Article author: Lars Alfgrim, Asatro News / Published: 2nd Night of Ēostre-mōnaþ 2265.RE (Ēostre-mōnaþ = Month of Ēostre) / 2nd Night of April 2015
Pure Germanic Linguistic Restoration: The Reard of Thy Thede
Lars Alfgrim's second article: As an etymology enthusiast, it fascinates me that Ásatrúar frequently use the old word "folk." Now, this word - at least in the sense that some Ásatrúar use it as they sometimes use it to mean "people" or "tribe" - is generally regarded as archaic in English dictionaries. However, it is still very commonly used in that sense in Dutch ("volk"), Frisian ("folk"), and the other Germanic languages. I applaud the effort on the part of Ásatrúar to revive an old sense of that word, while I would like to propose to revive a few old entirely forgotten words along with their original meanings.
Many old Teutonic words became pushed aside and replaced by foreign Latin words and roots, which were favoured by the Church and its Latin-educated so-called "scholars." This was a conscious attack on our Teutonic identity, for the words that they shoved aside and replaced as if these words were merely garbage that is to be thrown out have a long history in connection to our people.
What we have lost because of this destructive attitude on the part of Christians is hard to describe in words. Words give a feeling as they have a certain appearance and sound. The old Teutonic words connected us to our ancestors and history. We have lost an old feeling, because we lost many of the words that were handed down by our Teutonic ancestors for generations. The feeling that we get when we say "folk" is different. It is a raw yet old feeling that we do not get when we say "people," which comes from the Latin word "populus."
There is something inherently different about old Teutonic words. There is a deep feeling of reverence and connection that you get as you use these words. It is hard to describe such feelings, because once upon a time it used to be only natural that we felt these feelings; we did not yet know how to feel disconnected from the ancestors and our unique history. To talk about our "folk" does not feel the same as talking about our "people."
There is a disconnect when we use a word like "people." There is no feeling. This is not a native word of ours, and we can feel that. It is a word that was imported into our language by men of a foreign faith who had no other agenda than to cull/suppress all feelings of a distinct Teutonic identity, for they wanted to replace it with a universal Christian identity.
I am sure that you are all familiar with the story of the Norman conquest and how it is supposed to be the only reason why the English language adopted so many foreign Latin-derived words and roots. I would like to propose another scenario in which the Norman conquest was more of a side note to a Christian project to desecrate the purity of our Teutonic languages.
There can be no doubt that the Christians imported a lot of foreign words into our Teutonic languages, including Hebrew derived words, and to be blinded by historical events, such as the Norman conquest, is a purposeful distraction from the point that Christians were making a huge effort for centuries to import loads of foreign words into our languages in an effort to suppress our native Teutonic tribal identities in favour of a universal Christian one.
If you disagree with me and you tell me that "folk" was replaced by "people" merely because it was a natural process that English adopted a word from French, then I will once more point out to you the obvious reality that Christians have been making an effort for centuries to change in countless ways our identity to one that would be more in line with their agenda.
They were - and this is just one aspect of the whole Christian project - definitely waging a linguistic war against us. Conversion was not enough. They had to destroy everything and anything that was reminiscent of our ancient past. They needed to sever our ties with the ancestors and our history so that we would become Christian sheep which could be freely manipulated by the shepherds of the Church who were in the early Christian period almost all ethnic Jews, as with the current Jewish Archbishop of the occupying England based Protestant Church and the overtly Jewish centric Pope of the Catholic Church, their subversion on behalf of their Semitic founders has been the only constant throughout the entire history of Christianity.
They manipulated us into going on crusades that proved disastrous for our men folk and which also saw the destruction of the last few pagan remnants in Europe. They wanted us to fight their wars. We were fighting wars for an alien faith. Instead of fighting for the native identities and folk of Europe, we were merely acting as proxies of a Roman-inspired organisation that is based on a Jewish-inspired sub-faith. We were being used. We were merely being forced into the role of useful idiots in wars that were not our wars.
There is nothing "glorious" about this history. I can only see it as a disaster to our folk, which has greatly suffered at the hands of Christians and their Sacred Cows, the Jews, an alien, Semitic racial group. Christian kings, such as Charlemagne, were completely in bed with Jewish Supremacists as is the modern Pope.
