v46: glögg

Glögg is Swedish mulled wine, and now is the season for drinking it. The word glögg is derived from glödga, to warm up. The English word mull, similarly, means to warm up, spice, and sweeten wine. So my question is, if glögg is (by definition) warm, does the bottle contain glögg?

Each year since 2003, Blossa has brought out an annual glögg flavour (available since the first week of October!). Just so you know, Blossa claims to be the market leader for glögg in Sweden. Blossa is owned by V&S (Vin & Spirit AB), maybe best known for Absolut Vodka. V&S was founded in 1917 as a national monopoly for the production, import, export and wholesale trade of alcoholic beverages in Sweden, and was only recently (July 2008) sold by the Swedish government to the French giant Pernod Ricard (they own everything not owned by Diageo). This year’s flavour is Clementin(e).

Glödlampa is Swedish for incandescent bulb. Now have you figured out that glö- is related to glow? But the bulb in the box is neither incandescent or glowing.

What would be your reaction if I offerred you a glass of glögg and gave you something cold, straight from the bottle? Think about coffee (another popular drink here): if you ask for coffee, you expect it to be served hot. But cold coffee is still coffee, and when I buy coffee from the supermarket, it is not even a liquid. So I think we have to admit that the definition of glögg must be expanded to include the non-heated version. Alcohol-free glögg and decaffeinated coffee? You will have to puzzle those out for yourself.

The current (13th) edition of SAOL lists a number of words beginning with glö-. They are either glöd- or glög- words, as described, or glöm- words, from glömma, forget. SAOL is kind enough to provide list of words left out in moving from the 12th to the 13th edition. One word I already miss is glöta, to dig around. This would have been the last word in the glö- series, but I’m happy to make do with the next word in the list, g-moll, which sounds like someone you might meet in a speakeasy, but is in fact G-minor.

After ten editions of “words from sweden”, it’s time for some good news and some bad news. The good news is that there are plenty more interesting words for me to write about, I hope to continue for a while yet. The bad news is that I’ll be cutting back on the picture clues for next week’s word. Mainly because it means I won’t have to think two weeks ahead for each post, but also because I want to explore areas of grammar which are difficult to photgraph (but I’ll try), and other words where I’d like a photograph of my own, but can’t get one. But mainly because I don’t want to think two weeks ahead.

See you next week!

Published in: on November 12, 2009 at 19:47  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] For an even better explanation, check out the “Words From Sweden” blog entry about glögg. […]

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