02 June 2012


Posted 16 May 2012 - 05:32 PM
[124/04] Ljudgért's diary, ca. 300 BCE

This word appears only once in the OLB.
First the various translations.
So far, only Jensma's differs from the 1876 ones.

[1876 Ottema p.169]
Dat verbaasde ons

[1876 Sandbach]
This astounded us 

[2006 Jensma]
Dat ontstelde ons (that startled us)

Overwijn (1951), De Heer (2008) and Knul (2012): as Ottema
Raubenheimer (2011): as Sandbach
Wirth (1933) partly paraphrased Ljudgért's diary instead of fully translating it, because he doubted its authenticity.

Footnote Jensma about BISÁWD (my translation):
"unclear, possibly from Newfrisian 'besauwe' (= startle, disconcert, alarm)"
in his words: (= ontstellen, verschrikken)

Found in the dictionaries:

Teutonic ~ Kiliaan 1599

Frisian ~ Halbertsma 1874

(partly paraphrased:)
BISAUWJE, sàuwje ~ confundi animo, impallescere eventu (to be confused, to turn pale)
Hi (bi-)sàuwde fen di thongerslach ~ impallescebat fulminis ictu
Ho Friez nea moed besauwe ~ quomodo Frisii numquam animum despondebat
By di tynge fen hjar soans déad bisàuwde di mem ~ nuntio mortis filii audito mater decidebat (anime defectione)
It ding is bisàuwe ~ res in nihilum interiit
beseeuwen ~ pavere (to be very scared, to tremble with fear)
beseeuwd ~ pavidus, pauper et afflictus
Post captam Brielam dux Alba beseeuwde ~ impallescebat, confundebatur

Frisian ~ Dijkstra 1900

BISAUWE, bisauje ~ ontstellen, bezwijken
By de tynge fen hjar soans dea bisaude de mem
't is om to bisauwen
Ho Fries nea moed bisauwe
 ~ hoe den Fries de moed nooit begaf
Yen oer 't ien of 't oar bisauwe/ der fen bisauwe ~ verbaasd/ ontzet zijn, versteld staan
Hwet dy jonge al yn'e mûle nimme doar, dêr moat ik my oer bisauwe
Ik krij dêr in rekken fen'e dokter, dêr bisau ik fen, zoo hoog is die

Westfrisian (North-Holland) ~ Pannekeet 1984

BESEÊUWE ~ [verouder(en)d]
1. verschrikken, verbleken
2. flauwvallen, bezwijmen
3. bedaren, tot zichzelf komen
Het woord wordt wel gezien als een afleiding van zee, waarbij wordt verwezen naar een oud woord 'verzeeuwd' = zeeziek, ongesteld.
Aannemelijker lijkt mij verwantschap met 'beseffen'.
Zie voor de etymologie het Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek (Jan de Vries) onder beseffen.

~ ~ ~

Dr. Jan Pannekeet (he was teacher Dutch in Alkmaar NH) is the only one, as far as I know, who made this connection with 'beseffen'.

The word 'beseffen' (modern meanings: realize, be aware, grasp, be conscious) must be very old, judging by the many different menings and old sources.
See (and tick "subbetekenissen" and "citaten":



Significant is the link with the French "savoir" (to know)

If we now go back to the OLB version: BISÁWD or BISAVVD (A and Á are often interchangeable and so are W and VV), or even BISAVD (VV often changes into V), we can indeed see the root SAV, from French "savoir".

All this is too perfect and brilliant to have been created just for fun.

Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:50 PM
View PostAbramelin, on 16 May 2012 - 06:44 PM, said:
I think the closest Dutch word to BISÁWD is 'bezwijken' or 'to succumb'.
... you'll notice - and I think even understandable for those who can't read Dutch - that all forms in Old nordic languages have a -K- at the end, not a -D- or a -T- .
No, (be-) zwijken is a totally different word.
It appears in OLB too.


The D at the end of BISAWD is because it is past tense.

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