They betrayed their own people in favour of a foreign faith and a foreign people whose agenda was obviously malicious from the very start; they wanted to profit from our misery, while the indoctrinated Christians wanted to merely "save" the souls of the people in this world, which in reality was to corrupt them and their cultures. A wonderful combination! Teuton-hating race-exploiters and pagan-hating soul-exploiters! No wonder that they found each other. Their cooperation was an unholy yet expected symbiosis between similar foreign forces. A true “evil” that seeks to wage war against our nature itself.
My mind can never grasp why anyone could sincerely believe that the Christians merely want to "save" our souls. The verb "to save" is, to their minds, merely a euphemism for "ripping a soul out of its native culture." Our souls were not "saved" by the Christians, but they were desecrated and ripped out of context.
The digression from the topic of old words was in my eyes necessary in order to point out the role of Christians in the desecration of the English language, and now we should return to our original topic: old Teutonic words. The title of this article contains two old Teutonic words that I would like to introduce to my readers, and I would like to encourage you to use them.
We can relearn and reintroduce one by one the old words that are linked to our native identity. Reclaiming our native culture is actually, and quite ironically, somewhat comparable to learning an entire language. When you learn a language, you must take small steps. You cannot approach the whole thing at once. Only if you are willing to take small steps, will you be able to take on the challenge of learning a language.
When I decided to learn the basics of another language, it seemed to me like a daunting task, but it proved to be easier than I had initially thought, and now it is much easier for me to learn traditional characters and to memorise words and their tones, although my language level is still really nothing other than that of a beginner.
Maybe you are more familiar with the principles of management, business or organisation than those of language-learning, and you know that huge plans usually need to be broken down into small steps so that you can work towards attaining your goal. We can move mountains, but only if we are prepared to do so with one small rock at a time.
Making our languages pure again will take only around one century. With patience and resilience, we can achieve anything. With this in mind, I would like to teach you the meaning and etymology of "thede" and "reard" today.
Some of you who are familiar with Wiktionary might have come across the etymologies given there of English words. This is all good and well, but you should remember that although it might seem unnecessary that I teach you the etymology of the English words "reard" and "thede" because you can look it up on Wiktionary, people like myself are actually the ones who are writing those etymology entries on Wiktionary, and thus you might be able to learn a thing or two if you take a close look at how we think about etymology-related problems and how we go about to solve them. I will try not to bore you with long dry lists of words, but I will try to make it practical, fun and inspiring.
First of all, let's begin with the word "thede," which means "people, nation." This word is, in fact, related to the word "Teutonic," which could be etymologically interpreted to mean "pertaining to the people," where "the people" obviously refers to the indigenous tribes of Mainland and Northern Europe for which the adjective "Germanic" or "Teutonic" is an appropriate descriptive.
I might give you an accurate specialist description of the pronunciation of "thede," perhaps using IPA, but I think that it is better to give you a clue that should be sufficiently helpful to you to figure out on your own how to pronounce this somewhat exotic-looking old Teutonic word: "thede" rhymes with "deed." That is all you need to know about the pronunciation of "thede."
Etymologists are very interested in the historical relationship between words, hence we are going to focus on that now. Old Norse is the language that most Ásatrúar are more or less familiar with, and a few like myself can read it a bit. Old Norse is to me somewhat like what Latin is to the Christians or Hebrew is to the Jews, because it is the language in which most of the information about my religion and culture, which may be termed "Asatru" (Aesir faith), is recorded. All of the older Germanic languages such as Anglo-Saxon or Old German also form the wider foundation of our ancestral language, Anglo-Saxon especially contains so much information from which we can discover more about Asatru.
