I would like to know if anyone knows how to write Gelassenheit in fraktur letters. I’m wondering about the double s, because, as I read on the internet, it should be a ligature made of two long s's. I’m also having a problem finding this ligature. Can someone help me, please?

  • 1
    The experts might write an answer, but until then have a look into a dictionary.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 22:00
  • I added the ligature aspect to the title, because the spelling of Gelassenheit is the easier half of the question. Also, you might get a more useful answer, if you provide some detail what you want to do with that word.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 23:07
  • It might sounds a little silly, but I intend to make a tatoo to get this word closer to me. (And thanks for your help)
    – Gail
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 13:41
  • Especially for a Tattoo: Anything using double-s in German is a bit on the risky side due to history. Make sure you have this checked thoroughly , there have been terrible accidents (intended an unintended) with that....
    – tofro
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 8:03

1 Answer 1


First of all, the historical spelling is Gelaſſenheit, but I guess you figured that out already.

Many fraktur fonts have an ſſ ligature, but it was in no way “obligatory” as, e. g., the ch, ck, and tz ligatures, which basically all blackletter fonts had (and which received special typographical treatment together with the ſt ligature). The ſſ ligature can thus be omitted by the type designer, if ſſ looks fine without it¹ – much like the fi ligature in antiqua scripts, which may be omitted, if the ascender of the f and the dot of the i do not collide (and no other ugly thing happens). So, if the font of your choice has no ſſ ligature and your word looks fine, there is no need to worry about anything.

That being said, if your font has an ſſ ligature, it may be implemented in several ways:

  • As an OpenType feature²: If your program supports OpenType, the ligature should be used automatically. This should have been the default by now, but unfortunately it isn’t.
  • As a character in the Private Use Area (PUA) of Unicode. In this case, you can find it by looking through the PUA characters of your font in your favorite character-map program and have to insert it manually. Some OpenType fonts provide this as a fallback solution for programs which do not support OpenType.
  • As some other special character (like ‡, \, $, ¤, …). This is far from best practice, but you will find this in a lot of free blackletter fonts. If this isn’t documented, the only way to find the ſſ ligature is to search it by browsing the characters of the font in a character-map program.

¹ e.g., in the Unifraktur Maguntia, which I worked on.
² or AAT or Graphite (but these are by far more uncommon)

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