Thursday, 31 August 2017

Speak like a Saxon: Are you my friend?

We're a nation of many peoples, right? Welcome, Romans! Angles! Welcome, Saxons! Welcome Danes and Norwegians (we'll forgive you for stealing our stuff, vikings) and French, Spanish, Polish, Moroccans, Algerians and all the rest. Let's all be nice to each other.

Bist þu min freond?

Are you my friend?

[Bist thoo min fray-ond?]

Ic eom þin freond

I am your friend

[Itch ay-om thin fray-ond]

Now, there are some more poetic words for 'friend'. You could replace freond with:

eaxlgestealla - shoulder-companion

fréawine - lord and friend

géowine - friend of old

sundorwine - bosom buddy

Friday, 25 August 2017

Bug hunting

A small person I know likes to go hunting for bugs in the garden. How would she fare back in Anglo-Saxon times?

Here's a short Old English bug list. I've given the definite articles so you can point at things and say "the bee!" or "the earthworm"

se bitela - the beetle [say bee-tell-a]

seo beo - the bee [say-oh bay-oh]

se eorðmata  - the earthworm [say ey-orth-mat-a]

se fléa - the flea [say flay-a]

seo nihtbuttorfléoge - probably a moth; literally a 'night butterfly' [say-oh niXt-butt-or-flay-oh-guh]

se tordwifel - the dung beetle [say tord-wiff-ul]

se wibba - the beetle or crawling thing [say wibb-uh]

se wyrm  - Dragon!!! Panic!!! Flee!!! Hide! [say weerm]

I omitted some of the more gruesome ones like 'tooth-worm' and 'intestinal worm'. You might find those on an Anglo-Saxon bug hunt, but they were too manky for a bit of lunchtime fun.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Farms (or not, as the case turns out to be)

First up - the barley yard...

seo berewic...

[say-oh bear-uh-witch]

I was going to write something interesting about farms and barley and all the rest, until I discovered this.

No way.

Thank you, Google.

Some genius has written an Old English Wikipedia.

My creative brain is now completely ruined, but, on the other hand: 

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