[Heralds] German/Norse name for Destiny

GeekGrrl geekgrrl at geekgrrl.org
Wed May 2 14:54:42 PDT 2001

Also, the only names that I can think of in Old Norse that would mean
Destiny have no evidence of being used as names for human beings. They
were the names of supernatural creatures such as goddesses. These are not
allowable for registration in the SCA.

Your client would be better advised to choose a name they like the sound
of rather then by the meaning. Norse were named for family members who had
died quite often, and though some of the names have clear meaning, it
doesn't seem to be the important part of choosing the name. It seems to me
that it was more important that a man's name have a masculine theme then a
masculine meaning and vice-versa. You'd name your son Ulfgeirr
(wolf-spear) because it's a fine, strong, masculine name for a child you
hope will grow up to be a fine, strong, masculine man. Not because it
literally means 'wolf-spear'. Or you'd name your son Ulfgeirr because your
father, who died not so long ago, was named Ulfgeirr and he was a fine,
strong, brave man with qualities you'd like to see in your son.

In short, Norse people were not named a name for the meaning the name held
by literal translation of it's parts. They were named a name because of
the 'feel' of the name and perhaps because of some ancestral
importance. Just as a lot of people today choose to name their children
certain names because they happen to like those names, or they happen to
be honoring an ancestor or family member.

Meaning mattered more when they started earning nicknames for
themselves. The closest nickname I can think of off the top of my head
that means something similar to Destiny is 'Lucky'. Leif the Lucky. I'd
have to go to my books to find the Old Norse for that. Perhaps your client
would like to choose a vernerable Old Norse name like Asa and be Asa the
Lucky or Asa the Unlucky or some such?


On Wed, 2 May 2001, Richard Culver wrote:

> . Like currently I have a shire member
> >looking for a Germanic or Norse form of Destiny....I have not been able to
> >find anything.
>    That will be hard as the Germanic people as a whole really did not
> believe in destiny.  It would imply an assumption of the concept of the
> definite future.  The Germanic languages only had past and present.  The
> closest some might say is "it was wyrded", the concept of Wyrd or Urdhr as
> "destiny" or "predestiny" is late and in mostly christian texts.  In
> addition to that, most names would have two elements to their structure (ex:
> Cyni- "kin/of the kin", -ric "ruling/ruler/strong").  In Old English, we do
> have reduced forms which appear to be nicknames or diminuitives of the
> two-element name (ex: Bubba is short for something in OE).
> Godspeed,
> Cyniric
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