Nine Remarkable Words In Northern Goesharde Frisian

Written by Dyami Millarson

Here follows a list of words that I need to keep reminding myself of because they are somewhat remarkable in one way or another and it may therefore be easy to forget what the word means:

  • Kiming horizon.
  • Eeder early (cf. Clay Frisian earder earlier).
  • Suurt black (used in the storybook Di suurte hängst, cf. Clay Frisian swart black)
  • Dring farmhand (used in the storybook Di suurte hängst, cf. Swedish dräng farmhand).
  • Äi not (cf. poetic Swedish ej not).
  • Trinam around.
  • Äädern behind.
  • (Am)deel down(wards) (cf. Sagelterland Frisian andeel down(wards)).
  • Boosem stable (noun).

The above words, which are remarkable in that they are quite different from what I am used to in other Frisian languages I studied previously, were given in Ockholm Frisian (see here and here).


    • I mean remarkable in the sense that the words are noteworthy or worthy of attention. I had to repeat these words and their meanings a couple of times to myself because they are not what I would expect, it took some time for me to adjust to these lexical items. I always try to pay attention to words or forms that are different.

      Kiming is remarkable because I have never encountered such a word in everyday use outside the North Frisian language family. I have checked the East and West Frisian languages for similar formations. I did manage to find suderkym “southern horizon” and noarderkym “northern horizon” in Clay Frisian [which belongs to the West Frisian language family], so similar formations do exist in West Frisian, although these may be lesser known and archaic-sounding, whereas in North Frisian the word kiming is in everyday use, which is remarkable. I should add that kym may also be used in Clay Frisian as a word on its own (not just as an element of a compound noun as sometimes happens with archaic or obsolete words), but it is not really that usual to encounter this word. In any case, this has made me realise that I should adopt the word kym in my Clay Frisian articles in order to revive this dying word.

      Suurt is remarkable, because it has lost the w-sound. I would expect the word to be *swuurt or *swart. Upon closer reflection, I think that the uu-sound is long because it is a merger of the wa-sound, perhaps wa had changed to wå [which may alternatively be spelled wo] before changing to uu. It takes about the same amount of time to pronounce uu as it takes to pronounce wa. The sound w and u are very similar, which is why they are interchangeable in phonetics. Languages such as Latin [from which almost all European languages except a few Slavic languages and Greek languages have derived their modern script] didn’t event distinguish the w-sound and u-sound in writing. This is the reason why old European manuscripts do not distinguish those sounds either.

      Eeder is a bit unexpected. Clay Frisian has the words earder for earlier and ear for early. However, Northern Goesharde Frisian uses the word eeder for early, and it uses iir for earlier. This is quite confusing when you know Clay Frisian or other Frisian languages belonging to the West Frisian family. Nevertheless, a similar situation occurs in Sagelterland Frisian [which belongs to the East Frisian language family]: they say ädder for early and eer for earlier. This instance shows that East Frisian and North Frisian are more closely related to each other than they are to West Frisian, and this may therefore be seen as a confirmation of the notion that North Frisian is basically Northern East Frisian and what is normally called East Frisian is basically Southern East Frisian. I said in an article from last year that sought to define what North Frisian is: “Nevertheless, if North Frisian is (chiefly) derived from East Frisian, then North Frisian may be more properly termed “Northern East Frisian” and East Frisian “Southern East frisian”.” This is a link to the article:

      Dring is remarkable because when I learned the other Frisian language family, I didn’t encounter the word and so I may safely conclude that I haven’t encountered it outside North Frisian language family. Nevertheless, when I look outside the Frisian languages, the word does exist in Anglo-Frisian, which is the branch of Western Germanic languages to which both the Anglic [all languages that are derived from Anglo-Saxon are called Anglic] and Frisian languages belong. Namely, the obsolete English word “drench” is related to this Northern Goesharde Frisian word. This could be due to a North Germanic or Scandinavian influence, because the word exists in all North Germanic languages, yet Anglo-Frisian is the only language family of the West Germanic branch where the word exists.

      The adverb äi looks really Scandinavian to me. It must be a Danish influence. This is also my suspicion with the word dring.

      Trinam is a very odd when compared to West or East Frisian, it looks quite alien to me although it is perhaps on a par with a Clay Frisian formation like dêrom “therefore” or the Sagelterlandic equivalent deeruum “therefore” [perhaps trinam looks so odd because it is rare for a Germanic word to contain multiple non-schwa vowels unless it is a compound, which is exactly what trinam is historically speaking although one would not really notice that as a speaker while it is a fossilised compound and so no one would think of it consciously anymore]. Therefore, it is a uniquely North Frisian formation. The word trinam is so special that it is basically exclaiming very loudly to us: “the Northern Goesharde Frisian language belongs to the North Frisian family!”

      Although I haven’t explained the last 3 words that are included in the list, you get the idea now why all of these words are remarkable!


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