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13 EOH | English, The Vulgate


EOH              #13              (GH)


This is the runic symbol which represents ‘spirit’ in its’ sense of ‘continuity and endurance’ and which is represented by what looks like an arrow that is split lengthwise, with one half pointing heavenward and the other half pointing earthward.   When I view the sign of EOH this way and then reflect on FEOH, which contains ‘eoh’, I start to view ‘feoh’in a different light.  Reading pœtic symbols is much like reading alphabetic symbols in that context alters sense.  Those last three words are so profoundly sensible that I would tattoo them on my forearm if I were impulsive.  In the context of EOH, feoh looks like one half of the split-tail of a feathered arrow which is not only directed earthward but is buried over half-way into earth.

We all see different things in symbols, including word-symbols.  At different times and circumstances we may see different things in the same symbol.  This is all a part of human nature.  It is also part of our nature that we sometimes agree with one another and sometimes vehemently disagree.  There is no certainty that understanding one another will bring agreement.

Both of these runes are symbols which express dynamic principles and energy potential which, like all power, can be taken to extremes, misdirected, and abused  if we are not mindful and careful how we use them.  This is part of the message contained in the history of these runic ideographs.  The Twentieth Century saw a great and terrible example of the monsterous demons which can be created with language.  While the monsters were drawn with runic symbols, there is nothing inherently evil in any symbol system.  No matter how careful or mindful we are, we can still get into difficulties and disagreements with language.

Language doesn’t cause problems.  It just seems that way when language also becomes the center of controversy while we are using it to work out some difficult subject.  Lacking a system for decoding our words just adds to the controversy and leaves an impression that words are part of the problem.

It has been my experience, over many years and through many controversies, that the disagreements, difficulties and controversies are a significant part of the dynamics and energies that result in the formation of the ideas and the ideals which nourish growth in society. Our present problems result from much of the sickly, spindly social growth that results when the volume of our words (sound and quantity) are disproportionate to the sense value, when we read and hear language that has little substance and little or less variety, language that has no classical educational content.

Now for the counterpoint[1]:  We do not need a new language nor do we need a college of English.  We do not need an international alphabet and a standardized phonetic code.  We do not need a proscribed standardized speech or an American form of “R.P.” (received pronunciation).  We need to see what we are looking at and saying, hear what we are listening to and repeating.  We need to listen to the sounds and the sense of what our words mean.  We need to hear the melodies, rhythms, beats and harmonies of our language.   We need to read aloud and we need to read different kinds of writing including instructions, coupons, contracts, warranties, pœtry, lyrics, plays and scripts – and  pay attention to the rhythms and feel the beat.

On the subject of dynamic principles and energy potential, I think of the rune of EOH, which appears in English as GH. This element goes back to Sanskrit with apparently the same basic sense.  It also has a comparable Latin equivalent ‘umph’ as in triumph.  The spelling of these words has bedeviled people for years and that just refers to the English language.  These words appear to have more letters than their sound or their sense seems to warrant.  These words are  among those that people most abbreviate and reduce to diminutives that ‘make sense phonetically’.   There is more to our language coding than a phonetic code.  There are  sound/sense codes which indicate the meanings of words.

These words which appear to have more letters than are required for phonetic sense, are the ones that  admen most like to turn into advertising gimmicks.  Their essential PR  (public relations) value is that the public likes to be able to savage the classic spelling.  I suspect it feels somehow therapeutic as these words can be frustrating.  The importance of  correct spelling is not about some mythic standard of phonetic regularity; the spellings contain the essential elements of the words’ meanings.  The sound values of ‘ough’ are sometimes represented with alternative spellings; but, that is when the sound and sense of ‘ough’ is being modulated for a desired effect, as it can be a very powerful sound and a most significant sense.  ‘Significant’ because when you say it, people get it.

Examples: light/lite, enough/enow/nuff-said/  and  ‘now’ (what people say when the waiter has poured enough coffee), through/thru, though/tho, laugh/laff, plough/plow, ghastly/gastly.  ‘Gh’ and Ȝ have also been written as ‘ch’ and ‘tch'[2]

Bless Pittsburgh!

I read a little bleep in the newspaper which stated that some towns had been pressured to remove the ‘gh’ from their names and Pittsburgh bravely refused.  Bless them.  This symbol is about a lot more than a sound. This element is as old as Sanskrit and as new as current slang.  It appears in the dictionary as “oomph”[3] and I have heard it pronounced as oof, umph, and uff.  The modern sense in English the Vulgate is consistent with the ancient usage.

GH-, -GH the sound/sense element of potential energy and dynamic relationship: -or,Grandma, how many cups are in a ‘handful’ and how many ‘pinches’ in a teaspoon?

Like most of the runes that made it into the English language, EOH represents an observed  energy, force, or dynamic relationship that exists within all nature including mankind. This particular type of energy in EOH could be called ‘fight or flight’ or ‘tension and tension release’.   It is the feeling of an impending change in nature like the changes of the seasons or change of weather.  In a slightly different  construct, the energy can be a sudden mood change of time, tide, weather, or human temper.

It is an expression of the experience of that change and our recognition of it with sounds, imagery, and words.  There is a subtle, but distinct, difference in the feeling and ideas expressed dependent upon the position of the gh and the letters before and after it.  Sometimes the ‘thing’ at issue is the smokey, cloud like image that floats through the house and into the yard.

