v18: glassig

Another two easily-confused words are glas (glass) and glass (icecream). Glas has a long vowel, so does sound similar to the English glass, whereas glass has a short vowel (and long ‘s’), so sounds similar to the French glace, from which it is derived. But what about the adjective glassig? Norstedts defines glassig as flashy, fashionable, with-it, but SAOL says:

blank och glänsande; ytligt flott
bright and shiny; superficially stylish

Which incidentally adds a whole lot of related words into the mix: glans (gloss, shine), glansig (glossy), glänsa (to shine), and glänsande (shiny).

A correspondent on WordReference has this to say about glassig:

Flashy (ostentatious, glossy) is the meaning. It’s said to be derived from eng. glassy (shiny, as glass), but IMO it sounds more likely to come from glossy.
The word has a slightly negative connotation: something which is glossy or flashy in order to brag or show off.

However, there’s also the possibility to make a pun here, if you really want to. For example, a search for glassigaste (the superlative of glassig) on Google Sweden has as the top result Årets glassigaste brollop (The year’s most glassig wedding), which is the wedding of Clovve, the mascot of the icecream company GB Glace. Also, a local shopping mall is currently promoting Årets glassigaste modefest (The year’s most glassig fashion show), with icecream featuring prominently in the advertising. Which just leaves me a little more confused about the connotations of glassig.

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Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 10:51  Comments (1)  
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  1. I’m not sure how to explain this word really, but I think your explanation covers the word “Glassig” atleast in part. I think that the meaning differs a bit depending on context…and on who uses it.

    The context I would expect to hear it in would e.g. be:

    “Kalle har världens glassigaste sommarjobb! Han sitter i solen och fikar nästan hela dagarna!”

    As opposed to…

    “Pelle har världens värsta sommarjobb! Han måste klippa gräset på en hel fotbollsplan med nagelsax!”

    If it’s “glassigt”, you don’t have to work very hard. Not doing anything considered “work” at all really.

    I would also use it in criticizing someone, e.g.

    “Kalle bara glassar runt hela dagarna medans vi får göra allt jobb.”

    “Glassig” is the opposite of “productive” here. Which might be nice sometimes. E.g. on my upcoming summer holiday I will probably spend quite a few days “glassa runt” somewhere and just relaxing.

    The meaning of “Årets glassigaste bröllop” sounds very much like “Stureplanssvenska” to me. The people hanging around at Stureplan aren’t viewed as being very productive by Swedes in general…

    I also don’t think that the crowd on Stureplan “invented” the word. Rather – I think they got it from average Swedes and adapted the meaning to suit them.


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