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Friday, January 13, 2012

Lessons in Old Icelandic

In my absence from actual blogging, I thought it might be fun to offer some Old Icelandic words from my fabulous Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic by Geir T. Zoega.

Today's word is Bjórreifr: cheerful from beer drinking

I think this proves once and for all that Old Norse/Old Icelandic are the BEST languages in the world.

Bjórreifr in a (modern Icelandic) sentence:
Ég er bjórreifr.* I am cheerful from beer drinking. 

Please, if you are a drinker of beer (I am not so I must live vicariously through you), be bjórreifr.

Until next time!

*Ek is the old Icelandic form of the modern Icelandic Ég, I. I have no idea what the old Icelandic conjugations of að vera -- to be-- are. Maybe em, for I am. But don't rely on that. My best guess for this sentence in old Icelandic is: Ek em bjórreifr.


  1. Hmmm... Do they have a word for "I am cheerful from wine drinking?"

    That one would be more up my alley. I'm just not a big fan of beer.

  2. I know -- I don't care for beer either. I'll keep looking :) Maybe there's just a generic "Cheerful from drinking" ha.

  3. 'beer' in all old Teutonic languages was a form of the word 'ale', Swed, Icelandic, OldNorse, 'öl', Dan/Norw, 'øl', OE, WestSaxon, c. 900, 'éalu' and these words are cognate (not borrowed) to Latin 'alum'.

  4. Hahaha. Valerie, I am glad to hear that someone is!


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