If the spellings were simplified phonetically they would be spelled -ow, -ot,   -uff, -awt, -ate, -ay, -ite, or ‘g’ (and sometimes they are).  With spelling changes, the meanings and sounds would be changed, distorted, modulated, and possibly corrupted.  In a few cases that already appears to have happened.  The one that comes immediately to mind is -ight to the diminutive -ite.  No, especially not for lo-cal.

EOH is the rune of continuity and endurance, the concept of soul or spirit, the eternal part.  If we minimize, modulate or otherwise alter our personal expression of it, we should do so for ourselves, not have someone else modify the spelling and the sense to save ink, paper, and space.   And, most certainly not because someone, who does not understand the sense, presumes that his not knowing means that there is nothing there to know.

The rune EOH, translated into English as the ‘gh’ sound, is another  example of the Ogham phonetic rule about the letter ‘h’: ‘When ‘h’ is present, the letter before or after it changes sounds.’  This is another example of conditions that make it much more practical to learn phonics by learning the ‘one to five symbol’ patterns.  The ‘gh’ patterns are still irregular in their pronunciation; however, they are even more irregular from one pool of English speakers to another.  Learning to spot the patterns helps to make the recognition, spelling, and sense perception infinitely more manageable.  When the pattern is identified in the context of a familiar word it becomes easier to reproduce the sound in the manner of the people with whom you are speaking.  That makes it easier to be understood.  Perhaps you won’t change your pronunciation; but, you will still find it easier to translate others’ speech into something you can understand.  It will be a help with reading James Herriot’s books, watching BBC, and decoding Australian  or ‘American’ or South African, depending on who is now reading this.

Decoding GH-, -GH words runically

This time we’ll start with a list of patterns, then a list of words, and then start decoding Runically.   Patterns:  gh-, -gh, augh, aught, eigh, eight, gh-, -gh, igh, ight, ough, ought,   There are probably some more ‘gh’ words whose spellings have been corrupted or simplified to  ‘uff’  or  ‘ow’ to make them look and sound more comfortable.  I suspect that ‘now’ was once ‘nough’ and ‘know’ was ‘knough’.  For now, I’m just going to concentrate on those that retain the recognizable runic notation.  Afterward I’ll check the “Dictionary of Archaic Words” for some words that had (but lost) their Runic flavor.

EOH is “affirmative of continuity and endurance”.  This rune represents a trait or phenomenon of nature that is an observation and a belief which have been around since time immemorial: the observation that there is a pervasive and palpable energy or life-force in all things and the belief that life has a pervasive energy that goes on, that there is something that continues and endures.  It appears to be the same energy mentioned above with the additional sense of what is called ‘spirit’ in the Romantic languages.  Perhaps it is also that shadow or image that appears on Kirlian photos.   EOH represents some omnipresent, albeit invisible, essential quality in life.  It seems to equate to the Latin  [spiritus, breath, courage, vigor, the soul, life, from spirare, to blow, to breathe]  “The life principle, especially in man, originally regarded as an animating vapor infused by the breath, or as bestowed by a deity.  …also a supernatural being as a ghost, angel, demon, fairy or elf.   …a pervading animating principle.   …an alcoholic solution of a volatile or essential substance.”[4]

I refer to this thing as ‘invisible’.  It is hardly invisible but I’m using the word ‘visible’ in the sense of something we can see, describe, take pictures of, biopsy, measure, and in many other ways, “pin wriggling on the wall”.[5] Using ‘visible’ in that way, ‘invisible’ is then something that can’t be physically measured or in any way pinned down.  While this ineffable thing can’t be quantified or classified,  its’ effects and the evidence of its’ existence are all around us. I hadn’t thought about this thing as an element of nature or of our language until I was tracking the Runic symbol through our language.   Considering all of the words in which this Runic symbol appears, it suggests that there was a broader grasp of this life energy than one might have expected so long ago.  However, they did live in a harsh, unforgiving climate of great extremes.  The Northern lights and the ‘music of the spheres’ was more than poetry, it was everyday reality. The North Atlantic in winter is a heavy-lab class in the unrelenting forces of nature, all about us and within us.

The choice of symbol for EOH is so appropriate to the meaning.  The symbol of EOH is an arrow, split down the middle with one half pointing downward and the other half pointing upward.  In noting the words in which it appears I see that split arrow as repetitive, making it a wavelength.  That would give it varying heights, widths and frequencies.  The split arrow becomes a very meaningful ideograph representing this natural energy; it is light, sound and all expressions of the electromagnetic spectrum and sound waves and other seen and unseen ‘od’, perhaps even -ounds.   And, for those who need an even more personal and tangible frame of reference, consider all of the fright, fight, or flight type stimulants and responses of the autonomic nervous system.[6]

There are some other ‘English’ words that have an initial ‘gh’ and derive from the parent languages of Arabic, Bohemian, German, Hindi, Persian, and Sanskrit; thereby, probably having the Indo-European language as their common parent.  The following four ‘initial gh’ words came by way of the “Old Faith” and therefore have Runic parentage even if their ancestors are Indo-European.  Again, for ease, all page numbers are Webster’s unless otherwise stated.  The text set apart in quotes is from the book referenced.  All comments and commentary, which are in parentheses, are mine.


aghast              [AS. a and gasten AS. gaestan to terrify]  “struck with amazement; stupefied with sudden fright or horror”  p.36

aght              meaning ‘to heed’, etymology unknown.  In the word Al-mon-aght, meaning “heed all moons” quoted by Nigel Pennick from a book published in 1605.[7]  It sounds like a warning.

ghost              [AS. gast, breath, spirit]   p.769

ghastly              [AS. gaestan, to frighten, terrify]  p.769]

ghoul              [Ar. Demon of the mountains]  p. 769  (included because it is assumed to be English just as ‘almanac’ is)

GH is the symbol noting the presence of a pervasive vital energy or force at work in our world.  Ghost and ghoul are pretty graphic images for how that quality is perceived in humanoid form.  I just noticed that this is the thirteenth rune in the English language ‘Futhark’.  Coincidence or superstition?  Perhaps neither as all these symbol systems also have gematria (numerical) values.

