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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

what's in a word?

or in a name?

years ago, i was told by a friend who'd served in the swedish military that my last name was used on the swedes' latest and greatest tank. it was an ultra modern killing machine, all sleek and black and deadly, named after the vikings' war chariots. so for years i thought my last name meant 'war chariot'.... not terribly feminine, but i learned to live with it. hmmm, i thought..... as my first name is that of the goddess of the hunt....

Greek virgin Goddess of hunting. Many of her characteristics were transferred to Christian Virgin Mary. She is Goddess of young girls. Her father is Zeus, king of the Gods, and mother is Leto. Her brother is Apollo, God of hunting and healing.

... i guess it's fairly appropriate. then the other day i got meandering online, and thought i'd look up the literal translation. turns out it's not a swedish word, but a norwegian one, which translates....

bicker, bickering, competition, conflict, contention, contest, controversy, feud, fight, manor, polemic, strife, wrangle

the swedes added 'vagon' to this, for the war charriot.

so i mentioned this in passing to my lovely daughter the punster, who quipped, "hmm, the huntress and trouble. Mum, you're just looking for trouble."

took what little bit of romance was left in the whole thing right out. nothing keeps us humble like having kids.


lindsaylobe said...

Your eldest daughter may be a wit, but in life experience is still the great teacher. It’s hard, when you’re younger to develop much interest in you past and your ancestry names, since it seems to naturally emerge in later life doesn’t it? Although I appreciate it may be different in your circumstance.

You could have quipped, so my dear you know now why you were always my hearts desire, even when you were so much trouble.

I liked your suggested lyrics at Zees blog, which I thought was much more of a tune about the fall than my old tired brain could muster, so go add that final verse and help Zee put it to music. My excuse is I don’t know much about your fall and how it would make you feel……….but I gather its spring and summer that holds much more appeal!! I –trust you are enjoying your gigs wearing whilst wearing your new scarf!!

Best wishes

gfid said...

lindsay - lol! good comeback! wish i'd thought of it :o) the lyrics are something i started years ago when living in a log cabin on the banks of the yukon river, just upstream of dawson city yt. in fact, you sent me a poem that matched the meter of it perfectly, that i need to find - i'm sure it's the missing last verse. ...the scarf is a wee drift of heaven to wear around my neck.

lindsaylobe said...

From memory was this it ? you are welcome to use it /adapt should it help !!

Best wishes

The deep oceans currents are still guided by stars
As the birds migration are white dots from afar
The earth is refreshed as they soar through the air
The joys of new freedoms for birds without care

susan said...

Ahh, a very pretty and evocative verse from Lindsay.

I was named for my grandfather's favorite flower and the pet name he had for my grandmother - black eyed susan.. but her eyes were very dark and mine are not.

gfid said...

lindsay - yes, from memory. nothing important sticks in my brain, but ask me about trivia, and i'm a wealth of information. and thanks for yet another of your thought provoking, evocative verses. .... it's most welcome, as today any birds flying in my sky would plummet and shatter in frozen shards on contact with the ground.

su - i have a sis-in-law named susan; also not dark eyed, but i've always loved the name.... and the flower.

Lee said...

As Lee, of course, I appreciate being on the warm side of the hill, and have come to enjoy the name for it's subtle beauty and tragi-comic flourishes.
Just kidding!
It's kinda like that Billy Bragg line about relationships being like watches, something about taking them apart to see how they work but never getting back together quite functionally. Yours is a strong and flowing name and it's what people ascribe to the beauty of who you are that they now associate with anyone new they meet sharing your name. What a wonderful legacy! Bravo!
Besides, Phoenix would've been a challenge in so many ways....

gfid said...

lee - as always, you take the philosophical angle.... and i agree, there are many fine things about 'lee' both in the geographical and as name for a member of homo sapiens.... how do you know phoenix isn't my middle name....? i do tend to make an ash of myself pretty regularly (couldn't resist) ;0)