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Nasal a[edit]

However, the first A in the fuþark was nasal, hence originally close to an o.

Hi, what is the above supposed to mean? Nasality of vowels can be independent from vowel quality (in terms of formant frequencies). --Kjoonlee 16:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

I guess it means that the original sound, which was a nasal a, turned into an o-phoneme in Anglo-Saxon.--Berig (talk) 17:22, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
this is difficult. The /a/ itself wasn't nasal, the /a/ in the word *ansuz just became nasal because of the following /n/. But the association of the a rune with its name ansuz > áss appears to have been so strong that the letter value itself has assumed nasality, so that both in the younger and the Anglo-Saxon row, a new rune for /a/ proper was needed. dab (𒁳) 09:50, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Individual letter articles[edit]

The discussion was moved to the runic studies talk page on 22 May 2008.

there is some discussion on what to do with the articles on the individual runes. Many of them are certainly stubby and need attention. Although it is better to have an informative stub than a rambling page of nonsense. Bloodofox (talk · contribs) thinks they are a "mess" in need of standardization. See here and here. We are looking at the following issues:

  • this is clearly an article series, tied together by the {{Runes}} navbox. However the nature of the various articles isn't uniform. Some runes are attested in all rows without complications (Fehu), some are in all rows but have a complicated history (Ansuz). Some are not in the Younger Futhark and hence best known from Anglo-Saxon (Gyfu). Some are not in the Elder Futhark (Yr rune, Ear rune).
  • due to this heterogenous situation, it is difficult to pick the best article title per WP:NAME. Bloodofox recently moved all Elder Futhark rune articles the Proto-Germanic name, including the asterisk (*Fehu). In the case of thej rune, he chose the stem (because of an uncertainty of reconstruction), *Jēra-, but in other cases of uncertainty, he just chose one possibility, as in *Ûruz (rune) (why the disambiguating "(rune)" I'm not sure. I have reverted these moves as undiscussed, but I recognize we can discuss this. I do not think it makes sense to stick to asingle over-arching naming principle, because of the complicated situation of these names. For example, Peorð is an Elder Futhark rune, but it is pointless to move it to a Common Germanic title (with or without asterisk), because such a name simply isn't known. The Anglo-Saxon name Peorð is arguable, but perhaps the simple title P rune would be more satisfactory. In fact, a system if F rune, U rune etc. would be the only "unified" approach that I can see as making sense. But do we want that?
  • the asterisk in reconstructed article titles (Wodanaz, Perkwunos etc.) is an independent question. I am clearly opposed to it. I don't think it will fly, at all, with WP:NAME. Technical special characters should be avoided in article titles if possible. For this, look to mathematics topics: we have Chi-squared test, not χ² test, for good reasons. If the mathematicians can title that article "Chi-squared test", we certainly can do with Jēran or even Jeran over *Jēra- and Perkwunos over *Perkʷunos.