There are some native words in which GH is used strictly as a digraph for ‘g’ sounds without any apparent runic symbolism.  I have found those words only in the 1850 Archaic Dictionary and (so far) see no indication of those spellings either before or since that time.  This dictionary was compiled by a preacher and, based on his remarks, I gather he either wasn’t aware of the runic connections or preferred that reference to pagan symbolism not be recognized.  He writes about the importance of the Anglo Saxon letter ‘YOGH’ and acknowledges the special significance of the letter.[8]

I gather from his remarks that the words and spellings that he recorded were regional variations and the spellings were based on regional preferences with no pretense of observing a standardized British spelling.  While there is no indication that he or those he interviewed were aware of the Runic connection to the English language, there was ample evidence that the influence of the runes still pervaded both speech and spelling and that the sole remaining runic symbol meant a lot to the people who retained it.


faugh              “an exclamation of contempt, disgust (also spelled foh)”  p.668  (The terminal ‘gh’ sound is sometimes pronounced as ‘ch’ which has both a soft and hard pronunciation.  The hard sound would resemble the common exclamation ‘fuck’ contributing little to the word’s current semantic value while supporting the symbolic runic value of ‘gh’.)

haugh              “low-lying flat ground on the border of a river  (Brit. Dial. And Scot)” p. 831  (The ‘gh’ value could easily derive from the presence of the wisps of mist and the lights that often occur over such terrain.  They are often interpreted as ghosts or other spirits and sprites.  Or, haugh could have the sense of ‘high’ in relation to the water.)

laugh              [AS. hiehan, hlihhan (of imitative origin)]  (Websters’ doesn’t require definitions, and sometimes doesn’t have one.  Laughter, while it could be imitative, doesn’t sound like any laugh I want to hear so let’s try some  runic code.  Hagal is both the unconscious, structure and transformation, patterns of energy from the past affecting the present linking human consciousness with other planes of existence and Lagu fluidity representing the changeable uncertainties of living; the life force inherent in matter, organic growth and waxing force; it is the rune of Beltane.  If you need a little modern science, something that feels more‘real’or concrete, laughter is commonly identified with jokes and good humor and is a release of tension pent up energy, much like Beltane festivities

raugh              “obsolete past tense and past participle of  reach” p.1497  (The act of reaching is a position of balancing opposing forces.)

saugh              “obsolete past tense of  see”[9], the spelling of which was changed to ‘saw’.  I prefer this obsolete spelling of ‘saw’, as I feel that it conveys the value and significance of the the sense of sight.  We are too complacent and entirely too fearful about our senses of perception.  There are frequent references in old books to different ways of seeing, including second sight.[10]  Dr. Oliver Sacks is one who writes about alternate perceptions.
Fortunately ‘sight’ and ‘sought’ retain the value of the ‘gh’ element.)

-AUGH, -AUGHT The basic sense of ‘aught’ is the awareness of the living force that is within and without  and of the action of these forces in opposition to others.  This augh/aught is part of our linguistic recognition of, and our vocal expression of, this everpresent and thoroughly pervasive presence of dynamic tension and tension release that is a continuous presence in all life.  Speech is not just for communication, it is for self-expression.  These sounds represented by augh/aught are part of us ‘finding our bark’.  This is a group of English sounds with which we can really make the ‘big-dog sounds’.   They lose all effectiveness when overused, just like incessantly barking dogs.


aught              [AS. awhit; a, an, one and whit a creature, a living thing]  “1) anything whatever; any little  part; 2) zero also” [AS. æht from agan to own] “property; possession [Scot.]”  The runic value of ‘gh’ emerges when one realizes the spiritual life of these people.  These were a people who grasped that all creation has life and divine spirit, every plant, animal, stream, and pond.  This word ‘aught’ simultaneously means both no-thing and some-thing, a significant dichotomy since that is what this thing ‘soul’, ‘spirit’  is.

caught              p.t.  of  catch  This is also traced to Latin capere, another leap

distraught              1. torn apart; rent [Obs] 2. distracted; harassed; bewildered 3. driven mad; crazed  (This word is traced to Latin distrahere, to draw apart) -another unnecessary leap

draught              [ME. draught, draht from AS. dragan, to draw, drag, or pull]  p. 551,553 a draught of alcoholic spirits – is my abstraction of a very broad usage.  For broader perspective, think draught horses.

fraught              [ME. fraght, a load, cargo, freight] p. 729  (in the sense of being physically or emotionally burdened)

haught              proud, insolent  (from high)  p.831 (refers to an attitude or emotional posture.)

laughter              I am of the opinion that laugh was pronounced ‘loft’and carried the sense of ‘high’ with the rune ‘lagu’ -life force inherent in matter, organic growth and waxing force.  The usual etymology given is AS. hiehan (Websters p.1026) which might be “imitative of laughing”; but the spelling of laugh is clearly a quasi-phonetic alphabetic code, of runic derivation. )

naught              not a whit. See aught above. p.1197  (The n- preceding a word often acts as a negative.)

