Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Speak like a Saxon: Happy Easter

Just a few days to go until Easter. There's no better time than Holy Week to have a go at some Old English Easter phrases:



þonc sie Gode for þissere Eastre*


[Thonk see-yuh Go-du for this-er-uh Ay-as-truh"]

Thanks be to God for this Easter

I reckon that just about counts for 'Happy Easter'...

And you should also have a go at one that's a bit longer; a couple of lines from the Dream of the Rood: 


Deað he þær byrigde; hwæðere eft Dryhten aras

mid his miclan mihte mannum to helpe.

["day-ath hay there boo-rig-du; hwath-er-uh eft Drich-ten ar-ras
mid his mitch-lan mich-tuh man-um toe help-uh"] 

He tasted death there [in the grave]; nevertheless, afterwards the Lord arose
to help mankind with his great might.

  





*Warning: the words are all pukka Old English but I made up the phrase.
 


 

Speak like a Saxon - in the garden

Impress your gardening buddies with some Old English plant names next time you're out. Here's one to get you started:

Heahheolode - elecampane

["hay-ach-hay-oh-load-uh"]

There's a great wikipedia article on elecampane...ahem...enquire in one of the Leechdoms* for all you need to know on this mighty plant.

The elecampanes in my patch of ground are just starting to poke through the earth, so you'll have plenty of time to get practising this word.


* to be precise, Leechdoms, Wortcunning and Starcraft of the Anglo-Saxons, ed. O. Cockayne, London (1864-6)