anyway, informed third opinions are welcome. I am presenting the question here (as boo should have done) to allow centralized discussion between interested parties. I would certainly welcome further expansion and cleanup of the rune articles as long as it happens with expertise and circumspection. If there is an interest in "standardization" of these articles, I refer to the thought I have put into "infoboxes" further up on this page (February 2006). this arrangement is flexible enough to capture the key data of each rune (with some fields remaining empty depending on the situation). I'll try to implement this in a {{runic letter}} template. dab (𒁳) 09:50, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I gave it a try, but I think it will probably be quicker to do the 30 or so tables manually than to come up with the complicated template code required to automatize this... The disadvantag being, of course, that 30 templates will be more tedious to maintain than a single template however complicated. So, I've installed an example "infobox" at Fehu (see Template:Fehu infobox), along the lines I suggested back in February 06, and I'll wait for comments before I go any further with this. dab (𒁳) 10:45, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
A few responses to questions raised by Dab at my article moves - some of the articles had names such as "runename (rune)" and "runename rune" so I just standardized them into "runename (rune)". For others, I just asterisked their commonly known Elder Futhark variant and moved on (though I could have potentially have chosen other options). Since this is standard practice and ought to be done whenever the names are written to show that they're unattested reconstructions, I figured it wouldn't be a problem and just went ahead and did it but Dab has given me some resistance about it. Anyway, outside of my asterisks-in-title proposal, here's a few points:
  1. Standardization. I think it's possible to work out a sort of standardized format of these articles and that it would be the best option for them. For example, many of the introductions don't require much variance in their development history from one another. Most of the articles can have a standardized body reflecting the development of the rune. Of course, runes such as *perþ- will require extra explanation as to why there's so much confusion surrounding them.
  2. References. These articles are badly in need of references and need badly need pruning. I've done this over the last few years but haven't focused heavily on bringing these articles up to standard in some time - having a system in place would be helpful. Recently, I've been heavily editing and attempting to bring this article, the Runic alphabet article, up to snuff and will continue to do so.
  3. I think the box would be helpful, though the "position" might need some clarification if it's to be used. For example, "futhark and futhorc position" would be more helpful - most people will have no idea what you mean.:bloodofox: (talk) 11:22, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
0. "runename (rune)" -- a bad idea. I've had this discussion on Talk:Ogham (in an Ogham context, obviously). The idea is based on a misunderstanding of WP:DAB.
1. standardisation is a good thing as long as it doesn't become an end unto itself (ask User:Reddi[1]). The case at Ansuz (rune) (lots of evolution) will necessarily be much more involved than at Fehu (no evolution whatsoever).
2. references are welcome of course, although the present articles can easily be summarily referenced to a standard introduction such as Düwel (2001). I don't know about "pruning". But I appreciate your attack of the Rune poems content that I agree has been in disarray for some time now (still, I object to the "mess". I didn't bother to do this prettily, but I submit it is better to have the basic information than nothing at all. As it stands, we've had the basic information on wiki since late 2004, which was certainly preferable to waiting until 2008 for somebody to do this "properly".)
3. -- granted, you are welcome to fiddle with it. I am trying to keep the table as concise but informative as possible.
I am not trying to keep you from improving the articles, boo. Straightforward cleanup work such as Holt's is certainly welcome. This is different from questions of actual scholarly content, notation, reconstruction etc., which are very easy to get wrong.
dab (𒁳) 13:19, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the "runename (rune)" setup, it wasn't my idea, I was standardizing them when moving them. Regarding references, these articles shouldn't have references as some sort of bonus - they need to be entirely referenced and lock-solidly or they can simply be removed by anyone around and, in many cases, should be. It's good that we have a framework to work with, I suppose, but without references it can be worse than nothing. :bloodofox: (talk) 17:39, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
no problem. I never objected to your adding references. But when information is completely undisputed and is confirmed in any primer on the subject, referencing can be looser than in cases of arcane or disputed topics. It seems you are not always sure which case applies, as showcased e.g. here. This is an example of what we certainly do not want. You show similar lack of judgement here where you tag {{fact}} to a verbatim quote of a statement from a source that was explicitly stated. You just seemed to think it necessary that each and every sentence in a paragraph must have a footnote. I'll be the first to admit that you have learned much about Germanic topics since you first came here in December 2005, and you may be a living proof that Wikipedia can function as "the university that anyone can edit" for those willing to participate, but you still show some erratic behaviour when it comes to distinguishing exceptional claims from mere standard handbook stuff.
anyway, I created a Category:Rune infoboxes and intend to fill it with these infobox templates over the next days. You are most welcome to help. dab (𒁳) 07:02, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
You're a funny guy, Dab. First of all, I didn't put any of those references there on the Óðr page in the edit you show - I simply restored it after you mass removed it in the wake of a better write up. You removed them all again and so it's since been pulled by myself in hopes of a better write up. If anyone here has a problem understanding that material must be referenced, I'm afraid it's you (as these runic articles attest). Secondly, regarding the McNallen quote (where I moved the reference to directly attribute the quote) if I tagged it originally, I'm not sure why. Still, I think anyone who goes through my edit history can well see I'm very familiar and very solid with my sources - unlike yourself.
In fact, with the Óðr article, I'm responsible for almost all of what is there and solidly referenced at the moment. My contributions there are completely in line with WP:GA standards, something I strive for in all of my edits.
Look, Dab, I know you're still angry with me about my involvement in your Arbcom (that didn't go so well for you) but you really ought to get over it and show some civility - which is policy, by the way. For example, there's no need to make claims about my knowledge of Germanic paganism in comparison to your own in some petty attempt at belittlement, and this business about "the University that anyone can edit" - How absolutely absurd. Save me the personal attacks. Comments like these are absolutely not necessary: you know nothing about me outside of my edit history, which you seem very fond of pulling "examples" out of that are, at times, over two years old. How is that necessary or constructive? :bloodofox: (talk) 12:07, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I have not wasted a thought on that case in recent weeks. This wasn't your fault. I am perfectly civil, and I have no idea why you are linking to the WP:CIVIL page for my benefit. Any particular passage you'd like to point out? I am commenting on the quality of your edits. You have a long history of well-meaning but uninformed editing. I am not referring to the instances of your ideological pov pushing, they have nothing to do with this. Ok, so you tried to hitch a ride on a completely unrelated arbcom case in an attempt to shoot me down. To the extent that this does reveal something of your personality -- I am happy to ignore that in the interest of keeping this completely non-personal: I really don't care who you are or what you believe in, I am commenting on the quality of your edits. I am prepared to admit that the quality of your edits has generally improved, but I must say that you still tend to create a cost for others with your ill-advised "cleanup" campaigns. No problem, there are many editors who do much worse. If you cannot accept partial praise, forget I tried to give you partial praise. As for "adding references", why haven't you done that for the rune article instead of wasting your breath about it? Just slap Düwel on each article for a start. I agree this would be an improvement. It is really beyond me why you indulge in second-guessing my "understanding" of WP:CITE instead of just going in there and adding the bleeding references. dab (𒁳) 12:36, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
If that was praise, I'd hate to see your criticism! Further, if that "cost for others" is to get them to reference their contributions, that is policy. I don't believe there was any reason for me not to be involved in your Arbcom - it was open to anyone and I felt it was necessary. Regarding referencing, I'll start by referencing the names and meanings of the individual Elder Futhark runes when I get a chance - I generally feel responding to people is more pressing. Also, I'm curious about this "ideological POV pushing" - can you be more specific? :bloodofox: (talk) 12:52, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
whatever. No, I will not discuss our past ideological exchanges on this page. Yes, you are welcome to cleaning up the "mess" at rune poem and to "referencing the names and meanings of the individual Elder Futhark runes" (as long as this doesn't result articles littered with footnotes Óðr-style. dab (𒁳) 13:07, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
The discussion was moved to the runic studies talk page on 22 May 2008.

Standard Outline[edit]

The discussion was moved to the runic studies talk page on 21 May 2008.

Though this topic is something I wanted to tackle as part of a coordinated Ancient Germanic studies project, it seems that important decisions are being made now. I would like to come back to a point raised earlier: a 'standardized' outline. Do either of you have any concrete ideas here? I was thinking something like the following:

History (incl. Developmental theories, e.g. Mees (Celtic), Taylor (Greek), Vennemann (Phoenician), etc.; and developmentally antecedent/subsequent runes)
Phonetic value
Rune Poems
Pop Culture (?)