Some might object and say that we need no concept of a sacred language, but did languages that are now sacred not acquire their sacred quality through gradual evolution coupled with a special role that was naturally assigned to them? I think that although people may still reject the term "sacred" for Old Norse, it is a language that definitely has a special role since it is the language in which most of the relevant information about our ancient ethnic religion is recorded, Anglo Saxon contains more in depth information although this is from a later period. Ultimately we must consult our entire pure Germanic history in order to isolate what is the truest to our ethnic or racial nature.----- However, the discussion whether Old Norse is somehow a sacred language or functionally fulfils such a role is not my point. My point is that Old Norse is especially important to us as Asatruar, and hence I think that we should begin our etymological investigation with Old Norse: the word for "people" in Old Norse is "þjóð," and this word is obviously related to the English "thede."
The equivalent in the Old English language from which Modern English is ultimately derived is "þēod," which looks very much like the Old Norse "þjóð." I think that my readers will find it easy to imagine the evolution from "þēod" to "thede."
A language that is particularly closely related to Old English is Old Frisian, which has the word "thiade" for "thede." The Frisian, English (i.e., Anglo-Saxon), and Frankish thedes historically used to be very powerful, and they were more or less equal competitors on sea.
Moreover, as we are now familiar with the Old Frisian variant of the old Teutonic word, it should not entirely surprise us that the words "thioda" and "diota" are recorded in Old Saxon and Old High German respectively. Old Frisian is a language that often appears to stand in between Old English on the one side and Old Saxon and Old High German on the other. Because of the commonalities between Old English and Old Frisian, these languages - by which I mean only Old English and Old Frisian - are generally thought to share a common origin.
All Teutonic languages are ultimately derived from a common source, but this does not negate that some Teutonic languages are more closely related than others. Furthermore, just like the word "Teutonic," the word "Dutch" itself is related to "thede."
So, we can interpret "Dutch" to originally mean "Belonging to the thede." Although we as Teutonics are originally all "Dutch," the word in English came to signify a particular national group of people belonging to our thede, just like the German adjective "deutsch," which is obviously related to "Dutch," came to signify one particular national or linguistic group. It often happens in the history of words that words with a general meaning come to be interpreted more specifically, and hence lose their original general meaning, such as in the case of "deutsch" and "Dutch." Grimm, the famous German linguist, appears to use "deutsch" in a more general meaning in the title of his work "Deutsche Grammatik" (1819). Grimm seems to have made a conscious effort to revive the more general meaning that used to be the original meaning of this particular Teutonic adjective.
As we now know more about the word "Dutch," which corresponds with "dietsch" in Medieval Dutch (which was at the time a dialect continuum spoken in the Low Countries – it was still in its natural state as a non-standardised language), it is interesting to note that the etymological equivalent of "thede" in Medieval Dutch was "diede" in its most conservative form and otherwise "diet." "Dietsch" as a "folk language" or "vernacular" used to be strongly contrasted against Latin, and the Latin-educated Christian scholars as cultural aliens in the Low Countries used to look down on this language.
It is, moreover, important to note that all the folk traditions, from folk language to folk dance to folklore to folk music to folk religion, are all remnants from the Teutonic distant past that lived on among the people despite Christian hostility to anything that was native. The Christian elite tried to totally change the thede, but the thede managed to preserve some of its native traditions and to hold on to its ancient ways to a certain extent.
What the Christians were doing is in many ways not so different from what the liberals are trying to do today. Liberals, to my mind, are merely secular Christians who have obviously drawn inspiration for their cultural change programmes from the religious Christians of past times. The liberal disease, as I understand it, is merely a secular variant of the Christian disease (a fact which the Pope confirmed) which used to plague our thede and to attack its native culture.
Christianity can never be the protector of our native ways, because from the beginning it has sought to remove them from souls which, as they tell us, need to be "saved." As I have already said, "saving" is merely a euphemism in Christian speech. The Christian doctrine that we need to be "saved" is merely a doctrine that teaches that Christians should endeavour to remove our souls from their original context.
It is always somewhat interesting to note that Teutonic Europeans as Christians appear to honestly believe that Christianity is the right faith for them, while Christianity, in reality, only came along very recently in the history of our thede, and has ever since "progressively" sought to eradicate all remnants from our Teutonic past and to integrate us into a wider "Christian European" identity where "European" is merely a cultural relativity in the Christian universe where all "souls" are equal, while those of the Jews are “perhaps” just a bit “more equal” than gentile souls. This is the essential connection between Christian Subversion and Jewish Supremacism.
