Posted on Leave a comment

Odin’s Staff

Odin's Staff
Odin’s Staff

Compare with the staff of Jupiter,
, a common sign in Rome, and also with
, the staff of Adad, the Babylonian god of thunderstorms
and the forces of weather.

Note that the Hittite hieroglyphs for lightning were also three-pronged. The structure uppermost on Odin’s staff is similar to one of the crowns in the Three Crowns, the symbol on the Swedish national coat of arms. Three is the magic number, God’s number, associated with prosperity and power.

Posted on Leave a comment

first two/two first, last three/ three last

These are idiomatic expressions, and commentators have sometimes objected to the second in each pair. Logically, they argue, the first two includes number one and number two, but the two first implies that there are two number ones. This logic chopping does not hold up when applied to natural language. All four expressions are still Standard, even if the two (three) first and the two (three) last sound a bit old-fashioned.