naughty              worthless, of no value or account  p.1197,  (Knowing this, I will never again use this word about anyone.)

taught              [AS. togian, to pull)  taut Obs.  past tense of teach p. 1869;  (This sounds like the process of teaching, pulling from people what they know, what they see, hear, feel and think.  This meaning gives a strong, interactive sense to the idea of ‘teaching’ and places responsibility where it belongs, equally.  A likely source for   ‘distraught)

waught              a large draught as of liquor  (Scot. and N. Eng. Dialect)  p. 2070



high              [ME. hie, heigh, heh; AS. heh, drunk, elated, tainted, far from the equator]  p. 859

nigh              [AS. neah, neh; nigh, near, close]  p.1211

sigh              [AS. sican; to sigh, prob. Imitative or allied to suck a drawing in of the breath]  p. 1686

thigh              This is the part of the body that raises us up, allowing us to maintain the erect posture.

The rune IS /i/ is static existence combined with EOH  /gh/ the rune of continuity and endurance.  I get from this image the basic sense of  –if as simultaneous maintaining and expansiveness.  In the above entries we have expanding upward, reaching out, chest expanding, raising the body upward.


bedight              (dight) [AS. dihtan; to set in order, arrange]  to adorn, to address, to array [Archaic] p. 165

blight              [Origin unknown]  any atmospheric or soil condition, parasite or insect that kills, withers, or checks the growth of plants; anything that destroys, prevents growth, etc.; a person or thing that withers the hopes or ambitions of another person” p. 195   Blight is something that is best described runically, BEORC/LAGU Mystery, new beginnings on a higher level, fluidity representing the changeable uncertainties of living, it is the life force inherent in matter.  Blight appears suddenly, like light, and is visible from a distance.  It can seem so small and yet it is life-altering.

bright              [AS. bryht, briht, beorht; giving forth, shedding or reflecting much light; radiant, shining] p.227

fright              [AS. fyrhtu, fyrhto; sudden and violent fear, terror, alarm]  p. 734

hight              [AS. Called. Promised.] (Archaic Dict. p.449) as in “Stag, I am hight.”[11]  It appears that ‘Stag’ is his totem animal, representative of his nature.

knight              [ME. knight, kniht, cniht ; AS. eniht, a boy, youth, attendant] p. 1005 (A young boy who is trained in warrior skills and groomed to be an attendant.  Note: the KN prefix expressing the process of taking the new, soft, pliable and, shaping, molding, firming)

light              [AS. lihtan, to make light from lecht]  [lightan, lyhtan, to dismount, to alight, to relieve of the riders burden (also another word for lungs)

might              [AS. miht, from the root  magan to be able]  Magan is great ability.

night              [AS. niht, neaht; any period of darkness or gloom] p. 1212  Note: The initial n’ in a word often indicates negation so that night is the negation of radiant energy, of light.

plight              [AS. pliht, a pledge, obligation, danger]  that which is plighted or pledged  p. 1381

right              [AS. riht,rihte, true, just, straight]

sight              [AS, siht, gesiht from seon to see] any faculty of vision including mental vision,  perception , or observation.   p. 1687

slight              [ME. slight, Not in AS.  from O.D. and Ice.]  plain, vile. Smooth, trivial, common; to neglect or disregard  p. 1708    The ight spelling probably represents the feeling-expression regarding the meaning they took from this adopted word, or the sense could have been there from other Northern tribes who also used runes.  I included it because the ight significance exists today.

tight              [ME. tight, thight; AS. thight (in comp.) strong]  dense, close, compact, taut, strict, concise p. 1909

wight              [AS. wyghte  (1) A person  (2) Active, swift  (Archaic Dict.  p. 931)

wright              [AS. wyrhta  a worker, from wyrcan to work] p.2111  a worker, workman, maker, creator; Now, usually used in compound words as shipwright, wheelwright,” (cartwright, shipwright, wordwright, bookwright.  The significant difference between work and wright is that the latter depicts the transformation of energy into the object produced.  One does not say metalwright because metal  is not a creation of man.  See the section on runes for an analysis of the meaning of WR as  a prefix.)

The basic sense of  –ight is awareness of an energy or force radiating outward.  Imagine the image a cartoonist makes to indicate intense emotion in a character or the halo of light radiating outward that an artist paints around a temporally and spiritually powerful character or event.  The runes flanking EOH are IS and TYR.  This is the principle of static existence like ice melting as the result of loss of energy, continuity and endurance, positive regulation ruling justly, the shape of TYR infers the targeting of forces in the correct place for the greatest effect.  We could give this a contemporary relevant image by thinking of the positive uses of radioactive decay.[12]

As for the term ‘just’ as in ‘ruling justly’ there are lengthy definitions for ‘just’ and ‘justice’ which all come down to the meaning: [ Latin jus, right, law] “exact, precise, neither too much nor too little, upright”.   Notice that ‘right’ and ‘upright’  are native words used to define ‘law’.  The importance of balance as depicted by the scales of justice is less vivid to me than the image of radioactivity striving for balance and stability.  This image becomes  an ongoing process that pervades life and isn’t limited to a court of law, governmental structure, unbalanced scales, or bursts of vengeance.  The many manifestations of this principle of nature are visible constants in areas where there are dramatic climatic changes.  The language of the Northern tradition is expressive of the pervasive influence of this natural principle in human nature as well as within all nature, this striving to maintain balance.

