Word of the Day – Tuesday, September 13th



Word of the Day


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ODIN (OH-din)

In Norse mythology, the supreme deity and creator of the cosmos and humans.

Common clues: God of war and poetry; Valhalla VIP; Asgard resident; Thor's father; Frigg's husband; Norse Zeus; One-eyed Norse god; Viking deity; Wednesday was named after him

Crossword puzzle frequency: 10 times a year

Frequency in English language: 55477 / 86800

Video: Interview with Odin

Although its precise mythological meaning is controversial, the name appears to be formed from od and -in. In Old Norse, od means by itself '"wit, soul" and in compounds "fierce power, energy;" the suffix -in means "master, lord." Thus, Odin means master of the life force.

Odin is considered to be the supreme god of late Germanic and Norse mythology. His role, like many of the Norse pantheon, is complex: he is god of both wisdom and war. He is also attributed as being a god of magic, poetry, victory, and the hunt.

For the Norsemen, his name was synonymous with battle and warfare, for he appears throughout the myths as the bringer of victory.

Odin was a shape-changer, able to change his skin and form in any way he liked. He was said to travel the world disguised as an old man with a staff, one-eyed, grey-bearded and wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

Odin is deeply associated with the concept of the Wild Hunt, a noisy, bellowing movement across the sky, leading a host of the slain, directly comparable to Vedic Rudra. Odin and Frigg participated in this together.

Snorri Sturluson's Edda depicts Odin as welcoming the great dead warriors who have fallen in battle into his hall, Valhalla. These fallen, the einherjar, are assembled by Odin to support the gods in the final battle of the end of the world, Ragnarok.

In the Norse sagas, Odin often acts as the instigator of wars, sending his valkyries to influence the battle in his desired directions, and to select the dead. This in order to gather the best warriors in Valhalla.

Sometimes Odin himself even appears in person. In one version of the end of the Battle of Bravalla, Odin himself arrives to fetch the aged King Harald Hildetand. When Helgi Hundingsbane has distinguished himself enough in battle and his brother-in-law Dag feels the need to avenge his father (whom Helgi had killed), Odin lends Dag his spear. Arrived in Valhalla, Helgi immediately gets perks as one of the foremost warriors.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Odin".