I wonder if it's grammatically correct to say that the traffic is jammy. If so, does this sentence make sense at all?



3 Answers 3


"Jammy" is a legitimate adjective, so the sentence is grammatically correct. It doesn't really make sense, though. Instead you could say the traffic is "jammed", but it's more common to just say traffic is "bad" or "backed up".

It is common however to use the word as a noun:

There is a traffic jam.


If you said this in Britain it would probably be misinterpreted.

Jammy is a synonym for lucky.

To say traffic was jammy could be interpreted as being lighter than usual. You were lucky in not getting stuck.

You would be better saying that the traffic was jammed.

  • 1
    In the US, "jammy" would probably be interpreted as "like jam", so it doesn't work here either!
    – stangdon
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 14:34
  • @stangdon: I didn't know Americans even had jam! I thought they always called it jelly. Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 14:50
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    @FumbleFingers - Oh yes, plenty of jams here. I think technically they are slightly different things but in practice it might be just what we're used to saying. "Grape jelly" and "strawberry jam" sound normal to me, but "grape jam" and "strawberry jelly" sound weird, even if they actually refer to indistinguishable things. I am not going to claim this makes any sense. :^)
    – stangdon
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 15:05
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    @stangdon: Sounds like it's at least similar to the BrE distinction (insofar as we're talking about the stuff that comes in glass jars that we spread on bread & butter). Jelly is significantly less common (both as a product and a usage), but it's normally reserved for "smooth, homogeneous" products (often relatively "transparent, translucent"). Strawberry / raspberry jelly might include some of the small "pits", but they wouldn't have identifiable pieces of the fruit itself. Also, there's the "mechanical" aspect - jelly tends to slide on butter, jam sticks better, but slowly "runs" more. Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 16:42
  • @stangdon Have you visited a grocery store in the U.S. recently? You will find shelves stocked with jars marked "Grape Jam!" (We pefer Smuckers, but there are multiple choices.) Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 17:56

I would say "The traffic is jammed up" or "The traffic is backed up"; I would not say "jammy". "Jammy" means "of or relating to the jam that you would put on your toast". I think it has other meanings, too, but I'm speaking from an American English standpoint; not British English.

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