Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anglo-Saxon Runes: Ingwaz moves. Widing: Meanings - Joy on an icy day. Hero! Or: Woods. Despair. Gift! Mix and Match.

The Ingwaz. 
Runes: Norse, Saxon and Anglo-Saxon Connections.
Found, perhaps: Confirmation of a Family Tale.
Rune forms for WIDING 

From Futhark to Futhork

I.  Summary:

Tale.  Roots in Runes. We may have found, after all this, at least a speculative bit of confirmation in old runic forms, letter symbols, of an old family story: someone was on a hunt with the King, and saved the King when the King was attacked by a bear.  Just in time! Your name will be Widing, supposedly said our grateful royal.

Problems. Now, how do you prove any of that.  First, we speculate and pass the story around each Thanksgiving with toasts.  Second, we follow any lead we find.  Third, we let something percolate, and it did.

Recourse. We looked at the charts of Old Futhark Runes (earliest Old Norse); then found connections between Saxon runes (some of them invaded Jolly Olde Englande in the 400's, the rest stayed in northern Germany to fight against Charlemagne 500 years later, and got resettled and beaten, finally) and the Norse Runes.  The Old Futhark had an "ng" or "ing" cluster that disappeared in later Younger Futhark; but the ng or ing is found in the Anglo-Saxon runes.  So we followed that.

Eureka! We found a chart of the meanings of the Anglo-Saxon rune forms, not just the name of the letter and its pronunciation.  And WIDING - adds up to any of these, WID as a totality=Wood (perhaps as in Saxon King Widukind, 9th C?); or put the letters separately, and get Joy Ice Day.  Then go to ING.  As a totality, it means hero, one who surpasses. References to a god, relationship with a king (there is a Swedish King Inge 11th C).  Put the letters separately, and you get either N for despair, distress, need; and G for gift.

Joy on an icy day. Hero!  
Or, In the woods, distress and need; Gift!

The story fits either way - an event for being grateful, a hero, a gift. Or fun to consider.

II.  Details.

In the oldest written letter forms for the Norse, Elder Futhark, there is an "ng" form, the "ingwaz". See Widing surname in Runes.  The hobby interest, as well as academic, leads to real or imagined ancestry, geneology, for those with The Name.

Figure 1

Figure 2

ADD ANGLO-SAXON RUNES, THE FUTHORK, and find meanings for each symbol.

Now we find that, in addition to the Elder Futhark forms and the Younger Futhark forms, in between comes the Anglo-Saxon Runes, called the Futhork, see :// That site shows charts and simple explanations.

Wikipedia is only a starting point for anything: a guide. We went from there to the details at :// But that gave so much information that we went back to the simple chart at Wikipedia.  On we go.  See runestones at ://

That is interesting, because in the later form of Norse Futhark, Younger Futhark, there is no longer an ng.  There are other differences, with combined letters and forms.  The missing NG is not the only one. Where did the nice ingwaz go?

But there does appear an Ing in Saxon, carrying over to the Anglo-Saxon.


What is the ng. It is known as the "ingwaz".   That was not the main topic in the Runes post here, but looks interesting. See overview of this rune with its disputed origins at ://  That site also explains more about the Futhark rune designations, in which the NG appears.

The ING is a masculine form from Germanic and Norse mythology, and the old Germanic Ingwaz could mean "he who is foremost". Ing: also a Norse and Germanic fertility god, Yngvi Freyr, see  Fertility, but also agriculture, weather, see ://

In Saxon runes:  the ING means "hero." 

That fits "he who is foremost." See the big chart at ://  The ingwaz ING has a different shape, however, in the Anglo-Saxon Rune chart.  It is one symbol made of two X's on top of each other, double X standing up, like on shoulders. 

Now we are getting somewhere.  See Anglo-Saxon runes at :// complete with charts, transliterations and meanings of the specific forms.  Yes - ing as hero.  Just like we tell ourselves at Thanksgiving.

Follow the naming of the all the runes here in Widing, using the Anglo-Saxon word meanings for each letter form:

W - That is the pointy P shape.  It is called "wynn" and means "joy" 

I   - That is the straight line we are familiar with.  It is called "is" and means "ice"

D  - That is the sideways pointy hourglass, on its side. It is called "daeg" and means "day."

I and the
NG - Those together comprise the ingwaz.  It is called  "ing" and means "hero"

Here are the Anglo-Saxon Runes - The Futhork - for Widing, we hope

Figure 3.

