How to Describe the Farm in Old Norse

Written by Dyami Millarson

The Northmen lived around farms, and so it is quite appropriate to learn how to describe the farm in Old Scandinavian.

The Old Norse vocabulary in this articles is written in Younger Futhark. The transliteration is written between brackets.

ᛒᚢᛦ (bœʀ) is the Old Norse word for farm(house).

ᚠᛅᚦᛁᚱ ᛘᛁᚾ ᛅᚢᚴ ᛁᚴ ᚠᚢᚱᚢᛘ ᛒᚢᛁᚾ ᛁ ᚴᛁᛅ ᛏᛁᛚ ᚦᛁᛋ ᛅᛏ ᚴᛅᚢᛒᛅ ᚴᛁᛅᛏ. (Faðir minn ok ek fórum í bœinn í gjáʀ til þess at køypa kjǫt.) My father and I went to the farm yesterday to buy meat.

ᚢᛁᚦ ᛒᚢᛁᚾ ᛁᛋ ᛒᚢᛏᛁ. (Við bœinn es bóndi.) There is a farmer at the farm.

ᛒᚢᛏᛁᚾ ᛅ ᚼᚢᛏ. (Bóndinn á hund.) The farmer owns a dog.

ᚼᚢᛏᛦᛁᚾ ᚼᛅᛁᛏᛁᛦ ᛏᛁᛋᛅ. (Hundʀinn heitiʀ Tessa.) The dog is called Tessa.

ᛏᛁᛋᛅ ᚴᚢᛘ ᛅᛏ ᚼᛅᛁᛚᛋᛅ ᚢᚴᛦ. (Tessa kom at heilsa okkr.) Tessa came to greet us both.

ᚼᚢᛏᛦ ᛁᛋ ᛒᛅᛋᛏᛁ ᚢᛁᚾᛦ ᛘᚬᛋ. (Hundʀ es bęzti vinʀ manns.) A dog is man’s best friend.

ᚦᛁᛏᛅ ᛏᛁᚢᛦ ᚼᛅᛁᛏᛁᛦ ᚴᛁᛦ. (Þetta djóʀ heitiʀ kýʀ.) This animal is called a cow.

ᚴᛁᛦ ᚴᛁᚠᛦ ᛘᛁᛅᛚᚴ. (Kýʀ gefʀ mjǫlk.) A cow produces milk.

ᚴᛁᛦ ᛁᛏᛦ ᚴᚱᛅᛋ. (Kýʀ etʀ grass.) A cow eats grass.

ᚴᛁᛦ (kýʀ) a cow is declined as follows: nom. sg. ᚴᛁᛦ (kýʀ) a cow, acc. sg. ᚴᚢ () a cow, gen. sg. ᚴᛁᛦ (kýʀ) of a cow, dat. sg. ᚴᚢ () to a cow, nom. pl. ᚴᛁᛦ (kýʀ) cows, acc. pl. ᚴᛁᛦ (kýʀ) cows, gen. pl. ᚴᚢᛅ (kúa) of cows, dat. pl. ᚴᚢᛘ (kúm) to cows.

ᚴᛁᛦᛁᚾ ᛋᛏᚬᛏᛦ ᚢᛁᚦ ᛏᚱᛁᛁᛏ. (Kýʀin stęndʀ við tréit.) The cow stands by the tree.

A group of cows.

ᚠᛁ () is the Old Norse word for cattle.

ᚴᛅᛚᚠᛦ (kalfʀ) is the Old Norse term for calf.

ᛒᚢᛏᛁᚾ ᛅ ᛁᚴᛁᚾ ᚾᛅᚢᛏ. (Bóndinn á engin naut.) The farmer has no bulls.

ᚴᛁᛦ ᚼᛅᚠᛦ ᛁᚴᛁᚾ ᚼᚢᚱᚾ, ᛁᚾ ᚾᛅᚢᛏ ᚼᛅᚠᛦ ᚼᚢᚱᚾ. (Kýʀ hęfʀ engin horn, en naut hęfʀ horn.) A cow has no horns, but a bull has horns.