Having got onto the topic of ‘law’, I looked up the word.  [ME. lawe, laghe] [AS. lagu, law] p.1028  Both Middle English and Anglo Saxon pronounce it ‘aw’.  ME. spells it with ‘gh’ and AS. uses the rune itself as the spelling.  Now that is observing the spirit of the law.



weigh              [AS. wegan, to carry or bear]  to have significance, to hold in high regard, to measure p. 2076

sleigh              [D. slee a contracted form of sleede, a sled or sledge] a light passenger vehicle mounted on runners  p. 1707

neighbor              [AS. neagebur, nehgebur, neabur; near, nigh and gebur, a dweller] to adjoin, border on, be near, to live in the vicinity of. neighbour Brit. spelling  p. 1203.  The meaning of EOH, as expressed in ‘gh’ is  ‘affirmative of continuity and endurance’ and seems a fitting spelling for the continuing effort to keep a good relationship with neighbors.


eight              [AS. eahta] related to EA? one more than seven, (Seven years is the first life- as a baby. This is based on the idea of the ‘ages of men’, wherein we live an age every seven years, the same principle that is observed in Sabbath days, years, and Jubilees (7×7) 50th year

eighteen              [AS. eahta and tene, tyn, ten] represents Chai life traditionally the age of maturity also in the northern tradition.

freight              [Fr fret, D. vracht; Dan. fragt]  p. 731 load, lading, cargo or any part of cargo

height              [AS. heathu, a high place]  p.841  HAGEL, EA and THORN. The topmost point of anything.

sleight              [ME. slehte; Ice. slaegth, slyness, cunning, from slaegr, sly]  p.1707

weight              [AS. ge wiht] p. 2076  a portion or quantity weighing a definite or specified amount.

The basic sense of -eigh or -eight appears to be to bear or to carry.  The sense that all of these have in common is that of endurance, the energy of withstanding or holding up under burdens, of exerting energy to equal the opposing burden.  This is our natural state of adapting to gravity, to the continuous and often fluctuating pressure.  This energy becomes more conspicuous when you disembark from a ship or when there is a marked change in barometric pressure, as in the Northern Atlantic area, particularly during a storm at sea.  To put a fine point on the idea so that the image sticks, reflect on the expression, ‘That blows me away.’ which carries the sense of what you feel when you, or the vehicle that you are driving, get knocked up and over by wind.  Removing a force then reapplying it (wind) makes that force more forceful.  It is an interesting take on the word ‘sleight’.   If you trust and are then deceived or tricked it is quite unsettling.

This gives us the energy radiating outward (ight) coupled with movement or progression (eight).    Notice that the AS. spelling contains ‘ea’.  EA is the rune of mother earth which would be the rune of bearing.   ‘E’ may also stand for EHWAZ the rune of the horse and of brother and sisterhood.  Combine this with the energy radiating outward (ight)  IS EOH TYR and we have a rather dynamic bearing of burden.

I hear the screaming alarm of my ‘crap detector’ going off.  A crap detector[13] is what Hemingway is supposed to have said that a writer needs and a good writer has.  It is a sense of when something is not right, not true, not in its place.  It is not enough to know when something is ‘crap’; there needs to be an alarm for when something is not there that ought to be.  That is the signal I’m getting.  I am coming across so many words that have the sound of the sod in them that I keep reading them with a brogue.  All of them are being attributed to every island nation in the northern Atlantic except Ireland.  Eric Partridge has credited one of them, ‘slaughter’, to the Irish.  The dictionaries won’t go any further than crediting the words ‘whiskey’, ‘shenanigan’, ‘bother’, ‘lough’ and ‘crone’.  Now that is malarky, with -ough!  Having expressed that, I will continue to quote sources even when I doubt them and then make my ‘asides’.

-OUGH,  -OUGHT  : Is ‘ought’ an internal force or energy?  Or, is it an outside force which acts on us, as  ‘You really ought to do….’  A point to ponder.


bough              [AS. bog, boh  the shoulder, arm] the branch of a tree  p. 214

brough              same as broch [Scot.] a circular stone tower of ancient and unknown origin also in the Orkney and Shetland Islands] p. 232

borough              [AS. burh,  a town, fortified place from beorgan to protect]  Runically decoded: ‘b’, BEORC is new beginnings on a higher organic level. ‘o’, OS is creative power of words, thus wisdom itself.  ‘r’, RAD is transformative energy vehicle, conscious control of factors making Fate (future).  ‘u’, UR is collective human power.   ‘gh’, EOH is affirmative of continuity and endurance.

cough              [ME. coughen]  from “echoic base” p. 415  A cough is often a spontaneous expression of doubt or disagreement, runically KEN or ‘c’.  (cough and clough sound Gaelic.)

clough              [ME. a cleft or rift in a hill]  p. 343  Such a rift in a hill is usually made by the knowing of water which follows the same path.   Runic is KEN LAGU or cl-.

dough              [AS. dag a mixture of flour, liquid, other ingredients for bread making] Dag is the rune of  the letter ‘d’ and of ‘day’.  Bread-making by hand takes a day and starts in the morning.

doughty              [AS.dohtig, dyhtig  strong, valiant, brave, eminent, noble, as a doughty hero] “Archaic Dictionary p. 549  (This sounds to me like an awareness of an inner leavening agent that can be summoned into action.)

drought              [AS. druggist, drugoth, dryness from dryge dry] p.  559

enough              [ME. enogh, enoh, enow, AS.genoh from geneah it suffices]  a state of being or sufficiency p.606  This word has two prefixed elements ‘e’ and ‘n’.[14]  (Websters p.2116)  In a complete sentence, this word could have such a benign meaning; however, the meaning changes when the word is used as a single word imperative sentence.

