In my childhood, there was a spongy (ie full of bubbles) glass of a pale-green shade which was placed covering the stone-bounded graves in more than one of the church grounds near me, is there a name for this? It's a semi-transparent (the bubbles make it so) chip of glassy substance, but the sharp edges are not so sharp as to cut skin, they seem to have undergone some sort of foaming process to make them less dense than glass and have visible surface pits that appear to be part-spherical - as of bubbles of gas that existed before the glass set.

The graves had their usual scattering of pale-green ".......", the older ones with the darker green of weeds popping through....

The comments have lead to a perfect suggestion of an image by @KannE.

enter image description here

-Attribution indeterminate: Possibly Leo Reynolds 2019

A generic term, be-it colloquial or slang rather than a brand name is preferred.

Most recent edits:

The chips were loose as-such, not cemented together, as I now gather terrazzo is.

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    Had I known what it was called when I wrote the question.... Alas, @Cascabel I took no photos at the time. but TaliesinMerlin seems to have the answer with terrazzo, though looking it up doesn't provide an exact match for my memory of the substance, just pretty close. Aug 17, 2019 at 22:07
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    @KannE Pretty certain not as they seem to have undergone some sort of foaming process to make them less dense than glass and have visible surface pits that appear to be part-spherical. Ok, question needs another edit. Aug 17, 2019 at 22:19
  • @KannE That's the stuff, but it won't let me link to the image, quick, write an answer. Aug 17, 2019 at 23:28
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    If you do an image search for "green glass chippings" you'll get many results that look like that. "Fossite" turns up about 3 or 4 images, and the only place I've seen that uses that term is that website, that says: "Occasionally our memorial customers refer to green glass chippings as Fossite". I'm wondering how many people use this word or have ever heard it. According to them the name "Fossite" was registered in 1962 (explains the capital letter).
    – Zebrafish
    Aug 17, 2019 at 23:51
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    Here’s a link to the graveyard. gravestonephotos.com/public/cemetery.php?cemetery=594
    – Xanne
    Aug 18, 2019 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


Pebbles or Chippings

I know that weird green stuff you mention! And it’s not natural sea-worn glass. But if I wanted to describe it, I’d say ‘green glass pebbles’.

When I looked it up online I also found ‘chippings’.

You can even buy them on Amazon!

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    It looks like the glass has been tumbled in a rotary tumbler, perhaps with an abrasive mixed in . This would round the edges.
    – Criggie
    Aug 18, 2019 at 8:48

I can find two possibilities.

First, in some cultures like that of African-Americans in the American South, graves were often covered with various bric-a-brac. These would have included the green glass you describe, perhaps obtained from bottle fragments. Ross W. Jamieson describes them:

In North America the surface decoration of graves with ceramics and other objects is the most commonly recognized African-American material culture indicator of cemetery sites. William Faulkner, in Go Down, Moses, described a black cemetery with “shards of pottery and broken bottles and old brick and other objects insignificant to sight but actually of a profound meaning and fatal to touch, which no white man could have read” (Faulkner 1942:135; cf. Vlach 1978:139).

Second, you could be referring to terrazzo glass, which is sometimes used for headstones or grave coverings. This is glass fragments cemented together (Materialicious). The glass often looks bubble-like, especially if it's translucent. The general process is hundreds of years old, and used for anything from graves to countertops and floors.

  • I suspect that you have hit upon it, especially looking at the search related images for terrazzo glass (only word I've encountered with double z). Aug 17, 2019 at 22:03
  • @Duckisaduckisaduck When you say that the linked image looks like what you're thinking of, do you mean the surface that looks like crushed I-don't-know-what set in an opaque binder, no part of which (to me) looks "spongy", "semi-transparent" or "green" and doesn't appear to have any "bubbles"? I'm wondering if we're looking at the same image.
    – Zebrafish
    Aug 17, 2019 at 23:12
  • @Zebrafish I failed to add the single word in the question which would have cleared this up: "loose". There was no cement, the chips apparently had just been poured on and were free to be picked-up by hand. Perhaps terrazzo is not the correct answer then. I'll edit the question accordingly. Aug 17, 2019 at 23:16
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    @Duckisaduckisaduck: Have you never guzzled pizza with a glass of fizz?
    – PLL
    Aug 18, 2019 at 8:09

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