I have a hard time processing why anyone would like to believe in this obviously Jewish supremacist faith that considers Jews the "Chosen Ones." The new covenant did not revoke that status as New Testament Christians exclaim without actually knowing the reality of the Jewish weapon they indoctrinate and degrade themselves in accordance with. I get it when Jews believe in their own faith that holds them to be "chosen," but I do not get it when Europeans believe in the Christian version of said faith that considers Jews the centre of the entire universe. It seems so obviously strange, and it is hence no wonder that I also find it strange that past Europeans, even though they were Christians, were so hostile to their own traditions as if they were racial aliens.
I think, and this is my personal hypothesis, that ethno masochism can be traced to Christianity which is an alien culture and faith which is extremely hostile to the native culture of Europe, and particularly the culture of the Germanic part of it.
Returning to the original topic, it is now time to move on to the earliest extensively recorded language of the Teutonic branch: the Gothic language, in which the word "þiuda" is recorded. The Goths used to be a strong Teutonic thede that lived in a region quite far to the East from most other Teutonic tribes, and whose deeds have even been recorded by Roman centric historians such as Jordanes in his work "De origine actibusque Getarum" (On the Origin and Deeds of the Goths) and Ammianus in his Roman histories. Thor in Old Norse became Donner or Donar in many Germanic regions. The names of the Æsir are a testament to the creative power and linguistic sophistication and richness of our folk history, spirituality, culture and racial character.
Furthermore, from the Gothic variant of the old word, amplified by what we have learned from the other languages, we can easily reconstruct the Common Germanic root *þeud-. There are also Celtic cognates of the old Teutonic word (caused due to the Irish plagiarising other peoples languages), such as Old Irish túath, but I will leave that for now.
You, my readers, have now learned the history of an old Teutonic word that I would like to see revived in English, and I hope that the knowledge of this history will encourage you to use this word in your writings, and I hope that you will be able to explain this history to others and encourage them to use this word as well.
Always remember that the identity of our thede is definitely to some extent encoded in its words, and hence I believe it is our duty to teach our thede about culturally important words that our forefathers used, to tell them about the history of these words, and to encourage them to use these words in their writings, and eventually in their daily speech. Remember that we cannot relearn all the old words at once. We have to relearn and reintroduce one old word at a time.
Moreover, a good leader and symbol, such as Dan Rayner, is naturally more able and qualified than myself to inspire our men and women to look into their Teutonic heritage and to reclaim it, and I am merely glad that Dan Rayner as an Asatru leader is open to my contributions.
A good and selfless leader, at least in my view of the ideal leader, accepts anyone who can be useful to the cause of their people, and a good follower – again this is my opinion – knows that he fits into a grander scheme of things. An excellent Asatru individual is not although a follower but a leader of his own person who is simultaneously compatible with being inspired or organised by other purely selfless Asatru individuals, which requires their selfless endeavour to make small yet important contributions to help realise their greater plans as a unit of motivated and organised Asatru Folk.
I have the firm belief that a good leader inspires his followers to be good like him. With this thought in mind, I want to see the ancestors as good leaders whom we should strive to liken, for I readily recognise that there is so much that we can learn from them.
The other word that I used in the title of this article is "reard," which means "voice." So the title of this article actually means: "The Voice of Your People." I will be a bit brief about this word, because although I would like to see this word revived as well, I want you, my readers, first to focus on the revival of the word "thede."
As for the pronunciation, "reard" rhymes with “Wyrd.” The Modern English word “reard” is related to the Old Norse "rǫdd," the Old English "reord," the Old High German "rarta," and the Gothic "razda.”
I will here end my article, and I hope that my article has inspired you to revive a few old completely forgotten Teutonic words which, although they may seem irrelevant to our struggle against the detractors of our heritage at large, they are ultimately part of our struggle for reclaiming our heritage. This latter part of the whole struggle will take centuries, as we will have to correct all the wrongs done to our folk and folk-heritage, but if we are patient, we can reverse what has been done to us and all that is ours using exactly the same methodologies in reverse, within a much shorter timescale. We can undo a thousand years of degradation within a single century.