Episode 37: Seafarers, Poets and Traveling Minstrels

Old English poets were ‘word weavers’ who often created new words to comply with the strict requirements of Germanic poetry. In this episode, we explore the role of the traveling minstrel in Anglo-Saxon culture.  We also explore the etymology of many Modern English words related to travel.

2 thoughts on “Episode 37: Seafarers, Poets and Traveling Minstrels

  1. You say that Anglo-Saxon poets used swanrad (swanroad) and seglrad (sailroad) because they wanted a word for sea that began with “s”. What was wrong with sæ?

    • I suppose they could have used “sae” and in some cases, they did. Part of the skill of Anglo-Saxon poets was their ability to play with words to express certain ideas. So I guess it was considered more skillful and poetic to say ‘whale-road’ rather than ‘sea.’ That’s my assumption.

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