Criticism is expected - but so are concrete alternative proposals. Ideas? —Aryaman (Enlist!) 11:49, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

This sounds perfectly acceptable to me. This is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. I guess the question is how exactly should we propose the lead? I think they can be largely standardized, maybe something like this for most of them:
*Runename is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name for the (letter value)-rune in the Elder Futhark meaning "meaning, meaning, meaning".(ref) This reconstruction is based off of the attested (poem rune), (poem rune), (poem rune), and is related to (gothic letter name).
Of course, considering certain runes have a more problematic reconstruction than others, we ought to figure in what to be written in this circumstance for the lead. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:11, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
A very constructive contribution, Varoon. Standardization will massively improve the overall standard of the separate rune articles, and we won't get deficient and untidy articles like for example the Gyfu page. Since the rune poems are essential to the understanding of the meaning of the rune names, I think it would be more natural to move the "Rune Poems" section further up, by making it a sub-section of "Etymology" (assuming the etymologic section will deal with the meaning of the name, correct me if I'm wrong). I realize the rune poem tables I have made the last couple of days may lead to some aesthetic flaws due to the space they take, but so far this solution for the rune poems is better than how it was earlier, in my opinion. The last section called "Pop culture" should perhaps have a more neutral name like "Modern usage", and an "Ancient usage" section can be added as a counterpart, as in the current Tiwaz rune article. The "Phonetic value" section is superfluous if we are going to keep the rune infoboxes Dab has been adding lately. So to sum it up, here's the slightly altered version that I have in mind:
Lead (with the rune infobox)
Rune Poems
History (incl. Developmental theories, e.g. Mees (Celtic), Taylor (Greek), Vennemann (Phoenician), etc.; and developmentally antecedent/subsequent runes)
Ancient usage (if there is anything noteworthy)
Modern usage (same as above)
Bloodofox' lead section suggestion sounds good to me. --Holt (talk) 13:28, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
As for a standard outline for the rune article names (discussed above), I think the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name without any special characters or asterixes is fitting. Adding "rune" (no parentheses) after the Proto-Germanic name can also ward off any disambiguation problems, and clears up confusion - most people know the runes by other names, most likely the Younger Futhark ones. Where there are several reconstructions (as with *Laguz/Laukaz), the most plausible and commonly accepted term is a natural choice (*Laguz in this case), but when there are two equally accepted conflicting names (as with *Ūruz/Ûram), what is the solution here? It would be wise to have a standard template, to prevent unpleasant situations ([2] - [3]). When it comes to implementing these standardizations, I suppose we'll handle that under controlled circumstances as a part of the Ancient Germanic studies project. --Holt (talk) 14:14, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Re: Naming conventions: This is inherently tricky territory, as equally qualified experts are frequently at variance with one another and often give little to no reasoning behind their reconstructions. Case in point: Düwel (2001) has *Laguz, Haarmann (1998) has *Laukaz. Neither give good reasons for their choice, and I don't think we are going to find any sources that can decide the matter conclusively (even Düwel is undecided on a few, giving both *Īsaz/Īsan, *Haglaz/Haglan and *Ōþalan/Ōþilan. I suggest that we gather our sources and then simply decide upon one or the other convention based upon frequency of occurrence and consistency and then apply that standard universally. —Aryaman (Enlist!) 14:46, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I see. I support your suggestion. --Holt (talk) 16:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I would advise against artificial standardization of article names. WP:NAME tells us to pick the most common name for the topic. For a well-attested rune like the g rune, this may well be gyfu, while for an obscure rune like p, this may indeed be "p rune". Runes that survive both in Anglo-Saxon and Younger Futhark rows, the runes will be known by at least two names, depending on context (strictly speaking, an Anglo-Saxon f rune is not the "same" letter as a YF f rune, but not even Unicode makes this distinction). WP:UCS on a case by case basis will be needed there. dab (𒁳) 18:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

The discussion was moved to the runic studies talk page on 21 May 2008.

Image copyright problem with Image:Bluetooth.svg[edit]

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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --20:38, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Link to[edit]

I deleted this following the guidance at WP:EL and [4] which says:

Webpages in English are highly preferred. Linking to non-English pages may still be useful for readers in the following cases:

when the website is the subject of the article
when linking to pages with maps, diagrams, photos, tables (explain the key terms with the link, so that people who do not know the language can interpret them)
when the webpage contains key or authoritative information found on no English-language site and is used as a citation (or when translations on English-language sites are not authoritative).

Particularly we already have slightly more links than we should have, I'd like to know the rationale for having this one. Dougweller (talk) 11:02, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't approve of deleting links just because there isn't enough English on them, particularly when they are related to linguistics. Having said that, I'm not fighting for this, though I think content on the link in question was interesting. -- Evertype· 08:08, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

this isn't about the Russian bits at all. The question is, should we link to Jon Olafsson of Grunnavik's MS. Runologia. This seems to be a notable early (18th century) work on runology. As long as we keep a separate runology article discussing the history of research, this manuscript should probably be discussed there. Better yet, we need an English equivalent of the is:Jón Grunnvíkingur article. Just linking to an 18th century treatise on runology without comment isn't very helpul. --dab (𒁳) 08:58, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I note we have a redlink to Jón Ólafsson (runologist) at Jón Ólafsson. This is the article we should develop, and the link would properly be placed there. --dab (𒁳) 09:01, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Old Turkic Script?[edit]