So:  Joy on an icy day - Hero!

That is simplistic, given all the detail and philosophy at the rune sites for Experts; but the point of similarity to story is there.

What if we take out the Ing, as one symbol, and substitute the two forms - one for N and one for G

N - An n on its own is a straight line with a diagonal cross bar tilting upper left to lower right, as in the Elder Futhark.  It is called "nyd" and means "need, distress".

G - A g on its own is an X shape, and called "gyfu".  It means "gift"

Figure 4

So:  Joy on an icy day - Distress.  Gift!

Get fancy.  If we take the Wid and apply to its root the woods or forest or tree idea, with forest-dwellers specifically mentioned in the Magnus the Barefoot saga where Inge etc., that fits as well.  A woodsy fellow as the WID, not the separate joy icy day.

Woodsy fellow Hero.

Or referring to King Wid-ukind, a Saxon.

Maybe that's as fur as we kin go.  You'd think the clan I married into would be pleased and interested in all this about finding out who they are, but so far, I am the only enthusiast. Wait until Thanksgiving this year. 

Splendid. The name Widing is a story in its own letter forms. Add the other meanings of the ING, friend of ___, choose your King - Swedish King Inge, Saxon King Widukind, does it matter? We have ourselves a hero.

FN 1.  Recheck use of the word elements as first names or surnames.

  • ING  Here is ING:  at ://  This source says that the Norse NG is the same as the Germanic INGWAZ - clearly close connections over time between the Norse and the Germanics, including Saxons.  The root means "progenitor, ancestor, leader."  See Nordicnames.  There are many variations on it, including Inge, the name of the Swedish King we were and are interested in.  You can see the countries where a variation of the Ing appears.

Ing and its variations does not appear as a mythological name, in the list at ://  But at this site it does:  Inge as a Norse fertility god, at ://

Ing also does not appear as a "patronymic" where a culture appends a word for son of or daughter of to a name.  Same site, different page, at ://

  • WID.  Links to Wid? --First names:  Only one w in Swedish, Wido (Germanic variant is Wito?), no derivation given.  
But there are lots of V's.  Closest may be Vidar (recent - say 1800's, not an old name; but look at this site: :// where Vidar may derive from Vid, forest, and ar, warrior, forest warrior.  That fits our story), Vide (more of these, see, Vida.

Names containing Wid.

More on Vithar and Vitthar (with 2 r's, son of Odin) - also forest warrior - in Norse at ://  Perhaps the bestowed name kept the first part, the forest, and changed the "warrior" to the Ing for friend of Inge, or hero.

Here, Vidar is the forest warrior but also a son of Odin, at :// He will avenge his father's death at the end of the world, that site saying that the roots of Vidar ar unclear, but we have found connections elsewhere to forest warrior, see ://

More: Find more on Frey, Odin, Runes discussion, Vidarr and the Wild Hunt:  see The Norse Gods at :// 
  • Link to god FREYR.
Look up YNGVI, a form of the ingwaz (the older theonym "Ing") and may be an older form of the name of the god, Freyr. See ://  Always vet Wikipedia, but this is a sane starting point in a confusing area.

Yngvi:  old Norse cognate (?) of Ing, and an alternate for the name of the god, Freyr.  This site says that Yngvi-Freyr was seen as the ancestor of the Swedish royal family.  There. Royalty. See ://

Old Norse Yngvi or Yngvin can mean "worshiper or friend of Ing" -- does that bring us back to the fellow who saved King Inge as then being bestowed with a name that meant he was thereafter a friend of Inge? 

That theonym Ing (says the site) is Proto-Germanic from Inguz. In Old Norse, look for it in stories like Ingvifreyr, or Ingunafreyr.  Have to look those up.

Yngve, then Yngvin - combination of the Yng meaning a Norse god, and the Vin, meaning "win" or friend. See :// 

  • YNGLING - the name of a dynasty, very old, in Scandinavia, see ://  Yngling:  descendant of Frey (god), see ://
All this just for recreation, as well as history.  Widing ancestry, Widing geneology. More important is the process and learning history.

III.  Next.

We have no family stories about another family Viking, Skarf, of the Burnt Njall Saga, Iceland, but looking up those Runes in the Old Norse is next.  It would not be Ango-Saxon, however,  We will start with the Elder Futhark and go see what Iceland did. Maybe the bones of a story emerge; or maybe we'll just make one up.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    thank you, very informative, good links and enjoyed your thought process