottage is the adjective "cozy". "Secluded" isn't synonymous for the other two. And "snug" means "offering safety; well protected or concealed"
    – Victor B.
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:16
  • @Rompey then just please let me know if the sentence "What a cozy house / apartment" you have sounds natural as a complement in English?
    – A-friend
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:23
  • "What a (nice) cozy house!" is a compliment (written with the letter "i") on (to) the house.
    – Victor B.
    Feb 11, 2017 at 16:31
  • 1
    Secluded means something more like "remote" or "separated".
    – stangdon
    Feb 11, 2017 at 17:51

1 Answer 1

  • "Secluded" conveys the meaning of quiet without any other implications.
  • "Nice" (or similar words, like "lovely") convey that you like the apartment or are trying to be polite but without any specific meaning.
  • "Cozy" implies "a feeling of comfort," warmth and small size, but not "quiet" per se.
  • "Snug" means small and either comforting or else suffocating (too small) but without making any statement about the quietness. To me it doesn't have any connotations of safety or lack thereof.

If you just want to be polite, it's best to use a word like "nice" or "lovely" because implying that it's small could come off as condescending, especially if you have a bigger/more expensive apartment. You're also more likely to hear "What a lovely apartment you have" then "What a cozy apartment you have."

In order to convey your meaning in one word, "cozy" comes pretty close and if emphasizing the quietness is especially important you can add a direct reference.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .