Swedish word of the day: glass

Swedish word of the day: glass
Image: nito103/Depositphotos
Today we're looking at a summery false friend.

Swedish glass is not the same as English 'glass': in Sweden, this is the word for 'ice cream'.

It can be confusing as a language learner, because the word for 'glass' is glas. Hear the difference in how they're pronounced in the audio clips below.

Glass:

 
Glas:

The other difference between the two is that glass is an 'en' word and glas is an 'ett' word.
 
Glass meaning 'ice cream' is a borrowing from French glace (ice cream), and when it first appeared in Swedish it kept the French spelling, although over the years it became Swedified as glass.

Look out for lots of compound words containing glass, such as jordgubbsglass (strawberry ice cream), chokladglass (chocolate ice cream) and more Swedish variants like saltlakritsglass (salty liquorice ice cream).


Swedes are big ice cream consumers, which might seem surprising given that it's such a cold country. But it's a hugely popular treat in all seasons, though especially in summer, whether you buy your glass from the neighbourhood glassbil (literally 'ice cream car', or ice cream van) or at one of the many ice cream parlours in Sweden's towns and cities.

Examples

Jag älskar att äta glass oavsett årstid


I love eating ice cream no matter what season it is

Den kan vara den godaste glassen jag ätit

This might be the tastiest ice cream I've had

 
Do you have a favourite Swedish word you would like to nominate for our word of the day series? Get in touch by email or if you are a Member of The Local, log in to comment below.
 
 

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