lough              [Gael. and Irish  loch, a lake]  a lake or arm of the sea; a loch, also p.t. of laugh  p. 1069

plough              Also ‘plow’ [ME. plowghe]  a farm instrument for cutting and turning up the soil also to cut through the water

rough              [AS. ruh,]  not smooth, coarse, ragged, hairy, stormy, tempestuous  p. 1578

sough              [ME swough AS. swogan, to sound] p.1733  1) a murmuring, sighing sound, a rustling or whistling sound, as of the wind 2) a current rumor, report [Scot] 3) a whining way of speaking [Scot]    Also, a buzzing; a hollow murmur or roaring (often in the ears or head) The form swough is common in early English  (Archaic Dictionary p. 775)  (This is a thing that comes before or with a ‘swoon’.

slough              [AS. sloh, a slough] p. 1712  any cast off layer or covering, to throw off, to shed like a snakeskin;  also  a swamp, bog, or marsh, especially one that is part of an inlet or backwater, also spelled slew, slue. ‘Slough’ also means killed; slew; the cast off skin of any animal or man  (Archaic Dictionary p. 760)

tough              [AS. toh] strong but pliant, vigorous  p.  1929

trough              [AS. trog, troh]  a depression between two ridges or between two waves; also a container of wood, stone or metal for holding water or food for animals p.  1960


ought              [AS. agan, to have or possess] originally the past tense of the verb to owe.   Senses of the word: a) obligation or duty; b) desirability: “you ought to eat more slowly; c)  expectancy or probability “ought to be through by-”  This sounds like a personal, inner process.

bought      a twist, a link, a bend,  Obs.  p.t. and p.p. of to buy  p. 214   buy [bycgan, to buy] to acquire        ownership, right, or title to anything  p. 248

brought     p.t. and p.p. of to bring [AS. bringan,  to carry, bear, lead, or convey] p. 228

drought     [AS. drugath, drugoth, dryness from dryge dry]

fought              p.t. and p.p. of to fight  [AS. feoht, from feohtan] a battle, contest, or quarrel] p.683

This is another indication that the rune Feoh is about ‘weal’, well-being.

nought              n.[AS. nowiht, nowhut from ne not and owiht, awiht, aught] nothing, a person or a thing that is of little or no value. p. 1225

sought              p.t. and p.p. of to seek [AS. secan, secean]  to search for or try to find; to try, to attempt

p. 1643

wrought              n. (alternative p.t. and p.p. of to work)   shaped by hammering or beating said of metals; made with great care; elaborated, decorated; ornamented   p.  2113  Note the wr- indicating man’s hand in the transformative process of RAD.linked to  the inner-ought .

The sense of the elements ough and ought are discussed  in the following paragraph but they apply to the preceding words also.  We may later find that there are other English words that were once spelled with some of the GH constructs.  This will be an insight into their essential meanings.


‘Segue’ is the word we usually use for this kind transition but the word feels absurdly flaccid given the subject at hand, the transition from EOH to THORN through the exiting of and the introduction of some of the most powerful and meaningful words in the language.  Words with the runic elements of THORN and EOH express some dynamic ideas, among them the idea of’ ought.  We often think ill of the word as it is taken to be an outside force compelling us to do or to think contrary to our inclinations or our own judgment.  The ough and the ought are internal dynamics, something within that prompts or compels us.  I think of the gh in ghost as our spirit, our energy body and relate it to the ough of Tai Chi. Our ‘ought’ is the expression of personal discipline on this energy.  (See the rune of TYR.) It is the obligation or duty which we set on our self.  It becomes a personal code that sustains a person and integrates the physical body with the energy self.  Different cultures have different words for this process.  I’m writing about the words and symbols of the Northern Tradition, some of which have been distorted and corrupted by misuse.  This, I think, is because we don’t learn what our native words mean.  We have a powerful and precise lexicon of language to say what we mean yet we lack a guide to the sense of these words.  Much of our language has faded into obscurity from neglect, from lack of information and from the lack of courage to use words which others look down on.  Perhaps years of memorizing ‘college vocabulary’ which stresses Greek and Latin constructs as though they were a superior form of language.

The rune of Thor is a case in point.  Thor is a god of thunder and is often equated with violence, war and the indiscriminate destruction by thunder and lightning.  Some people have placed a too human construct upon a force of nature.  Nature does not intend violence and destruction; that is just the way we feel about some of nature-in-action.   The rune is actually called THORN and is representative of a passive deterrent like the principle in Tai Chi wherein one contains personal energy and directs it mindfully, allowing the undisciplined aggressor to beat himself up with his own energy. Thorn represents the self-contained energy of the thorn which is the ultimate passive deterrent.  Thorn is ruled by Thor whose hammer is a balanced and controlled force or energy.  This is the energy that can be directed to grinding grain, to the mental grind of studies and, if required, contained and directed to thwart an adversary.  It is a runic concept of definitive action within the defined boundaries of laghe
(law) set by the culture.  In the western tradition we are most familiar with the ten commandments, the golden rule and the golden mean.  A sterling example of a less familiar code of set boundaries is geasa.  That is a self-imposed obligation, a self-originating moral directive compelled by ones’ will out of a sense of rightness.[15] Sometimes it is placed on one at birth.  People often are aware of a sense of personal duty from the time that they are babies.  I have that experience and know of others who have it.  It seems to be inborn like a ‘herding instinct’ or a ‘protective duty’ in some dogs.   Most of our social codes or laws quote an author and state a penalty for non-compliance; however, the codes that sustain us when society collapses, as it often does, are the codes that are set by that inner ought.   Consider the preceding philosophical abstract to be an allegorical story.

though, (pause to consider)  although (include more to consider) thought process of thinking, (active consideration of an inkle or hint).  through, is  the (definitive completion of a process or action)   thorough, (an intensification of the definitive completion), a sort of linguistic fist-pound on the table, throughout is completed, done and exited, then comes enough where the ‘ough’ is negated.  ‘Enough’, by itself, can be a simple imperative sentence which contains the message, “Stifle your ough and leave, we are through for now.”  If ‘now’ doesn’t have sufficient impact, repeat with quiet emotional intensity, “nough”.   That word is still pronounced the same way; but, a stressor in the voice alters the meaning.