It is claimed here[5] that the Runnic scripts and the ancient Turkic (Gokturk) scripts may have some relation between each other. Has any further search done about this yet? Some signs/letters in Gokturk Runes look really similar, especially a, i, u etc.. Yasakresim (talk) 22:34, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

The relation between individual similar letters considering sound value seems close to zero. Apparently, most alphabets carved on wood etc. tend to look similar. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 23:04, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
You didn't read the resource, did you? Even you don't bother to read, do you? They can read the Runic script in ancient Gokturk language: (talk) 22:18, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I know just about nothing of Turkish historical linguistics, but the technique used on the article seems to be based on connecting different runes based on external appearance, and then sort of interpret anything out of the result that roughly looks like Old Turkish and roughly makes sense. Looks extremely speculative. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 00:36, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Viewing / Display[edit]

Even if the instructions found on the linked page the runic characters are still not displayed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:44, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Significance of punctuation[edit]

The article mentions three punctuation marks for Runic. From what I can discern from my copy of the Hobbit (yes, an original runic source! :) ), it seems that the single punctuation was used instead of a space, and the multiple punctuation instead of a full-stop, but I'm unable to find anything concerning the use of the cross punctuation. Would anyone like to amend the article to fix this? -- TimNelson (talk) 04:06, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source that says this? I'm seeing reliable sources mention the three punctuation marks in the Unicode standard, but none about punctuation marks being used in runic alphabets. If some runic alphabets do use punctuation, it would need to be clarified which ones, but using a copy of the Hobbit to draw that conclusion is original research, and would need to be verified with a reliable source.


Unlike mentioned in the text, "runot" means "poems" not "song" in Finnish language. ( (talk) 00:18, 8 April 2012 (UTC))

2nd-century-BC runes[edit]

Whilst translating an academic book from the Spanish I have just come across a silver Roman denarius dated at the second century BC. This coin has six runic characters making a word on the reverse. I am attempting to identify the head of which Emperor appears on the face. If confirmed it will shift the date of the first known runic script back by three centuries. Geoffreybrooks (talk) 14:14, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Have you considered the possibility that these "runes" might be taken from a different, superficially similar, writing system such as the Celtiberian script (the most obvious candidate, probably)? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:11, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

unicode characters[edit]

How do I get the intext runic to display on my computere. on every lemma about rune's I only get squares when ever there is a unicode rune used.

via the special character help page I changed my settings utf8 and sett my lettertype to a Unicode one. but for both Chrome and IE this does not do the trick.

Ian Splinter (talk) 10:06, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

I have the same problem with Safari and Firefox (for Mac). Where does one get the font set to be able to see these characters in the article? --VanBurenen (talk) 11:18, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
With some help from the people on the Dutch wikipedia and this website: I found that the font 'Code2000' supports the Runic characters. Ian Splinter (talk) 15:25, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I use Google Chrome on Windows 7. You can find step by step instructions on configuring it to display runes in Unicode here. Placebo69a (talk) 19:32, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
I have at my work Internet Explorer 10 and Firefox, running on Windows 7. The runes in this article work right away for both browsers. At home I have Internet Explorer and Chrome, also on Windows 7 where IE works right away, but Chrome does not, unless setting a default font which contains runes.--BIL (talk) 14:00, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Are we ready to show runes in articles about rune stones? It adds to the stone articles to be able to see the runes and comparing them to the image (if the runes work of course).--BIL (talk) 14:00, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Use in computer systems[edit]

Shouldn't the caption "Unicode" better be "Typesetting in computer systems"? Because that would enable it to be more general and allow information like "Runes can be produces in LaTeX with various packages such as the Futhark, Anglo-Saxon Futharc or the more general packages Runic or Allrunes." Would that be appropriate? Peterthewall (talk) 11:35, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

The earliest rune inscription HARJA is in the Finnish language[edit]

"Harja" (= brush, comb in modern Finnish) is not a Germanic word. -

Suggesting that runes are in Germanic languages only, is not based on factual information nor probability but on mere biased speculation.

Northern Europe in and after the time of the first known runes was ruled by the Finns/Kvens, so it's only logical that runes were used - at least - to write the Finnish (Finnic/Finno-Ugric) language. Also, the word HARJA found on the Vimose Comb did exist in the Finnic/Finnish language already in 150-160 AD, but it did not exist as such in the Germanic languages.

The whole article must be rewritten if Wikipedia wants to be considered a reliable source of information. (talk) 17:26, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

The Vimose Comb reads HARJA, NOT HARJAZ. In Finnish HARJA means the thing you brush your hair with, so it's obvious the text on the Vimose Comb is in Finnish. (talk) 23:21, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

The only thing that is obvious is that any statement in the article that the word engraved in runes on the Vimose comb is Finnish would need to be backed up by a reliable published source, and I cannot find any reliable sources that support this theory, whereas there are a number of reliable sources that indicate that the word is Germanic. BabelStone (talk) 23:44, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
"The word HARJA is an old loan from Baltic, and corresponds on the loaning side to (e.g.) Lithuanian šerys 'bristle of a pig' and the Latvian plural form sari 'bristles, horsehairs, horse's mane; hair'. The meaning of an animal's bristles or horsehairs is the original one, but in Finnic, the same word also refers to the ridge of a roof."

Above a direct translation from Häkkinen's much-lauded etymological dictionary, p. 171. Kaisa Häkkinen: Nykysuomen etymologinen sanakirja, s. 935. Helsinki: WSOY, 2004. ISBN 951-0-27108-x.

