July 28, 2017 – What’s in a Name?

I just finished Neil Gaiman’s book Norse Mythology and I can recommend it highly to anyone interested in the subject. Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job of retelling the history of the Norse gods and his book reminded me that we use words every day and forget (or don’t know) the origin. For example, the days of the week from Tuesday to Friday are named for Norse gods.

Tuesday is named for Tiw, or Tyr, the one-handed Norse god of War. He plays a pivotal role in the Norse end of times, Ragnarok, by killing one of Loki’s (grown) children. You have to read the book to find out which one.

Wednesday is Woden, or Odin’s day. Odin has many names; Grimnir, All-father, Balyegg, Bilyeg, Fjornir, Glapsvith, Gondlir, among the many others.  He was the ruler of the Asgard, the realm of the Norse gods. He gave his left eye for wisdom and hung on the world tree to learn about magic. Wednesday comes from Old English “Wodnestag.”

Thursday, “Thor’s day,” is named for the Norse god of thunder, Thor. Thor is a different character than the one portrayed in the Marvel movies. He has a great red beard and is married to the Lady Sif.

Friday is named for Freya or Frigg, the wife of Odin. Frigg was the Norse goddess of love and beauty. She was not, as Marvel would lead you to believe, a mother to Loki. Loki was actually Odin’s blood brother – not Thor’s.

So happy Freya/Frigg day and have a great weekend!

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