This is one of the lessons of English usage that is currently not taught because we do not teach speech and music.

Now for Webster’s definitions:

though              [AS. theah,  yet, still] p. 1900  in spite of the fact that-; not withstanding; The use of the word ‘still’ states that this is a pause, a quietus. ‘Though’ signals a period of stillness, of pause to consider instead of to act.

although              conj. “all though”  in spite of the fact that; granting that; all though is more emphatic than though  p.53   The word ‘all’ is related to the article ‘a’ which means ‘one’.  All indicates a ‘fluidity of one’, that is ‘many ones but not at the same time and place’.

‘Although’ signals that there is still more to consider, that this is still not the time to act or to stop the discussion.

thought              [AS. thoht, gethoht from thencan to think] p. 1900,   Think comes from inkle meaning a hint.  Yes, the words ‘think’ and ‘thought’ are related grammatically in that ‘thought’ is the past tense and past participle of the verb,’to think’.  However, grammar is about the organization of words and the word elements are about the actual meaning of the words.

The meaning relates to the perceptions or senses of the individual person.  This set of related words pertains to the regulation of that formidable force of nature, mankind’s OUGH. The pause, though and thought are one symbol apart. That symbol is ‘t’ for  TYR the “law rune” of positive regulation.  Tyr or Tiw is the lord of justice.  Thought is ‘ough’ prefixed by the resistant defenses of  thorn and affixed by tyr the rune of positive regulation.  This is a poetic description of powerful and effective self-discipline.

‘Ough’ and ‘elf” are powerful inner forces that belong to the individual.

through              [AS thurh] in one side and out the other, in the midst of, by way of, over the entire extent of, beginning to end, no need for changes, by means of, as a result of, often said ‘through and through’ p.  1903

‘Through’ is one letter different than ‘though’.  That letter is ‘R’ which represents RAD, which is the rune of transformative energy. The time of stillness and consideration is over.

thorough              [ME. thuruh  an emphatic form of through]  p.1900  This is the rune of Thor, THORN, combined with OS, the mouth from which issues the divine sound, UR, primal power and perseverance, and EOH, the spirit of continuity and endurance.  The first four letters which comprise Thor can be interpreted individually as THORN, OS, RAD.  This would intensify the message with a second THORN, another OS, and include RAD, the rune of transformative energy.  This is a way of both contracting and compounding a word to enhance the meaning.  This process is also in the word ‘king’.  We do this in modern English with ‘double entendres’ and various word puzzles.  The meanings of  ‘though’, ‘thought’, and ‘through’ have all been compounded by contracting all four runes into one powerful expression.   This is the process that English uses for forming compound words, compound sentences and compound-complex sentences.  The forms have lasted because they are unambiguously direct in their meaning.  Even those who don’t know the words often get the meaning from the rhythm and intensity of speech.

throughout:              In or during every part; everywhere; the whole time; in every respect  p.1903  This is THORN, RAD, OS, UR  repeat OS, UR then TYR, positive forces ruling justly. The feeling expression here is that of a definitive statement with transformative energy, human spirit speaking fairly and with equanimity and authoritative and positive force.  Concisely said, ‘considered, completed, decided, over, out’   It really is not possible to get more concise than the compound word, ‘throughout’.

enough              [AS. genoh from geneah]  It suffices, satisfies the desire, adequate, sufficient. p.  605 The word is listed as adjective, noun, adverb, and finally interjection meaning, “No more!  That’s enough!” This word makes more sense to me if the prefatory ‘e’ was originally the thorn symbol that looked like a ‘y’ or the ‘y’ that replaced ‘ge-‘ the perfective prefix with the basic sense of ‘together’[16].  Y-, which sounded like ‘e’, is also an intensifier.[17]

But, this is not an either/or situation.  There was a time when our spelling was not standardized and different people spelled words in different ways, sometimes several different ways.  Spelling, the symbolic construction of an idea, can be accomplished many ways.  Layers of meaning can be included in words by changing the spelling.  Like we compose compound words with different elements of meaning, we can compound methods that give more layers of meaning.

The words above show how adding and subtracting elements can change words.  Including several different runes by altering the spelling of the runes of meaning were included in words by altering spelling.  People have been playing games with words for centuries.  Bear in mind that puns, double entendres, and multiple layers of meaning are essential features of the English language. ‘N’ (nyd) preceding a word, is the code for negation.  I can’t think of any word or words which would say this powerful message as civilly as does the word ‘enough’.  If ‘e’ is the perfective prefix meaning ‘together’ and ‘n’ negates ‘ough’ it means, ‘Pull it together and stifle it.’  (‘It’ being the ough, divine voice, primal energy, and enduring spirit which is being negated by ‘n’).  Runically, ‘e’ EHWAZ means ‘together’ so whether the ‘e’ represents thorn or ehwaz, the meaning of the word stays  the same.  The word ‘enough’ is forthright, unequivocal, strong and quite civil, certainly more so than my Archie Bunkerisms.