ᚼᚢᚠᛦ (hófʀ) is the Old Norse term for hoof. The genitive singular is ᚼᚢᚠᛋ (hófs) and the nominative plural is ᚼᚢᚠᛅᛦ (hófaʀ).

ᚴᛁᛦ, ᚴᛅᛚᚠᛅᛦ, ᚾᛅᚢᛏ, ᚠᛅᛦ, ᚴᛅᛁᛏᛦ ᛅᚢᚴ ᚼᛋᛏᛅᛦ ᚼᛅᚠᚬ ᚼᚢᚠᛅ. (Kýʀ, kalfaʀ, naut, fæʀ, geitʀ auk hestaʀ hafa hófa.) Cows, calves, bulls, sheep, goats and horses have hooves.

A herd of sheep.

ᚠᛅᛦ (ʀ) is the Old Norse term for sheep.

ᛅᛦ (æʀ) is the Old Norse term for ewe (female sheep).

ᚢᛁᚦᚱ (veðr) is the Old Norse term for ram, wether (male sheep).

ᛚᚬᛒ (lamb) is the Old Norse term for lamb.

ᚴᛅᛁᛏ (geit) is the Old Norse term for goat.

ᛋᛏᛦ (hęstʀ) is the Old Norse term for horse.

ᚢᚴᛋᛁ (uxi) is the Old Norse term for ox.

ᚢᛚᚠᛅᛦ ᛁᛏᛅ ᚴᛅᛚᚠᛅᛦ, ᚴᛁᛦ, ᚼᚢᚾᚢᛦ, ᚠᛅᚱ ᛅᚢᚴ ᚴᚬᛋ. (Ulfaʀ eta kalfaʀ, kýʀ, hœnuʀ, fæʀ auk gæss.) Wolves eat calves, cows, hens, sheep and geese.

ᚦᛁᛋᛁ ᚠᚢᚴᛚ ᚼᛅᛁᛏᛁᛦ ᚴᛁᚢᚴᛚᛁᚴᛦ. (Þessi fugl heitiʀ kjúklingʀ.) This bird is called a chicken.

ᚼᚢᚾᛅ (hœna) and ᚼᛅᚾᛁ (hani) are the Old Scandinavian terms for hen and cock respectively.

ᛒᚢᛏᛁᚾ ᚴᚢᛅᚦ: ᚼᚢᚾᛅ ᛁᛋ ᛁᚾᛁ ᚦᚢᛁ ᛅᛏ ᚱᛁᚠᛦ ᛅᛏ ᚾᚢᚴᚱᛅ ᚼᚢᚾᚢ. (Bóndinn kvað: hœnan es inni því at refʀ át nokkraʀ hœnuʀ.) The farmer said: the hen is inside because a fox ate some of the hens.

ᚦᛁᛋᛁ ᚠᚢᚴᛚ ᚼᛅᛁᛏᛁᛦ ᛋᚢᛅᚾᛦ. (Þessi fugl heitiʀ svanʀ.) This bird is called a swan.

ᚬᛏ (ǫnd) is the Old Norse term for duck. The plural is ᚬᛏᛦ (ęndʀ) or ᚬᛏᛅᛦ (andaʀ).

ᚴᚬᛋ (gás) is the Old Norse term for goose. The plural is ᚴᚬᛋ (gæss).

10 comments

    • A fun sentence for you: ᛋᚢᛅᚾᛁᛦ ᛁ ᛅᚢᛋᛏᚱᛅᛚᛁᚢ ᛁᚱᚢ ᛋᚢᛅᚱᛏᛁᛦ. (Svaniʀ í Australiu eru svartiʀ.) Swans in Australia are black.

      Like

      • Yes i did! It was refreshing. I loved the part that said “there is a farmer at the farm” the most 😅😅 beautiful cows and swans there! Languages and dialects are incredible, My country has 16 official languages and in my language (shona), a cow is called mombe tsiru , a bull is called bhuru 😅. Hens are called tseketsa and we unfortunately don’t have swans here, just ducks and we call them madhadha

        Liked by 1 person

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