The origins and true meaning of the name WAND.
The word or name WAND does not have its roots in the modern German, English or Jewish language or of any other modern language for that matter.Both modern English and German languages belong to the group of so-called Germanic languages (which include the Scandinavian, Dutch, Flemish languages) that are descended from a common prehistoric ancestor referred to by linguists as “proto-Germanic”.“Proto-Germanic” is itself a branch of the Indo-European family of languages that also includes the Celtic, Italic, Slavic, Albanian, Greek, Baltic, Armenian, Iranian, and Indic language groups (see chart below).
In Latin, which has changed over the years, WAND means VIRGILIUS m Late Roman.Medieval Latin form of VERGILIUS, altered by association with Latin virgo "maiden" or virga "wand".
As the Roman occupation of England was ending, Constantine III withdrew the remains of the army, due to the barbarian invasion of Europe.The Romano-British leaders were faced with an increasing security problem from sea borne raids particularly by Picts in the East of England.The expedient adopted by the Romano-British leaders was to enlist the help of tribes of Frisians, Franks, Angles, Jutes and Saxon mercenaries (known as foederati) to whom they ceded territory as payment for services rendered.Angles came from Englaland in mainland Europe and their language was called Englisc - from which the words England and English are derived.
In about AD 442 the now termed Anglo-Saxons mercenaries mutinied apparently because they had not been paid adequately or that they felt they could to take anything they wanted.There followed, several years of fighting between, the British tribes and the Anglo-Saxons mercenaries.The period of fighting continued until about AD 500, when at the Battle of Mount Badon, when the Britons inflicted a severe defeat on the Anglo-Saxons.When the Anglo-Saxon invaders came to England in the fifth and sixth centuries, they brought with them their own language, which supplemented and replaced some of the native Celtic language with their own Germanic tongue.With the new language came new place names, many of which survive to the present day.The existing Celtic settlements were not destroyed, but the Anglo-Saxons found the names difficult to pronounce, so they renamed them in their own language.Three centuries later the places raided and settled by the Vikings changed names yet again.
When the Viking invasions started a new language appeared – Old Norse.Since the Vikings came from different parts of Scandinavia, they all used their own dialect of Old Norse although the basic language was the same (much like modern English, American or Australian).Old English and Old Norse were in many ways similar since they had both developed out of the same language (like modern English and German); in fact, the language spoken in Denmark at this time was mostly understandable by the Anglo-Saxons and vice versa.This meant that there were many words that were similar in both languages.Other words were introduced into the language with no similar word in Old English, so we have words in modern English which are Norse in origin such as: take, call, die, rugged, flat, tight, kid, steak, anger, awe, bait, boon, crooked, law, them, wrong, freckle etc.Despite these introductions, the basic language of England did remain Anglo-Saxon or Old English or at least a dialect of it.
Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon), which was a Germanic language that was spoken in England from about the 7th century to the 12th century (601 AD to 1100 AD).It is the ancestor of Middle English and the modern English we hear today.
In the Anglo Saxon language the word Wand was a pre- Norman unit of length used in the British Isles equal to approximately the modern metre, apparently dating from an early use as a yardstick. The old English unit of 1007 millimetres was called a Wand, and although the 'yard' was created to replace the wand, the Wand was still used for some centuries because of its convenience as part of an old English decimal system that was replaced by the Normans.The Old English system included:
digit (base of long finger)
digits = 1 small span (span of thumb and forefinger)
small spans = 1 armstretch (1 fathom from finger tip to finger tip)
fathoms = 1 chain
chains = 1 furlong
Once the yard was fully established, the Wand came to be known as the 'yard and the hand', and then it disappeared, either slowly or by being banned by law by the Normans.
