About two thousand years ago the Ancient Norse used runes as an alphabet. Runes are marks on stones or wood – so it is likely that the symbols are even older. The words `rune’ is linked with the Old Norse word for `mystery’ or `secret’.
When children are using the alphabet for eleven plus work it may sometimes pass through the minds that the word alphabet comes from the first two Greek letters `alpha’ and `beta’. The usual name for the runic alphabet, however, is `Futhark’.
(If an eleven plus child says: “My answer has gone `phut’!” Does the meaning of the word `phut’ come from Futhark?)
We know that the Norse gave us many words.
Tuesday – Tyr - the defender god
Wednesday – Odin or Wodan - the All-Father
Thursday – Thor – thunder
Friday – Frigg - the spinner of thread
I am not sure what happened to the Norse men and women – but what did they do on the other days of the week?
The Norse used to believe that if you receive a gift you must give something in return. Perhaps that is why many eleven plus children say a respectful `Thank You’ when they have been taught something new.