The Boar Symbol is one of the most prolific symbols of the ancient North, revered by Celtic and Germanic folk alike. Like all symbols, the wisdom that can be gained from is only limited by ones dedication to it. The high importance of the Boar is shown just by how many different words there are for Boar in both the proto-Germanic and proto-Celtic languages. Of all the symbols I have delved into, in search of ancestral wisdom, the symbol of the Boar is the one that has gripped me the most. The depth of meaning hidden within it has had me watching hours of wild Boar footage, trying to see what my ancestors saw. I could write a book on all the wisdom contained within it and I will! But for now we will start with the basics and focus on the (add) The first and most obvious word we need to look at is the word “Boar” itself. There are though a few options to explore here. (add) Bairaz/Baira Bairaz is a proto-Germanic word that simply means Boar, this word though is an enigmatic one. The root for this word is uncertain, with some believing its origin is rooted in a pre Indo-European language. There is another word for Boar, also believed to be pre Indo-European in origin the Proto-Brythonic word Baedd. This modern Welsh word for  “Boar” and its Cornish counterpart Badh, come from the Proto-Brythonic word baðio/Basio. Its worth noting here too that the Welsh word Baedd is also poetically associated with a warrior/hero, something common among Celtic words. Because these words are believed to be derived from a language that has long been extinct, we have few clues to its original meaning, or do we? There may be some clues lying in another non Indo-Eropean language, right here in western Europe. Of course I am talking about Euskara, the Language of the Basque peoples. The word for Boar in Euskara is basurde, which is made up of two words, Basa, meaning “wIld” and Urde, meaning “pig”. The word Basa is also homonym with another Basque word that means Earth, dust or mud.The connection here is a little stretched, as it is only really the word Basa that has similarity and not Urde the word for pig. It is something that is worth keeping in mind when we examine some of the other possibilities. Sadly this is as far as I have been able to take this word, and am only left with some vague association with earth, wildness and heroes.  Below we are going to delve into a whole host of words, none of which are considered by etymologists to be the origin of the word Boar. All these words though are connected and that connection I believe must be rooted in an ancient sound. bʰerH and bʰerǵʰ bʰerH is a proto Indo-European word meaning to, Pierce, strike, cut. From this word we get the proto Germanic word burōną, to, pierce, bore (a hole), this clearly forming the modern English word “bore”. This gives us a link to another English word burrow, that many consider to come from the Old English Burh. From Burh we get words like Borough, which as well as meaning a Town or ctiy, can also mean a pledge (this is something to note for later). Burh is said to come from the word Proto Germanic word burgz meaning, fortified elevation, stronghold. This word itself coming from the Proto Indo European bʰerǵʰ, literally meaning high, or to rise, giving us words like Iceberg ect. This gives us some problems etymologically with burrow, as a burrow is a generally considered a carved out home of an animal. I think though because of the later change in the Germanic from High to stronghold if we look at the word a little differently it will make more sense. to me Burrow is made up of two words, Burh and Row. Row comes from the proto Indo European reyk meaning to carve or scratch (think modern word rake). Thus if we add, Burh (place of dwelling) to reyk ( to carve) we get the meaning carved out dwelling, stronghold. essentially changing the idea to that of a fortified high point to a dug in fortification. This link can bee seen in the Proto Germanic word Bergaz, which not only means hill but also refuge shelter. If you’ve been paying attention, you might well the Bo(u)r sound in Bore and in Burrow have totally different origins. One meaning high point and one meaning to bore (drill).   bʰuH This proto Indo-European word is given the definition to become/grow/appear. The word has many decendents, the most well known  


The Boar, Etymological insights. Part 1