The Wand that has survived today as part of folklore may in fact be a rendition of the ancient British length unit.The Wand as a staff, which was around 49 inch long approx shoulder to wrist, may have been used to measure live stock or for keeping order.The person with the Wand may also have walked the wall (mound, fence etc) around the settlement or keep the gate (gate means, path, street or lane)In ecclesiastical and formal government ceremonial, special officials may carry a Wand of office or staff of office representing their power. Compare in this context the function of the ceremonial mace, the sceptre, and the staff of office. This is a practice of long standing, in Ancient Egypt, priests were depicted with rods. Its age and use may be even older, as Stone Age cave paintings show figures holding sticks, which may be symbolic representations of their power.It was the carrying of and use of this (Wand) pole, staff, baton that gave the bearer the position and power and could be recognized by it.The same is true today for queens or kings, bishops; generals, all carry a sceptre or baton of power, authority.
In the Anglo-Saxon language Wand also means mole which may have meant that it was applied as a nickname for someone short sighted or good at digging or something else.The Anglo-Saxons mainly used personal names, sometimes with nicknames and patronymics (see above), so it was not until almost 400 years after the Norman Conquest that inherited surnames were almost fully adopted.In most cases they either took the names of the villages where they came from, although remarkably few of these names have stuck.This would generally be the case of those starting with a 'de'); or else the surname was a sort of nickname depicting certain characteristics e.g. Alain le Roux (Alain of the red hair), Raoul Vis-deLoup (Raoul Wolf-face) etc.The name Wand may have come about from the above or a small village called WANDERSBY this village was on the Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire boarders.
After the Norman Conquest in 1066, the Norman meteric syetem andlanguage (a dialect of Old French) displaced Old English as the language of the nobility.Likewise, many Old English given names and family names were replaced by Norman French names.Names like Leofwine, Sigeberht and Æðelflæd fell out of use.In other instances, native Old English names were replaced by continental Germanic cognates.Names of Old English origin in use today include Edward, Alfred (both names of pre-Norman English kings), Audrey and Edith.The Wand name could have come from a strong English or Anglo Saxon family who resisted changing their name or from someone refusing to change their measurement system or nickname etc.
The Normans started imposing names on the English people so that they could keep track of them and tax them as well as impose their culture and metric measurement system.There is a book in the British Library (BL) 137 True English Names.It states the name Wandes was recorded in England before the Norman Invasion of 1066.
The German language we know today did not come about until around 1490ish.The Germanic languages (also called Teutonic) are any of the languages descended from the ancient Indo-European language spoken by the Germanic tribes many centuries ago.
In Old Norse, the word GANDALF is Gender, Masculine.Usage, Norse Mythology, Literature.Pronounced, GAN-dahlf (English).It means "Wand Elf" from the elements gandr "wand, staff, cane" and álfr "elf".This name belongs to a dwarf in the 'Völuspá', a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript that forms part of the Poetic Edda. The word Elf in Anglo-Saxon means magical forest creature. Other references like the names of Scandinavians in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.Some names recur in the Chronicle, bear names that are either clearly Old English, mentioned in 1066 is Olafr Kyrri, son of Haraldr element of this name from vqndr 'Wand.' Anwynd.In the Domesday Book (Vol. ii, pp. 117, 118, 133)
The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels 'The Hobbit' (1937) and 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954). "Gandalfr" appears in the list of dwarves in the Völuspá of the Elder Edda; the name is made up of the words gandr meaning both "wand" and (especially in compounds) "magic" and alfr meaning "elf" or in a wider sense (mythological) "being".Hence "magic-elf/-being" or wizard (non human).Association of gandr with taller magic men is found in the pre indoeuropean basques folklore related to jentillak, a sort of wanderer race of wise men from the darkest times of prehistoric Europe.The figure of Gandalf has other influences from Germanic mythology, particularly Odin in his incarnation as "the Wanderer", an old man with one eye, a long white beard, a wide brimmed hat, and a staff.Tolkien states that he thinks of Gandalf as an "Odinic wanderer" in a letter of 1946 (Letters no. 107).Gandalf is also in many ways similar to Väinämöinen, a powerful sage in the Finnish national epic Kalevala.
The word WAND is also found on maps in Europe where there is a face or wall of a mountain.
13th Generation Wand from the East Midlands of England.