Ingvar Stones, Part VII: Ekilla bro

‘Andvéttr auk Kindi auk Kárr auk Blæsi auk Djærfr þæir ræistu stæin þenna æftir Gunnlæif, fǫður sinn. Hann féll austr með Ingvari. Guð hjælpi ǫndinni.’
‘Andvétt and Kindi and Kár and Blæsi and Djærf, they raised this stone after Gunnlæif, their father. He fell in the east with Ingvar. God help the soul [of the departed].’

The Ekilla bro Runestone (U 644) is notable for the sheer number of names behind its raising. The names of the brothers are unique, possibly bynames, or perhaps a Christian attempt to avoid ‘Pagan’ names. The first name means ‘opponent,’ derived from ‘and-’ meaning ‘hostile’ and ‘véttr’ meaning ‘being;’ the second means ‘kinsman,’ derived from ‘kind,’ meaning ‘kin;’ the third means ‘curly-hair;’ the fourth means ‘blaze,’ light coloured markings on a horse’s face; and the fifth means ‘brave.’ Their father’s name is more normal for Norse names, meaning ‘war-heir.’

Besides the personal names, the inscription is notable for its use of the ‘áss’ rune for rounded /ǫ/, where it appears in ‘fǫður’ and ‘ǫnd,’ unusual in East Norse dialects.

Photo: U 644, Ekilla bro by Wikimedia User:Berig, CC BY-SA 3.0 / Link

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