Archive for ‘what’s in a name?’

February 7th, 2014

Name the Day IV – Frigg and Freya

by Chris Hancock


“Hello! I’m Frigg, or Frigga – it’s okay, I don’t mind which. Remember Odin? (I know… it’s been a long week). I’m his wife, and look after him when he’s not out on his eight-legged horse throwing his spear around. Men, huh? Of course, being a woman, I can multi-task. So, I can also see into the future (though I never speak of it, which seems pretty daft but nobody dares to pull me up on that). Throw in “Mother of All” and “Protector of Children” and you can see I’m kept pretty busy. One thing I must mention – people sometimes get me mixed up with that Freya. Let’s just say that, when it comes to the day-of-the-week ‘thing’, I’m – oh, heck… I can hear her chariot wheels. Here she comes now.”


“Hello! I’m Freya, or Freyja – it’s okay, I don’t mind which. Has Frigg been talking about me? I can do that perfectly well for myself, thank you. I ride around on this lovely cat-drawn chariot. Plus, I’m a goddess of love and beauty, and wear the sacred necklace Brisingamen. It was made for me by four dwarves, though I… ahem… had to ‘bestow favours’ on them in return. Look – erm – can we change the subject? I’m known as Queen of the Valkyries, and get first pick of those slain in battle, whom I bear to Valhalla. Oh yes, one other thing… did Frigg mention the day-of-the-week ‘thing’? Because I’m -”

“Hey Freya! We’re never going to decide this one way or the other. Let’s not fight about everything like the men do.”

“Okay, okay, Frigg. You’re right. We’ll do it the way we agreed. After three…”

Both: “One, two, three – and Friday is our day.”

February 6th, 2014

Name the Day III – Thor

by Chris Hancock


“Stop! Hammer time! Ahh… I never tire of saying that. I’m Thor, as I’m sure you know – nice for you to meet me. Heh!

“I’m a pretty big noise in the Norse pantheon – literally. You hear thunder, or the sound of lightning… that’s me wielding my mighty hammer Mjollnir. I ride around in my goat-drawn chariot – admittedly, goats don’t quite go with my rugged, powerful image but they were all I could get at the time.

“As you might have noticed, everyone around here claims to be a god of war. Let’s just say I’m THE god of war. You can put me down for thunder and strength, too. I’m always performing great feats of bravery, like slaying bulls with my bare hands. That’s because I wear a belt, Megingjord, that doubles my strength. I also “call forth gentle winds to release the earth from its bondage of ice and snow”, but I tend to keep quiet about that as it sounds a bit soppy. You could think of that as a “Thor thaw” – d’you see what I did there? I crack myself up, sometimes, I really do.

“I hear you’ve met my dad, Odin. He’s supposed to be the supreme deity but – and keep this to yourself – I think I run him pretty close. I mean… everyone’s heard of Thor and his hammer, right? And I don’t see any Hollywood blockbusters called “Odin”. Just sayin’.

“Anyway, I’d better… Stop! Hammer time! See? Never gets old.

“Yep, I’m Thor… and Thorsday – whoops, I mean Thursday – is my day.”

February 5th, 2014

Name the Day II – Odin

by Chris Hancock

“I am Odin, father of the gods! Cower before my might, ye worthless minions!!”


“Heh! It’s okay, I’m only kidding – I’m a big softie, really. But, when you’re chief god of the Norse pantheon, you have to put on a bit of a show. It’s expected, you know?

“So what do you want to hear? I’m god of war, death, poetry, magic, prophecy, wisdom and the hunt. I carry a spear called Gungnir – I know what you’re thinking, who gives a name to a spear? In my defence, it’s no ordinary spear, because it never misses its target. How cool is that? I ride a horse called Sleipnir which has – don’t laugh – eight legs. That’s pretty neat, except he costs me a fortune in blacksmith charges. Oh, yeah… and I get all the juicy gossip from my two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. That’s Huginn on my right… or is it on my left? Between you and me, one raven is very much like another.

 “Is it bright enough for you in here? I ask because – I don’t know if you’ve noticed – I only have one eye, but apparently it “blazes like the sun”. I traded my other one for a drink from the Well of Wisdom… as you do. This means I know everything – except how to tell my ravens apart.

“So that’s me, Odin. I’m also known as Woden… and Wednesday is my day.”

February 4th, 2014

Name the Day I – Tyr

by Chris Hancock


“Hi! Tyr here. What? The name doesn’t ring a bell? Norse god of… ooh, all sorts of things – law, heroic glory, war, stuff like that. I can’t believe you’ve not heard of me. At one time I’ll have you know I was head honcho… top banana in the whole Nordic pantheon. But Odin took over in that role… and now – to add insult to injury – they’re telling me he’s my dad. How should I know? Families, eh?

“What happened to my hand? Long story… I’ll just give you the main points. There was this gigantic wolf called Fenrir. Being a real nuisance, he was. I and the other gods persuaded Fenrir to let us tie him up, but he’d only do it if one god agreed to put their hand into his mouth. “You’re brave Tyr, you do it,” they all said. So muggins volunteered, popped my hand into his slobbery chops and – you’re ahead of me, right? – Fenrir got a little jittery and bit it off. Makes washing-up a real pain, I can tell you.

“So that’s me, Tyr. I’m also known as Tiw… and Tuesday is my day.”

[Ed’s note: This is the first in a four part series, which you may or may not have guessed the theme of.]

October 24th, 2013


A female donkey.

October 23rd, 2013


Tease playfully.

October 22nd, 2013


To leave suddenly and bravely; a witty remark.

October 21st, 2013


Persistently attack.

October 20th, 2013


A dance in a ring or a chain.

October 19th, 2013


A short crowbar; to force open as if with a short crowbar.