The bluetooth remote control is quite cosy in the hand.

I have a few English people with me. I just said that the bluetooth remote control that I got is quite cosy. However, they started laughing and asking, do you really mean "cosy"? Is this an incorrect use of the word "cosy"? I really find that the remote control is quite friendly and comfortable compared to IR remotes. Would "cosy" work for this in an informal context? (I am feeling embarrassed because a VP of my company was there when I said this.)

  • I wouldn't worry about it too much. but, yes, cosy usually is used in situations where the comfortable feeling arises because you are enveloped in something snuggly and warm. The remote itself might have felt cosy in your hand but you probably didn't feel snuggly and warm by holding the remote. – Jim Jul 16 '14 at 4:20
  • I don't know about wrong, but it seems rare, colloquially speaking. I doubt many native speakers would choose cosy here. Comfortable might be apt. A couch can be cosy, as can a living room. Because one can be cosy in/on both these places (hopefully with someone else). But if something is quite cosy in hands, well, then people can possibly go many places with that terminology, which I believe site rules probably wouldn't want me to go. – user6951 Jul 16 '14 at 4:49
  • I'd be inclined to call it an informal use of the word cozy, rather than an incorrect use. English is pretty flexible how words can be bent. If your audience snickered, though, I'd avoid that usage around them in the future. – J.R. Jul 16 '14 at 9:32

As has been noted in the comments, this would qualify as "obscure" usage of the word cosy, not outright wrong usage. Naturally, a native speaker would chuckle about it because it does sound unusual - but you shouldn't feel embarrassed about using it that way.

Wording it like this (while changing the sentence as little as possible) is probably more common:

The bluetooth remote control feels quite comfortable in the hand.

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Cosy is ordinarily either

  1. an attribute of an environment within which an animate creature feels comfortable and relaxed: my cozy warm bed, or a cozy family gathering, OR

  2. an attribute of the animate creature within that environment: I feel quite cozy in bed at night

What excited your colleagues’ mirth was that you attributed coziness to an inanimate object (the control) within an animate environment (your hand).

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  • I'm curious if you find this usage more "ordinary" or "acceptable" – This bluetooth remote feels cozy in my hand – or if you find that wording equally snicker-worthy. – J.R. Jul 16 '14 at 15:30
  • @J.R. It would not provoke my laughter or comment - it's a little odd, but most folks in my circle are fond of using words oddly. I would not write it in propria persona, though I might put it into a character's mouth. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 16 '14 at 16:24

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