Wyrd Designs – Possible Pagan Roots for the Name of England

The modern day country of England, appears to derive its name indirectly from the Vanic deity, Freyr who was widely worshiped among the Scandinavian, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon peoples.

"Freyr" (1901) by Johannes Gehrt

"Freyr" (1901) by Johannes Gehrt

From works by both Pliny and Tacitus we know that we have a West Germanic cultural group (or a confederation of tribes) called the Ingaevones and we know they were worshippers of Ing/Yngvi (who most scholars and practitioners believe is an aspect of Freyr). We see the god Ing Frey specifically mentioned in both the Lokasenna and Olafs saga.

We know that from this area that we associate with the Ingaveones, is where the tribes or peoples known as: the Frisians, Angles, Saxons and Jutes originate. The Angles and the Saxons both settle parts of England, but the country of England gets its name from the believed contraction of Angle-Land. (We can see this still in the French where England is called Angleterre, aka the land of the Angles).

Therefore, it is most accurate to say that England directly gets it’s name from the Angles (as in the tribe), and indirectly that name stems from the fact the Angles (or Ingvaeones) had been worshippers of Yngvi (or Frey) once upon a time.

Similarly, there are some theories that the country of Scandinavia could be named for the Goddess Skadhi, but this theory is far less substantial than the connection of the God Freyr to England.


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