Rune Dictionary

written by Professor Wessex

An introduction to the interpretation and usage of Germanic runes.

Last Updated






Chapter 13: The Fragments of Hagall’s Aett in the Younger Futhark

Chapter 15
ᚼ ᚽ
Hagalaz --- Hagall
/h/, as in the English high, the French hotte, and the Spanish ojo
Meaning: Hail
Changes: The shape of the rune changed drastically from the Elder Futhark to the Younger Futhark.

ᚾ ᚿ
Naudhiz --- Nauðr or Naudh
Phonetic value: /n/, as in the English month, the French connexion, and the Spanish cantar
Meaning: Constraint / Need
Changes: In addition to keeping the original meaning of need, Naudh also can indicate constraint, or some sort of restriction.

Isa --- Íss or Is
Phonetic value: /i/, as in the English free, the French fini, and the Spanish tipo
/e/, as in the English bird
Meaning: Ice
Changes: The additional /e/ sound, explained in more detail below, is new and was not included in Isa -- the parent rune’s -- possible sound values.
Magical Uses: Because of its shape, it is difficult to tell when the rune being used is from the Elder Futhark, a confirmed magical script, and the Younger or Anglo-Saxon. However, some inscriptions and bindrunes seem to possess a magical effect not generally attributed to Isa. These few inscriptions that seem to intent to enhance the clarity of various divining methods are used as proof by the scholarly sub-group who believes in the magical meanings of the younger runic scripts.
General Notes: This particular expression of the /e/ sound is further clarified as “ɜ” and pronounced as such.

ᛅ ᛆ
Jera --- Ar
Phonetic value: /a/, as in the English, stock, the French patte, and the Spanish madre
/æ/, as in the English cat, and the French bain
/ɔ/, as in the English thought, and the French sort
Meaning: Plenty / Harvest
Changes: This rune bears little resemblance to the shape of its parent rune in the Elder Futhark. The sound values show further changes. Neither the original /j/ or /i/ (also expressed as “y’) have been preserved, and instead there are variations on the vowel “a”. Harvest has remained as a meaning, but has also been expanded to mean plenty, a meaning which was absent in the original Elder Futhark.

ᛦ ᛣ ᛧ
Eihwaz --- Yr
Phonetic value: /j/, as in the English you, the French yeaux, and the Spanish ayer
Meaning: Yew tree
Changes: The rune shape has changed from one futhark to the other, and the pronunciation has changed from the original “eo” sound to the “y” sound.
General Notes: It may surprise you to see the initial letter of the English word “you” represented by the symbol /j/, but this is not an error, and in fact the sound that English speakers associate with “y.” Note: the “a” sound is not part of the pronunciation, it is used as a break between the first and second repetitions of /j/. However, it useful to note that for ease of quick reference, the sound is often simply written “y” in pronunciation guides for speakers of English.

ᛋ ᛍ
Sowilo --- Sol
Phonetic value: /s/, as in the English sand, the French façade, and the Spanish saltador
[ks], which those who speak English think of as “x”, as in the English six
Meaning: Sun
Changes: In addition to retaining its original /s/ phonetic value, Sol has additional sound of “ks.”
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