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Whats in a name?

A name for the group is required to register with the SCA.

Here is some of the considered names by the founding members. This is was discussed live and over our forum on this thread.

Glendowan (Gleann Domhain) - 'Deep valley'
Glengarrif (Gleann Garbh) - 'Rough Valley'
Combrook (Cumbroc 1217) - 'Brook in the Valley'
Denmead (Denemede 1205) - 'Meadow in the Valley'
Gearha (Gaortha) - "wooded valley'
Gearhasallagh (Gaortha Sailech) - "Wooded valley of willows'
Glanmore (Gleann Mór) - 'Big Valley'
Glanworth (Gleannúir) - 'Valley of the yew'
Rossendale (Rocendal 1242 Rossendale 1292) - 'moor valley'
'Heart of the Valley' in Latin is 'Corvallis'.
'Abonvale' . Abona in Celtic means river, probably the origin of Avon
Corvallis or Glendowan

Then Mikhail posted a story to the name thread suggesting another name.

"A burning logs in the evening campfire cracks and sparks loudly, rousing the dregs of evening staying warm by the fire. One shadowy figure stands up.

“We should have a story now; the fire is boring and the wine is almost gone.” Convinced he has found all that is wrong with the world, he sits back down and looks around.

After a pause one of the circle speaks. “Okay, maybe I give you one. My father was told this story by his father when even he was a boy. So why not, I tell it again now, as I was told it.

“Of all the gods of good Norse folk, one stands first as ring-giver. Do any like to guess his name?”

“Thor! Thor is kind to man, his strength is legendary, and he fights the ice giants so we don’t have to.”

“The White Christ; none stand before him. He will forgive all our sins.”

The original speaker nudges him off his log. “You are too young to even have any sins yet.”

“Enough. Tonight I remind you of another. Smith of battle, wide of hat, friend of Mimir, he is known by many names, but tonight we remember him as Odin All-father.

“Now, while Odin can see everything from his high-seat in Valhalla, he has other sources for news. He has two wolves, Freki and Geri, who listen when people swear oaths. He also has two ravens, Munin and Hugin, named for memory and foresight. The ravens he sends out every day to bring back news. Gerda, show them what I speak of.”

An older lady holds up the tapestry she has been working at, as the light allows. “See right here, you can just see the two black birds flying over Odin in the cart.”

“Thank you, Gerda. Very nice work. So each day Munin and Hugin are sent out to bring back news from any areas Odin can not see. So what is the lesson here?”

“Odin likes pets?”

“Ha! No. Wrong. That Odin understands battle better than you. And the best tool in war is information, not swords.”

“Why two birds?”

“Ah, yes. Munin is about memory, the past or context, what has already happened. As you know, history will happily repeat itself if you let it. So we have lots to learn from history. But Hugin's job is harder. What will happen next. He looks forward to the future.”

“How does he do that?”

“Well, if I were a magical raven, trying to see the future, I would see the world with my raven brain, seeing everything like bright shiny objects hidden about the ground. Hugin travels high above and gleans little details and slowly builds a picture of Midgard and brings this back to Odin.”

“Well, I am not Norse, and say you tell a dull story, old man.”

“Ah, yes, this is true, these are worn old stories from Scandinavian lands. But they are good strong stories that you can polish nicely... And do you know who else has airborne messengers of insight that can be sent far and wide to bring back intel? Canada.”

“Ah, so SCA story-time is over and now we chat mundane speak, eh?”

“Yes, a bit. The Annapolis Valley houses the world's best aerial recon planes. The C140 Auroras.

“Our little stronghold doesn't have a lot of fighters yet, just as Greenwood is not home to fighter jets.”

“Dragons!”

“Exactly. But our Auroras are in demand wherever there is a world conflict. They keep our eastern shore safe as well from subs, and assist with search and rescue. But you know what's the cool bit?”

“What?”

“The electronics in them. Named after....wait for it...Vikings! Yes, the S-3A Viking suite, capable of maritime surveillance, counter-drug, and search-and-rescue missions.” [as per Wikipedia; no state secrets revealed here.]

“What's your point, old man?”

“Just that what makes this area unique from all of the rest of Canada and the SCA?

“We are the home to Hugin.”

Which leads us into the topic of the name for our stronghold...


Followed by a post by Freydis.

The two things the Valley is probably most famous for is its agricultural history, and being home to Atlantic Canada's largest Air Force base, CFB Greenwood, from whence overseas operations to Syria, Ukraine, and beyond, are launched. Of the two, having the base is the more unique element; and as we expect and intend to have a large military contingent, and are seeking to be recognised by the base as a group or a club, we are seeking to form as a Stronghold, which will not immediately be dissolved due to inactivity if the membership numbers drop due to members being deployed or posted elsewhere, as of course this is a routine part of military life. In addition, the military is what has brought those of us in the military together; for example, we would still be on the other side of the country without it.

To us, therefore, it seemed a logical extension to come up with a name based around that military aspect. In addition, while we are still quite a small group with few fighters, what we do have an abundance of is knowledge.

Our base doesn't have fighter jets, or bombers; no "dragons", as it were. What we do have are long-range scout planes, the Auroras. They are a very large scouting craft, with a very impressive set of features. They're the big grey ones with the long "stinger" out the back end; it houses a very sensitive compass that finds submarines by reacting to their metal, which is really neat. They are in demand world-wide, as is our expertise with them.

Odin has two ravens, Hugin and Munin (usually translated as Thought and Memory), which, every morning, he sends out to fly over the world. They see and hear everything, and fly home to Valhalla in the evenings to sit on his shoulders as he feasts and whisper to him all they have witnessed.

Which is more or less precisely what the Auroras do.

"Raven" is fairly popular as a Shire name component in the SCA; but "Hugin", Thought (of which nothing is swifter) is not. However, it could legitimately be a placename in the north of England, the Orkneys, Faroes, and Shetland Islands, the area encompassed by the old Danelaw.

We looked at several versions of what we wanted to say; Huginscord (Huginskarð in the Old Norse; skarð means "a valley crossing a ridge"); Huginvöllr (völlr meaning "field, level ground, meadow", which is why the base is here; it's a very large flat area, with a temperate climate, to boot); but then we found the perfect one.

Dalr is an Old Norse term whence derives the term "dale", or "valley", which would be very appropriate for a group centered in the Annapolis Valley.

Therefore Mikhail and I would like to suggest Hugindalr (which has a lovely Germanic roll off the tongue), or "Huginsdale" if you want the Anglicized version of it. There are no other branch names in the SCA using "Hugin" in any way; and the symbolism of the Stronghold of Hugin's Valley seems apt, both from the point of the physical location of the group, and of the Auroras, our Hugins, winging their way around the world each day to find out all that they can.


This seemed to apeal to all, so it was submited as the name of our group.

Unfortunately, SCA Heralds did NOT like it. The reason given was no historical precedent in Engish history for quote 'Animal Sidekicks', end quote.

Facepalm.

So, in the interests of moving ahead, Ravensdale, or Ravensdalr is what we are submitting now. Sigh.

After all, whats in a name?

-LMH,
Webmangler, Hugginsdalr.