These words are like anagrams.  They are brief, meaningful messages similar to text messages but with more intense meanings.  The intensity of the message can be modulated by slight alterations to the sounds and stresses while not changing the message one whit.  While the above string of messages is not usually presented this directly, this is the form that diplomatic negotiation would take whether it is between mom and child, brothers, or world leaders.  This process is built into the tribal language of our native tongue.  We often think of our ancestors as warriors; but, one has to admire this evidence of the continuing efforts of our ancestors to communicate peaceably and to avoid whipping out the old battle-axe.  This linguistic progression from emotive outburst to a thoughtful process is more than just a happy accident or a series of coincidences.

We have no way of knowing how these sounds were pronounced.  I think we often try too hard to standardize speech sounds.  Considering how many different tribal groups are involved and how many tribes within each of those groups, it is a given that there were a great number of regional accents among the existing languages.   We come to understandings through meetings of mind and through negotiating, not just through the similarities of the sounds that we make.

This yogh or EOH is also in Sanskrit.  The sound/sense has been around for many centuries written in various alphabetic symbols.  While in disguise, the sound is still in our English language in several elemental patterns, not all of which contain the ‘gh’.  One of the spellings of the word law contained ‘gh’. I suspect that ‘awe’ ‘awful’ and ‘awesome’ are more modern variants whose spelling has been modified.  My suspicion (or surmise) is based on the sound of the word ‘awe’, it’s meaning, and the fact that no other rune more suitably represents the meaning.  The sense of all three words fits with the rune of  EOH.  While the spelling is modified from those with ‘gh’, the sense of the words has not been diluted.  They still have great meaning, in both spoken and written forms.

Apparently the sense of the word has not been lost in the vulgate or we wouldn’t have popular cant like, “Uh, totally awesome, dude.”


[1]Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary p. 417  3) the art of adding a related but independent melody or melodies to a basic melody, in accordance with the fixed rules of harmony, to make a harmonic whole.

[2]“From Old English to Standard English”  Freeborn, Dennis  p. 73, 74   mycht = might  14th Century

[3]“Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary”  p. 1251  “oomph    slang, echoic  1) sex appeal 2) vigor ; energy”

[4]Webster’s, p. 1750

[5]“J. Alfred Prufrock” T.S, Elliot, Thanks for the vivid image.

[6]Unless specifically stated otherwise, all page numbers referred to here are referring to the Websters’ Dictionary edition noted in the bibliography.

[7]See the first page, with footnote, of  ‘Runic Contributions’

[8]Archaic Dictionary p.950 “…corruption of the A.S. letter g sometimes to our g, sometimes to y, sometimes to gh and also to a mute consonant at the commencement of a word.  In the middle of a word it occasionally stands for i.  Z often appears in MSS under this character …has clearly no connection to Z.”  “When Ȝ occupies the place of the Anglo Saxon letter, no other character represents its exact force”.

[9]prob. pronounced saw.  It appears that some gh words are changed to ch and some –augh words are changed to aw.

[10]For further information on ‘visionary imagination’:”The Medieval Vision” Erickson, Carolly and  “Encyclopædia of Celtic Wisdom” Matthew, Caitlan and John   These give insights into our image-making capacity.

[11]“The Poetic Edda” Lee M. Hollander translation p.223

[12]Webster’s p.993 for the essential meaning of just and justice.

[13]Webster’s p. 426,  ‘Crap’ does not mean feces, contrary to common opinion.  It means chaff, which are the husks of a grain separated from the grain by winnowing. It is not useless as it can be used for many things; however, it is not to be confused with the grain.

[14]Y- [ME. y-, i-; AS. ge- perfective prefix; basic sense “together”]  an obsolete or archaic prefix formerly used regularly with the past participles of verbs; It’s use, as a poetic archaism survived until the end of the 16th Century , as in yclept [AS. geclypod  pp. of clipian to call]  called, named, known as)  While the AS. prefix was usually written as ‘y’ or ‘i’ it would not have been spelled that way by moderns. The prefixed ‘n’ again represents ‘ne’ and negates the ‘ough’.  Depending on the where the stresses are placed in this word and on its grammatical part of speech, it can mean “Thank you, I’ve had sufficient.” to “Stop! Not one more word- or anything else!”  No loudness necessary, the semantic content suffices. JOH

[15]“Encyclopaedia of Celtic Wisdom”, C. and J. Matthews  p. 243, “…prohibitions or binding duties which are normally laid upon a person at birth by a seer.  To break a geas is to forfeit one’s luck and ultimately one’s life.”  Also “The Story of the Irish Race”, Mac Manus, Seumas, p.66, “Many and hard were the tests for him who sought to be of the noble body.  One of the first tests was literary: for no candidate was possible who had not mastered the twelve books of poetry.  1) He shall marry his wife without portion- choosing her for her manners and her virtue.  2) He shall be gentle with all women.  3)  He shall never reserve to himself anything which another stands in need of.  4)  He shall stand to fight to all odds, as far as nine to one.”

[16]“Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary” p. 2116  “y- [ME. y-i-; AS ge- perfective prefix; basic sense “together”]

[17]“Origins” Eric Partridge  p. 834  … y-  ‘associative connotation…perfective connotation…or intensive connotation…(OE. gelaefan) , to leave utterly, to abandon.


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