No mention of a Germanic origin and indeed, such a word does not exist even in the hypothetical Proto-Germanic language. Only the word harjaZ may exist. (In Proto-Germanic names the first name element lost its -z ending during the combination of both name elements, for instance the words *harjaz and *wulfaz were not combined as *Harjazwulfaz but as *Harjawulfaz.) HARJA alone would have been an impossible word.

Would you kindly present the links you refer to, that prove my point wrong without a doubt? Thank you in advance. (talk) 01:19, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Two sources supporting the theory that the text HARJA on the Vimose Comb denotes the object:

Kabell, Aage. "Harja. In: Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur, 102, 1973, 1-15." HARJA. Übersetzung: "das zu den Haaren gehörige (=Kamm)"

Seebold, Elmar. "Die sprachliche Deutung und Einordnung der archaischen Runeninschriften. In: Runische Schriftkultur in kontinental-skandinavischer und -angelsächsischer Wechselbeziehung. Internationales Symposium in der Werner-Reimers-Stiftung vom 24.-27. Juni 1992 inBad Homburg, (hg.) Düwel, Klaus. Berlin, New York 1994, 56-94." HARJA. Übersetzung: "den Kamm" (talk) 12:41, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

The problem with connecting harja with the word for hair is that that word is not attested in Gothic, so the Proto-Germanic reconstruction is uncertain: It might have had /z/ instead of /r/. This is a real possibility as it would allow connecting the word with the Proto-Indo-European verb *kes- "to tidy, to comb". This is even more plausible for a word meaning "comb" as harja supposedly is. However, Proto-Germanic *hēzan (> Proto-Northwest-Germanic *hāza) "hair" or a putative *hazja- "comb" would hardly have been spelt with r in the 2nd century. In any case, it is unlikely that Finnish harja is a Germanic loanword; as explained above, it is probably borrowed from Baltic. But in that case, it would probably still have had the Proto-Finnic form *šarja at the time, making it additionally problematic to read the inscription as Finnic (Finnish didn't exist yet). In short, all these readings have problems, and Finnish is out of the question, with Finnic being hardly more plausible. The linguistically most satisfying interpretation is "army" (accusative singular), even if it's not as neat as "comb"; it may also be a name (of the owner, presumably), or an abbreviation of a name. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:08, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

The Frienstedt comb - Another runic inscription in Finnic language[edit]

In 2003 another comb, with a runic inscription KABA, dating to the 3rd century AD, was found in Frienstedt, City of Erfurt. It has been claimed that "this is the earliest proof of the West Germanic language", but I strongly contest such a claim. The hypothetical Proto-Germanic language has the word "kambaz" with Z, but not KAMBA or KABA without Z.

The letters on the Frienstedt comb KABA are to be read as “Ka(m)ba, and of course in modern Finnish the word KAMPA is the word for comb.

Funny that IN THIS CASE the meaning of the word KABA is not disputed... This supports my previous theory, that the word HARJA on the Vimose Comb, too, simply denotes the object and is not a name of the owner.

Let's again keep in mind that until c. 500 AD runes were mainly used in Fennoscandia/Scandinavia, and from 100BC until at least 1000AD practically the entire Fennoscandian and Baltic area was ruled by Finnish tribes. (talk) 12:40, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

First, you need to stop making absurd claims like "at least 1000AD practically the entire Fennoscandian and Baltic area was ruled by Finnish tribes". Most people with their toe in the water will just write you off then and there. Second, stop linking to amateur websites as references. Find published academic material and present it in a neutral manner. Do these two things and you'll be taken much more seriously and conversation can continue. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:42, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Stop reversing my edits and stop calling the given information as "absurd" only because you personally don't like it. You haven't provided any sources to prove your point, nor to disprove my point. Reliable sources have been brought under your nose to prove what I'm saying. Here is one:

You have exactly 24 hours to disprove what I have written and if you are unable to do so, nothing will stop me from reversing my edits back the way I did them. I'm willing to explain and reference things to anyone interested. To you, however, I will only respond when you have shown me the sources I'm asking for. Do not bother filling this conversation with your personal nonsensical and unscientific views, because nobody is interested in you. If you have no documents to show, do not waste my time. (talk) 18:14, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Can we get some admin attention here? This user is also making similarly ridiculous (and maybe nationalistic?) edits like these and these on less visible articles. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:46, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

More information supporting previous information: - "Tolkes som runeristerens eller ejerens navn. Et alternativt forslag er, at harja kan oversættes med 'kam' (Seebold 1994, 71)." Translation: “An alternative suggestion is that HARJA can be translated as a “comb”.”

The Swedish expert Ove Berg writes in his book “Runsvenska, svenska, finska” (published in 2003) that “he has been able to translate older runes with Finnish rather than with Swedish”. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Can we get a ban on this user already? Just look at his edit history. He's inserting nonsense all over a variety of articles now, based on "old maps" and the truly internet forum notion that English derived from Finno-Ugric (or maybe even Proto-Finnic, who knows given that he or she has thrown all science to the wind) stock. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:52, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Aw, I see you're twisting my words in order to try to gain false sympathy points. You wrap your nationalism in pseudoscience and biased speculation. I have asked you to present sources to prove your claims but you haven't done so. Until you do, stop wasting my time and stop vandalising the articles I'm trying to improve and stop filling this page with your biased attitude. People come here to read about runes, not about you.
I'm still waiting to see the sources, Bloodofox, that prove your preferred theories.... Do you have them? Do they even exist...? (talk) 12:27, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Professor of Phonetics Kalevi Wiik wrote in 1999: "My most decisive claim is that the Germanic, Baltic and Slavic languages were born under the influence of the Finno-Ugrian languages in the context of a shift in language from Finno-Ugrian to Indo-European."

