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See Man (word) for the Germanic etymology. See Mannus for the mythological ancestor recorded by Tacitus.
"man, human"
Shape Elder Futhark Futhorc Younger Futhark
Runic letter mannaz.svg Long-branch m rune.svg Short-twig m rune.svg
Transliteration m
Transcription m
IPA [m]
Position in rune-row 20 14
Two early forms of the m-rune of the Younger Futhark.

*Mannaz is the conventional name of the m-rune of the Elder Futhark. It is derived from the reconstructed Common Germanic word for "man", *mannaz.

Younger Futhark ᛘ is maðr ("man"). It took up the shape of the algiz rune ᛉ, replacing Elder Futhark .

As its sound value and form in the Elder Futhark indicate, it is derived from the letter M (𐌌) in the Old Italic alphabets, ultimately from the Greek letter Mu (μ).

Rune poems[edit]

The rune is recorded in all three Rune Poems, in the Norwegian and Icelandic poems as maðr, and in the Anglo-Saxon poem as man.

Rune Poem:[1] English Translation:


Maðr er moldar auki;
mikil er græip á hauki.
Man is an augmentation of the dust;
great is the claw of the hawk.


Maðr er manns gaman
ok moldar auki
ok skipa skreytir.
homo mildingr.[clarification needed]
Man is delight of man
and augmentation of the earth
and adorner of ships.


Man byþ on myrgþe his magan leof:
sceal þeah anra gehwylc oðrum swican,
forðum drihten wyle dome sine
þæt earme flæsc eorþan betæcan.
The joyous man is dear to his kinsmen;
yet every man is doomed to fail his fellow,
since the Lord by his decree
will commit the vile carrion to the earth.

Modern usage[edit]

For the "man" rune of the Armanen Futharkh as "life rune" in Germanic mysticism, see Lebensrune.


  1. ^ Original poems and translation from the Rune Poem Page ("Ragnar's Ragweed Forge").

See also[edit]