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Nine daughters of Aegir

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  • WILHELM OTTO
    Nine daughters of Aegir. I am trying to make some notes on Aegir, an old Vanir god on the way out to become a giant. It is my idea that he was a Frey like god
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 16, 2005
      Nine daughters of Aegir.
      I am trying to make some notes on Aegir, an old Vanir god on the way out to
      become a giant. It is my idea that he was a Frey like god for the people on
      the outer skerries, living fishing and hunting. They were hard pressed by
      the farming people on the mainland. So Aegirs power base eroded and he
      became more of a Giant. Well, this not the problem of this mail, but the
      names of his nine daughters.

      These are said to be Himingläva, Dufa, Bloughadda, Hefring, Unn, Rönn,
      Bylgja, Båra and Kolga according to my edition of the Edda. Researchers say
      that the daughters are waves of the sea and this is repeated ad infinitum
      when they copy each other. I myself think that these daughters well could be
      fishes. Kolga looks alike kolja, which is wonderful in fish pate. Hefring
      seems to be an old form of Herring in both German and Anglo-Saxon. Unnr
      means wave in Iceland, but .. Blaughadda sounds like a sort of "gädda" which
      is a sweetwater fish, but with a great reputation. And so on!

      Is there anyone on the list, which is familiar with the old words and can
      help me to disprove in the spirit of sir Karl Popper?
      Wilhelm
    • llama_nom
      ... Rönn, ... Fishes, eh? That´s an interesting idea. Maybe some of them were. Here´s the Icelandic spellings with as much as I know: Himinglæva.
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 18, 2005
        --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "WILHELM OTTO" <wilhelm.otto@s...>
        wrote:

        >
        > These are said to be Himingläva, Dufa, Bloughadda, Hefring, Unn,
        Rönn,
        > Bylgja, Båra and Kolga



        Fishes, eh? That´s an interesting idea. Maybe some of them were.
        Here´s the Icelandic spellings with as much as I know:


        Himinglæva. 'himinn' "sky, heaven". The second part, seemingly a
        feminine derivative from the masculine noun 'glær' "shining" (a
        poetic name for the sea, related to words for "glass" and "amber").
        Rudold Simek suggests "the heaven-shining one" (Dictionary of
        Northern Mythology, translated from German by Angela Hall).

        Dúfa. "dove"; also, a term of affection. I wonder if this was in
        origin a 'noa' name. NOA is a polynesian word used by scholars to
        mean an alternative name, a euphemism, used in place of the real
        name for some dangerous entity, for example calling the fairies "the
        Good People". Norse fishermen also used euphemistic names for their
        prey, maybe to placate the fish so that they wouldn't hide. But
        Simek groups this one as simply one more synonym for "wave".
        Irish 'dubh' is "black, dark". Don't know if that's relevent.

        Blóðughadda. "bloody-hair". The masculine noun 'haddr' is a poetic
        word for a lady's hair. -a is a feminine ending, often used to make
        nicknames. Alternatively, 'hadda' is a chain to hang a pot on. But
        Simek goes with the more lyrical "bloody-hair" too.

        Hefring. "the rising one", according to Rudolf Simeck,
        cf. 'hefja' "to raise up, to lift".

        Uðr. "wave", with assimilation of nn > ð before r. Cognate with
        OE 'ýþ' "wave".

        Hrönn. "wave", also found in prose in set expressions.

        Bylgja. "wave", cf. English 'billow', a poetic word for "wave".

        Bára. "wave".

        Kólga. Poetic word for "wave". Could it be related
        to 'kólna' "become cold"? So thinks Simek: "the cold one".


        But as Simek notes "the names for Aegir's daughters appear to have
        been indefinite..., and any synonym for wave could appear in poetry
        as a name for one of Aegir's daughters." Of course, none of this
        disproves that some of them were used as the names of fishes too at
        some time, although Old Norse poetry sees them rather as personified
        waves as far as I know.

        Llama Nom
      • WILHELM OTTO
        Thank you very much for your very good answer. A bad answer puts an end to a line of thought, a good answer opens new lines, new possibilities. Now I will work
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 19, 2005
          Thank you very much for your very good answer. A bad answer puts an end to a
          line of thought, a good answer opens new lines, new possibilities.
          Now I will work with all that you have given me. These daughters seem to be
          more complex then I thought. The old bards hid their truth in a box, in a
          box and so on. It seems that I have not considered the Icelandic spelling. I
          have seen the words through the old dialects I have a faint grasp of.

          Fishes would fit into the Ägir picture as a vanir - a god of peace and
          plenty, giving substance, but also taking his part in the form of lives. But
          the Vanir are a crummy lot, hard to grasp with a simple structure.
          Dufa, it spelled duva to day in Sweden. My associations go to the old
          fertility goddess, whatever she is called. She is sometimes pictured with a
          dove. The dove belongs to her like the swine, the cat, and the owl and so
          on. But I see no fish here.
          Hrönn might be a wave but is also the name of rowan or mountain ash. It has
          a lot of magic properties and is a part of the celtic Ogham-tree alphabet.
          You could for example use it to make whistles. Some use whistles to get
          wind. (This according to Graves.)
          Bylgjas. I did not see the connexion with bölja (eng. billow)- a small
          wave.
          Bloughadda is difficult. I pronounce it "blågedda" and tried it on an old
          chap selling fish in his young days. He thought he recognised it as a small
          shark - but could not swear on it.

          If all these were waves we could have a phenomena like the girl who had a
          lot of names for snow. There are a lot of waves as well as snows.

          I thank you. I have got a lot to ponder and if I may I will come back to
          you.
          I ask just for reference, as you have helped me, if your name is Llama Nom.
          Yours Wilhelm Otto
        • llama_nom
          ... True, and then they put the outside box inside the inside box, just to be sure. ... You have to fish for them... ... Never swear on a shark. That´s my
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 21, 2005
            --- In gothic-l@yahoogroups.com, "WILHELM OTTO" <wilhelm.otto@s...>
            wrote:
            > The old bards hid their truth in a box, in a
            > box and so on.


            True, and then they put the outside box inside the inside box, just
            to be sure.


            > But I see no fish here.



            You have to fish for them...



            > He thought he recognised it as a small
            > shark - but could not swear on it.



            Never swear on a shark. That´s my motto.



            > I ask just for reference, as you have helped me, if your name is
            Llama Nom.


            Well, it's my Yahoo name, but you don´t need to credit me. It would
            make more sense to cite the sources I used: Simek´s "Dictionary of
            Northern Mythology", and the Old Icelandic dictionaries of Fritzner
            [ http://www.dok.hf.uio.no/perl/search/search.cgi?
            appid=86&tabid=1275 ], and Cleasby & Vigfusson [
            http://www.ling.upenn.edu/%
            7Ekurisuto/germanic/oi_cleasbyvigfusson_about.html#images%20 ].

            Good luck with your research,
            LN
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