Some Swedish Seafarer words: anflygare, efter, gamman, grus, holme, hg, må, ovrn, skura, skte, stten, srja, valväg (valplats), varþer, vng.
Some linked Anglish words: anfloga, eft, gomene, hrusan, holma, hyge, mg, unwearnum, scur, sceata, sias, sorge, wl weg, hreer, wongas

"Now from this land of Scandza, as from a hive of races or a womb of nations,
the Goths are said to have come forth long ago." Jordanes, c 551 AD. Translation by Charles C. Mierow. Click
Was Germania a Gothic creation?

Try The Well Spring of the Goths, 2004, by Ingemar Nordgren. His English is appalling, but valiant. Tough going.

Verso la fine del cammin di nostra vita

Old Anguish

Someone whose reminiscences of his time at Oxford, reading English, I was looking at recently, described his struggles with Anglo-Saxon, at that time obligatory, as "Anguish". Reportedly, p 63, the term "Old Anguish" was jointly coined by Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin. After their time a sufficient number of those in authority decided to agree with them, and the study of Anguish, or the literature and language I now call "Anglish", was abolished as part of the English degree. However, there nevertheless exist groups of disgruntled scholars, or "leading academics", in both the UK and US, who consider themselves committed to stressing the link between Anglish and English. I have a vivid memory of hearing a Canadian, heavily involved with the DOE, say "After all, it's our language!". The simple fact however is that the language spoken by the "Anglo-Saxons" is not "our language". The language of the Anglo-Saxons was Anglish, which, contrary to the general belief of the times, was not "Germanic". It was Scandinavian, specifically the language native to the country sometimes known as Angulus, between what came later to be called the land of the Saxons, and the land of the Goths. This was in what is now modern-day Sweden. It is naturally impossible for those who are ignorant of the Swedish language to ingest this insight.

The first evidence of the jingoistic desire to link Modern English with the language spoken by the original settlers of Engeland occurred in the run-up to World War I. Any name with a slight suspicion of a "Germanic" connection was shunned. The royal house of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was obliged to change its name to "Windsor"; "Battenberg" became "Mountbatten"; and "Anglo-Saxon" became "Old English".

It was true that the royal family had been Germanic since the time it had been imported in 1714, and it was true that the Battenbergs came from Battenberg in Hesse, Germany, but the language of the Sax-men was not Germanic from Saxony: it was spoken by the Anglians from the country which today is Sweden. Since none of those devoting their lives to attempting to understand the language current in pre-conquest England spoke Swedish, they failed to appreciate the close kinship of Swedish to Anglish. The perceptions of Professor Anderson/Arngart might have alerted them, but instead he was subjected to the mind-numbing mockery of Mrs Magoo.

Anglian Saxmen supplying a shore-fort. This one was in East Denmark. Helsingborg.

A brief recap of the monoglot Seafarer text translation errors. Obvious examples are the ridiculous emendation of wl to read hwl, ie reading "death" as "whale"; and the ludicrous interpretation of sceat as "sheet", or "spreading regions", when the word means "bosom" or "lap", to which the dead return. The word unwearnum, meaning "helpless" or "defenceless", is usually idiotically rendered as "irresistibly", or sometimes, in Beowulf, as "greedily". The more I contemplate the meaning generally assigned to anfloga, ie "one-flier", the sillier it seems. The sillier it seems. Did I say sillier? Here's an astonishingly twisted interpretation, p 147, of this simple word: "the seafarer's heart transforms itself into something like a bird itself (anfloga), burning to fly away to another world ..." The actual truth is that the approaching, attacking, yelling and ravenous bird of prey is about to transport the man whose life has ended, from whatever cause, along the way of death, to wherever. But who wants to spoil a fancy story with the truth ? Archiopteryx ?

sias secgan hu ic:     stten sga hur jag
the ways expound how I

The ethnicity of, and migrations into, the British Isles, during the years before about 500 AD, seem recently to have become a free-for-all topic, with several "experts" entering the fray. Bede, who was quite a punster, was writing perhaps some multiple hundred years after the alleged events. The consensus appears to be that he was more creative than strictly correct in his historiography, and that the "facts" are up for some hefty revision. This is, to repeat, in spite of the popular saying that it is a pity to spoil a good story with the truth.

New interpreters of The Seafarer lean towards the baleful influence of Enoch Soames, who succeeded in distorting understanding of the poem for at least 50 years. His followers often use the original composition as a jumping-off point for their own convoluted creations, which bear minimal resemblance to the original..

It was pointed out by David Burns (RIP) that there are over a thousand place-names in modern Sweden which start Angel, Engel or Ingel. Why is England pronounced Ingland ? Pure chance, of course.

There are few countries in Europe concerning which the average Englishman knows so little as Sweden; this is the more remarkable, for there are many reasons for believing that the English race originated in Sweden.         from Unknown Sweden: Steveni: 1925

The bipartite construction of The Seafarer is examined here. And here (click).

See further comments on anfloga here.

more forgotten anfloga notes

back to The Hard Part

Roll on year 2379 !

another page
anfloga again
favourite topics    journey's jargon
The C O E Reader. Scroll down for Borges.
The Seafarer and The Wanderer. G.V.Smithers
Space-Time    The Hard Part
An, Ân, & Eft: Old English Grammar. A. Campbell
Pretentious Fake
R.I.Page and the DOE
Hugr, Hyge, Håg
The prefix un- in Anglo-Saxon
the central crux of the seafarer
Biblical Echoes
re: unwearnum
visualizations of the anfloga

frosted (?) feathers

ice-feathered tern


essays and papers

© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2019
all rights reserved

Very Strongly Recommended Reading

David J. Burns
David J. Burns
TITLE:    Sweden/England
A Short Comparison of Place-Names
Names across the North Sea
NOTE:     publisher/other; Devon EX5 5HY; Devon EX5 5HY

Harp Song of the Dane Women

King Yngve names his domains

Here is a very highly recommended article by Colleen L. Klees: Click. Not perfect, but impressive.

"Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals."
George Orwell