• glade •
glayd • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: A clear open space in a forest, a tract of open marshland, as 'the Everglades'.
Notes: If you are wondering about the relation of glade with glad, it will be explained in the Word History. The Everglades got their name from the idea that they were glades seemingly forever, "ever glades".
In Play: Glades are often thought of as cool places, probably because of a confusion with shade, but who knows? "Brooke Trout loved to read on summer days in a grassy glade sliced by a gurgling stream, just a pleasant sylvan walk from her house." Glades are usually found in forests, which are themselves cool, shady places: "Major Slaughter, intrepid hunter that he was, chased his prey into an open glade that turned out to be the 17th hole of the Hickory Nut Golf Course."
Word History: This word was borrowed from Old Norse (Viking) glaðr "bright, happy". It came to Old Norse from Proto-Germanic gladaz, source also of Danish glad "glad, joyful", Dutch glad "smooth", German glatt "smooth", as well as English glad. Proto-Germanic got its word from metathesized variant of PIE ghel-/ghol- "to shine; bright". Historically, glade meant "clear space amongst the clouds" and "flash of lightning". Woods were thought of as dark places, so an open space was associated with brightness. The original meaning was "bright space in the woods", like French clairière "glade" from clair "clear, bright" and German Lichtung "clearing, glade" from Licht "light". The PIE root arrived in Modern English via various means as gold, yield, yellow, and all the words meaning "shining" that start with GL: glisten, gleam, glitter, glint, etc.
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