[This was written for those interested in my music project Peordh, but I also included it on this blog because of it’s relevancy otherwise.]
As previously stated in the Statement on the Existence of This Project, the name of this project comes from the rune, in Old English, “Peorð”. I changed the ‘ð’ character to ‘dh’ merely for technical reasons (online searches, readability, computer file character sets, etc). The pronunciation is however the same: [pʲeorð] or [pʲeorθ], depending on dialect (probably), where the last sound is either a voiced dental fricative or a voiceless dental fricative.
The main reason I bring this up is because I’ve read some Russians pointing out it’s similarity to the Russian word “пердеть” (meaning “fart”). Obviously our ancestors would not make a rune out of the concept of a fart, so let’s go backwards in time to discover why there is this similarity. The proto-Indo-European root for “fart” is *perd-. It obviously changed much less on its journey into Russian than it did into English, but the root is the same. Now “Peorð” does not have a known meaning or root according to “scholars”, but after about five minutes of research, I was able to come across the proto-Indo-European root.
The first word I think of that sounds similar to “Peorð” is “fjord”. The only major phonetic differences are the ‘f’ and the ‘p’. But in the ever-changing dynamics of languages, ‘p’ and ‘f’ are very fluidly changed. ‘ð’ and ‘d’ are practically the same, largely depending on dialect. So, the proto-Indo-European root for “fjord” is *pértus. This means a “crossing”. Literally, it is the noun form of “to penetrate” or “to cross (water)” (water of course beings very important as a transitional barrier, a boundary between worlds, a fluid body of dreamlike “inter-land” or Earthly void, as open expanse of liquid incorporeality). Other decedents of this word are Latin “portus”, which English words “port” and “portal” come from. So we can see that the root concept is the notion of crossing from one place to another, like a bridge, portal, or some kind of connecting point between two places.
So that is exactly what “Peorð” means. Is a journey between two worlds. It is the act of crossing over (metaphysically, of course). It is a hike into unknown territory. It is the transportation to a different reality. It is crossing the river Styx. It is the realization of the unreal.
However, all this makes it seem like Peorð is only focused on another world, something incorporeal. In fact it is a connecting point. So it is the focus on both worlds. It is life and death. To understand life, you must understand death. To understand death, you must understand life. Peorð is the connecting point between both opposites, which allows for travel between both sides. You are not just stuck on one side, unaware of what the other is. Peorð is the key to the other side. The door through which you must walk. So if you must translate Peorð into a common word, please consider it “through”.