Wacky Word Wednesday

Yule – Wacky Word Wednesday

Most of us try to avoid using words when we’re not sure of their meaning, but come Christmas time, we all seem to throw this convention out the window. Whether we’re talking about logs, or time, or fancy balls, we all use a word that we’ve heard all our lives without ever thinking about its definition – yule.

quo topYule[yool]

-noun

A pagan religious festival observed by historic Germanic peoples in December and January.

quo botYule

When December rolls in, everyone gets in the holiday spirit, but most of us don’t realize that the spirit we’re in was around before the holiday; yule has been here since before the B.C. It originally referred to a holiday celebrating “The Wild Hunt,” a mad chase led by the Norse god Odin that came in the form of a storm. It was said that Odin lead a procession of hunting dogs and violent gods as he rode his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir. It was believed that those who witnessed the “hunt” and ridiculed it would be cursed, while those who joined it would be rewarded with gold. Many also believed this time of year was connected to an increase in supernatural activity and that the dead walked among the living.

Yule was accompanied by a yule log, then an actual log but now a chocolate cake, yule singing, now Christmas caroling, and a yule boar, now a Christmas ham. All of these traditions, as well as the word itself, were slowly co-opted as northern Europe was Christianized.

As usual, here are a few example sentences of today’s wacky word in action:

  • “So hit the shops on your own behalf and ensure that you’ve already purchased your way to a cool yule.” – Collins Dictionary
  • “At least, Kate had said they were yule logs, even though they looked no different from any of the others that normally fuelled the fire.” – Christine Marion Fraser, Noble Beginnings

It’s quite amazing how many of the traditions we take for granted today are actually older than Western civilization. So this year, whatever your traditions may be, we at Simply CSOFT hope you can feel connected to former days and enjoy the merriment of the winter season.

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