The Swedish Henrik O. Andersson, too, writes in his book: "Finska element i svenska ortnamn", ISBN 91-86016-29-6, that "Many things speak in favor of the Finnish language being the linguistic forerunner of the Germanic languages in Northern Europe. Swedish place names bear witness to this most clearly." (talk) 12:08, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

A couple of points related to the evidence being adduced here. I cannot see Andersson's book, but all the cited sentences are saying is that places in the (far?) North had Finnish (Finnish and Sami?) names before they had Germanic names. That is not at all the same thing as Finno-Ugric/Altaic being the ancestor of the Germanic languages - it simply refers to what language was spoken by the people who inhabited the area first. Also, Wiik's theory that Finno-Ugric is the ancestor of the Germanic language family has met with general disagreement. It is given as an example of a "completely unsubstantiated idea" in a review by Raimo Anttila of Areal Diffusion and Genetic Inheritance: Problems in Comparative Linguistics by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon, Language 81.4 (December 2005) (JSTOR page link), and anything beyond his point that the phonemes of Finnish influenced Old East Norse was "hotly contested" in Finland - review by George Maude of Finns in the Shadow of the 'Aryans': Race Theories and Racism by Aira Kemiläinen, The Slavonic and East European Review 77.4, (Oct. 1999)(JSTOR page link). In short, a not generally accepted view. Yngvadottir (talk) 18:05, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Kalevi Wiik's idea is not that Germanic descends from Uralic, but that the Germanic peoples descend from Finno-Ugrians, and that the substratum of Germanic is Uralic. Of course, that's still bullshit.
The reason why many early Germanic words look similar to Finnish words is that Finnish (or its Finnic predecessor) has borrowed a lot of words from early Germanic, and preserved them relatively closely (especially with regard to vocalism). Peter Schrijver has suggested that Proto-Germanic itself might have been spoken in Southwestern Finland, but that idea hasn't been taken up by other researchers. It's accepted, however, that Germanic was spoken in the Gulf of Finland area very early, at the turn of the eras, when all dialects of Germanic were still very similar to Proto-Germanic, and early Germanic words entered both Proto-Saami and Proto-Finnic in this region.
As for the Frienstedt comb, the reason why this and some other early inscriptions are often identified as specifically West Germanic is the missing -z ending – instead of *kambaz, you have ka(m)ba. West Germanic is the only branch of Germanic where final -z was dropped (except in monosyllables) at some point prior to its breakup, and this can have happened relatively early. However, the alternative possibility that the attested forms are really accusative singulars or (in the case of wagnijo etc.) other forms has to be kept in mind, especially considering that the Vimose Buckle has a form ansuz, casting doubt on the whole West Germanic business. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:42, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Phoenician letters[edit]

I have re-reverted an edit in which the origin of the runes from Phoenician letters is added to the lede. IP, please provide your sources here. Yngvadottir (talk) 12:57, 16 September 2013 (UTC) ... I've now tracked down what the IP is misunderstanding: Phoenician letters are listed in the infobox at Elder futhark as the parent of the Italic alphabets thought to be the source of the rune forms. That does not amount to immediate derivation from Phoenician or any other Levantine alphabet. Yngvadottir (talk) 13:15, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

there is a relationship between the alphabets. question is - which came first. if you provide a history of the norse prior to the fairhairs - there can be something. for now, ROME Holds. amanbir (talk) 15:47, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
The dominant scholarly view is that the forms of the runes derive from Northern Italic alphabets. Those in turn are ultimately derived from the Phoenician alphabet. That does not mean that the runes are "derived from Phoenician letters". If you are now saying that the Phoenician alphabet is older - well, duh. But derivation from something that is ultimately derived from something else is not the same as being derived from that something else. The intermediate steps matter. So is it clear now? Or do you have a source to cite for the view that the runes are derived immediately from Phoenician letters? Yngvadottir (talk) 16:00, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I notice you sign here and on my talk page as "amanbir grewal". Are you the same person as User:Amanbir Singh Grewal? Yngvadottir (talk) 16:05, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
i think i have made my gains to get you off the norse supremacy table :) . now i just have to use you against the other unbelievers :) . and what is this Contribution in the intermediate. tell me what you know of the germans/poles/balts. and what is a Zero Sum game? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Zero-sum mentality is probably clearest. I'll ask again: do you have a scholarly source to cite in support of the argument that the runes are directly derived from Phoenician letters? Otherwise, you are not proposing an improvement to the article, just misinterpreting or oversimplifying what is explained here and at Elder Futhark. There is no "supremacy" involved. Yngvadottir (talk) 15:41, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Do you want me to just blank the last couple of sections here? This is all nonsense and a waste of time. Everyone knows runes were invented by Ray Page. Don't feed the trolls. Drmies (talk) 03:31, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
The "Phoenician hypothesis" originates with Theo Vennemann, who is notorious for promoting (to put it politely) fanciful speculation, which is then invariably eaten up by amateurs (including credulous scholars not competent in the relevant field); he's like that funny uncle who loves telling stories: less politely worded, he's a factory of popular crank theories much like Quentin Atkinson. Hilariously, the "hypothesis" never seems to address all the other letters of the futhark. You always get precisely one example of a possible correlation, namely alephfehu, and you're asked to just have faith that the other names can be similarly correlated. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:04, 3 November 2014 (UTC)


It is obvious on the Franks Casket that the runes, along with moving left-to-right when on the top, also move top-to-bottom if on the right side, right-to-left if on the bottom, and bottom-to-top if on the left side. I have no clue how to change it in the box on the right on the page. If someone knows how, that person should fix it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JCLarsson (talkcontribs) 23:35, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Native of Cumae[edit]

