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anfloga, eft, holma, hreþer, hweteð, hyge, mæg, onwæl weg, sceata, unwearnum, wongas

every word misunderstood



The boxed text below consists of an edited passage from Dag Strömbäck's Den osynliga närvaron, --- The Invisiible Presence, 1989. Unfortunately for monoglots it doesn't seem to have been translated, and I can't be bothered to translate it myself, so I'm putting it up anyway. Strömbäck links hugen with fylgjan and vården. He sees these all as disembodied manifestations of the human entity. Perhaps disembodiable elements in the construction of the human being puts it more accurately. The first sentence in the box reads "The soul or spiritual element of the human being has many names."

Before his comments on vården --- which I hold to be cognate with Anglish hreþer, as also early Swedish varðer --- Strömbäck had a few pages on hugsning, and hugsa. He relates several various words of this nature to a Norwegian or generally northern dialectical word hug, meaning, in his view, "soul". There is no doubt that the modern Swedish word håg was formerly spelled hug, and ultimately relates directly to the Anglish word hyge. However, neither hyge nor hug appears to mean "soul", but more sensibly "mind" (or "thought"). Hence the word may give rise to Modern English phrases such as "I'm minded to go on a journey", "I have no mind for music", "my thought is wandering", "I cast my mind back, or forward", etc.

The examples given by Strömbäck of hugsning or hugsa have to do with powers of the mind, rather than the soul. Under particular circumstances one person's mind is seen in certain Swedish, or other northern, country districts as capable of exerting an influence, at a distance, on the health and well-being of other people. This could perhaps be described as a telepathic power. A similar influence could be seen as affecting the condition of inanimate objects, as might be ascribed elsewhere to the poltergeist. The mind, as described by Strömbäck, is not seen as physically departing from its owner, flying far and wide, and then returning, screaming and yelling.

The fetch has no relevance to The Seafarer, and I don't really know why I've even mentioned it.

Vården - Vålen - Valen - Vorden

Anglish was spoken by the first settlers in East Anglia, as well as by the residents of what is now known as southern Sweden. Over time, Anglish, following the Norman Conquest, gradually turned into a different language, called English, from the works of Chaucer onwards. In Sweden, Anglish turned into modern Swedish, but the changes were nothing like as marked as the changes that turned Anglish into English. Therefore, modern Swedish remains a far better guide to Anglish than does modern English. Very few modern English speakers know enough Swedish to be aware of this simple fact. They might have been alerted to this on noting that O.S.Andersson/Arngart had delivered by far the best interpretation of The Seafarer in 1937. But even he was still under the jingoistic cosh of Henry Sweet.

Repeated quote: "Sweet ..... felt under particular pressure from German scholars in English studies who ..... 'annexed' the historical study of English. ..... He felt that 'no English dilettante can hope to compete with them -- except by Germanizing himself and losing all his nationality.' " Wikipedia. Sweet never seems to have realized that most Anglo-Saxons had arrived from what is today Skåne, once Scedenig, in modern Sweden, not Germany.


Cassell's Concise. Slightly better than the ODEE.

Engelska Ordboken

Etymologisk Ordbok

Engelska Ordboken

         Etymologisk Ordbok         

Partridge's Etymological Dictionary. Substantially more useful than the ODEE.


Cleasby-Vigfusson, Icelandic-English Dictionary, 1874
Hellquist, Etymologisk Ordbok, 1922
Cassell's German Dictionary, 1940
Partridge: Origins; Short Etymological Dictionary, 1958
The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, 1979
Cassell's Concise English Dictionary, 1989
Stora Engelska Ordboken; Esselte Studium, 1989

1999: Swedish Sprachgefühl for Anglo-Saxon
2013: More Sprachgefühl for Anglo-Saxon
Toronto's Plan

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"The pain of a new idea is one of the greatest pains in human nature. People find it much easier to believe a lie they've heard a thousand times than a fact they've never heard before."
Daniel P. Reid.