It was founded by Euboean Greeks who used a local variant of the Greek alphabet, the Euboean alphabet. This alphabet developed into the Latin alphabet, the world's most widely used phonemic script, after it was adopted and modified first by the Etruscans (800–100 BC) and then by the Romans (300–100 BC).-- (talk) 20:15, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Nope. Cumae was only one of a number of cities and places in Italy where the Euboean alphabet was used, an alphabet that did not originate in Cumae, but came from Euboea in Greece, along with the Greek settlers who founded Cumae and other cities in what is now Italy. So Cumae is no more relevant to this article than any other place where the Euboean alphabet was used. Thomas.W talk
The runes developed centuries after the Old Italic alphabets from which they are historically derived.Old Italic refers to any of several now extinct alphabet systems used on the Italian Peninsula in ancient times for various Indo-European languages (predominantly Italic) and non-Indo-European (e.g. Etruscan) languages. The alphabets derive from the Euboean Greek Cumaean alphabet, used at Ischia and Cumae in the Bay of Naples in the eighth century BC.The Germanic runic alphabet was derived from one of these alphabets by the 2nd century.This information is basic and fundamental in this context.-- (talk) 09:29, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
That's just one of several possibilities. As the article says: "Historically, the runic alphabet is a derivation of the Old Italic alphabets of antiquity, with the addition of some innovations. Which variant of the Old Italic family in particular gave rise to the runes is uncertain. Suggestions include Raetic, Etruscan, or Old Latin as candidates. At the time, all of these scripts had the same angular letter shapes suited for epigraphy, which would become characteristic of the runes". And since the current scientific standpoint seems to be that noone knows which of the old Italic alphabets Runes derived from, and the section about the Etruscan alphabet in the article about the Old Italic script says that "It is not clear whether the process of adaptation from the Greek alphabet took place in Italy from the first colony of Greeks, the city of Cumae, or in Greece/Asia Minor", a direct link between Runes and the subvariety of the Euboean alphabet used in Cumae hasn't been proven. Thomas.W talk 09:50, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok... but this "derivation" is the most accredited through the Greek and Etruscan archaeological remains of these places...the others are mere hypotheses-- (talk) 10:14, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Can you please cite some sources? Yngvadottir (talk) 12:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
OK.-- (talk) 14:08, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Could you be a bit more specific? We need both page number, and a direct quote. I don't have access to the book right now (even though I can get it), but a search in the book on Amazon returns nothing, neither for "runes" nor for "Cumae". So according to Amazon Lilian Hamilton Jeffery mentions neither runes nor Cumae in her book. It would also be very much out of scope for that book, both in time and in geographical location, since the book is the printed version of Jeffery's dissertation on The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece. So until you provide more details I'm going to revert your edit... Thomas.W talk 14:29, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
OK p.79 but "Cumae" is latin..."Kyme" is greek.-- (talk) 15:04, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I still can't find any mention of runes, runic, Germanic or anything else relating to that in the book. Which makes your claim about a direct link between Cumae and the runic alphabet WP:SYNTH, which is not permitted on WP. If you can't provide a reliable source that directly/expressly states that there's a direct link between the runic alphabet and the Eboean Greek of Cumae it's not getting into the article. And I suggest you start by quoting the text on p 79 that you say supports your claim. Thomas.W talk 15:24, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, can we please have a quote? The p. 79 passage the search shows me is not germane, and that page is not shown in the full-page preview. I've also searched Google Books, Google Scholar, and JSTOR trying to find someone else referring to that book in this context and come up empty-handed, but I note that the 2nd edition reflected considerably changed views on the situation in Sicily and Italy in any case, so it's also possible the viewpoint is outmoded in the light of later discoveries. Yngvadottir (talk) 15:39, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
we talk about "Old Italic alphabets" in particular the "Cumae variant" and how this "variant" is the basis of the Italic alphabets such as the Etruscan and Latin. This source is very reliable ... but i can't say more.-- (talk) 15:44, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that the geographical origin of the Etruscan alphabet, as I pointed out earlier in this thread, is disputed, with some saying Italy and others saying Greece/Asia Minor. That's why we need a reference that expressly states that there's a direct link between Cumae and the runic alphabet. Thomas.W talk 15:54, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)::Or put another way - isn't that a different issue from the origin of the runes? In any case, who is "we"? As you can see from what is already in the article, scholars have disagreed about the exact derivation of the runes. Anything added on the issue needs to have a specific reference, not just be based on what one group - even if it is a university faculty or a learned society - says. I'd truly like to have the quote, but I'm beginning to think you have confused the origins of the Italic alphabets with the origins of the runes. Yngvadottir (talk) 15:55, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
The runic alphabet derives from the Etruscan alphabet ... the connection between the Cumae variant and Germanic runes is indirect because comes from the Etruscan. Cumae variant (which derives from the greek) is the basis of these new alphabets : Etruscan, Latin, runic ... and as far as the origins of the runic alphabet I believe that it is essential and important to take into account the Cumae variant ... what do you think about?-- (talk) 16:15, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I think we need sources. Neither [6] nor [7] appear to mention Cumae. Dougweller (talk) 16:51, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
That the runic alphabet derives from the Etruscan alphabet has not been proven, and is a matter of debate between scholars, which is why the article says that it most probably derives from either the Etruscan, the Rhaetic or the Old Latin alphabet. And indirect connections are not allowed, which is why I pointed you to WP:SYNTH in an earlier post of mine in this thread. Thomas.W talk 17:32, 10 July 2014 (UTC)(Has anyone else noticed that we are most probably debating with two separate individuals, using the same IP? Both the style and the command of English in the latest couple of posts differs from the style and the English in the first few posts...)
Dougweller thanks for your sources :D (i'm (talk) 19:59, 10 July 2014 (UTC)


Any source for perth meaning pear-tree? The first thing that comes to my mind when I see or hear it is the Swedish word Pärta, which means Shingle(Wooden Roof Tile) and that might possibly be a more logical sollution since I don't really know how common pear trees were in northern Europe in the Middle Ages, but I know wooden roofs were very common. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:12, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Why No Bluetooth?[edit]

Bluetooth is a Scandinavian invention whose symbol that exists on every modern electronic device is made from Runes. Should be here. (talk) 22:45, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Please see Bind rune. BabelStone (talk) 22:51, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Bluetooth should be mentioned here. (talk) 13:27, 2 January 2016 (UTC)


I am looking for the meanning of these runes which appear on a serpent that been illustrated on my curtain. Thanks

הראש (talk) 23:32, 6 May 2015 (UTC) On your curtain? Is this some alleged "hate crime"? Since you are Jewish...

What language is it in? (talk) 13:37, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

Marcomannic Runes[edit]

W.Grimm ("On german runes"/ "Über deutsche Runen") relates the term Markomannen to Hrabanus Maurus contemporary use for Nordalbingier. Grimms explanation mentions that this geographical term is to be seen from the situation of Fulda Monastery, which was like an outpost of the east frankish dominion, surrounded by so-called "Mark(s)" - boarder regions claimed by both sides, which are subjected to regularely military campaigns. I found that explanation very logical.-- (talk) 15:11, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


Introduction section, 4th paragraph, last sentence: "The Younger Futhark developed further into the Marcomannic runes, the Medieval runes (1100–1500 AD), and the Dalecarlian runes (around 1500–1800 AD)."

BUT: the chronology as suggested by the index contradicts this!:

2.3 "Marcomannic runes" (8th to 9th centuries) 2.4 Younger Futhark (9th to 11th centuries)

Which version is correct?! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Someone had incorrectly added Marcomannic runes to the intro, where it shouldn't be, not only because the chronology was wrong but also because it doesn't qualify as one of the best known runic alphabets. So I removed it. Thomas.W talk 19:54, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Epigraphic aspect[edit]

Hi, sourceless rank amateur here ... Concerning the continued use of runes after introduction of the latin alphabet, it seems reasonable/a man in the pub told me that while paper and ink were scarce and expensive, knives and wood chips were ubiquitous and free, which would give at least an economic explanation. And aren't the non-vertical strokes almost all diagonals precisely in order to allow easier carving in wood? Or did I miss something about that? T88.89.219.147 (talk) 15:13, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Runes and Nazism[edit]

Runes and Nazism have any relationship? I think I saw this in a doc ... This here: Did Hitler want to take ownership of the ancient power of the runes? Can anyone help? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rodrigoablima (talkcontribs) 01:18, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

They are both German.... (talk) 13:13, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
The runes are not just German. But the Nazis tried to take advantage of popular cultural revivals like Wagner's Odinistic operas and runic symbolism — the same way American politicians have long tried to take advantage of cowboy symbolism — e.g. the SS used double-Sig runes as their logo on lapels etc... the rune-name "Sig" is as given in Guido von List's Armanen runes, the version popular in Nazi occultism. The Nazi version of the swastika itself (right-facing and diagonal rather than square) makes it a bind rune of Sig which is a pun for Sieg (victory); as Hitler himself said of his design for his Party's flag, "the swastika (represents) the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man...." Swastika#Use in Nazism – Raven  .talk 04:19, 28 May 2017 (UTC)


Were runes often inscribed so as to run left-to-right on one line and right-to-left on the following line? Runes might then be included in the Boustrophedon article. Kortoso (talk) 19:03, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Er, "yes" to your question as asked, and "also yes, but not quite so often" to your second sentence, the statement that seems like a logical deduction. While on some stones the alternate lines would run "backwards" with the letters upright ("true" boustrophedon), on other stones the second lines would run "inverted" — upside down — so, yes, right-to-left on the stone, but normally forward in relation to each other ("false" boustrophedon)... easily read if you turn either your head or the stone. (See p. 132 in "Reading runic inscriptions" of Runes and Germanic Linguistics by Elmer H. Antonsen; Walter de Gruyter, 2002.) – Raven  .talk 04:50, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Fuþorc vs Futhorc[edit]

Part of this article uses modern typography (Elder Futhark) and part medieval (Anglo-Saxon runes: "The fuþorc"). The article is written in modern English, and therefore ought to follow modern English conventions and use "th" in place or thorn or eth. As things stand it is confusing and unnecessarily complex for those unused to medieval texts. Do others agree before I go through using the "th" form? Martin of Sheffield (talk) 22:08, 27 May 2017 (UTC)

My recent edit to the section at issue was solely to add the pronunciation "futhorc" which by this point had been completely removed from the section (though the article's first paragraph mentions "futhorc or fuþorc"). I have no quarrel (no dog in the fight) about which word is used to actually discuss the topic throughout the section, as long as readers are told in the section how to pronounce it if it remains "fuþorc"... because they may get there by section links, bypassing the lead paragraph. – Raven  .talk 06:29, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you about pronunciation and by implication legibility; that's why I suggest using the "th" form throughout. Clearly the thorn spelling needs to be introduced, but going back to WP:RF we must keep the article accessible to non-specialists. I'll try and get on to this by the weekend. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 12:34, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

 Done Martin of Sheffield (talk) 11:48, 10 June 2017 (UTC)