The second Rune of the First Ætt of the Elder Futhark
(for more information on the First Ætt per se, go to

This is an installment in a series covering each and every Rune of the Elder Futhark. In this series, instead of giving the esoteric meaning of the Rune by citing the Rune poems written in Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian and Anglo-Saxon (a.k.a. Old English), or any modern commentary, the etymology of the Rune name is presented.

U   U
U     U
U       U
U        U
U         U
U          U
U          U
U          U
U         U

1:2 ŪRUZ

Pronunciation: “ooo-rrroooz” with “r” trilled like in Scottish, and the stress on first syllable “ooo.”

Writing: The ŪRUZ stave stands for the phoneme /u:/ as in the long “oo” sound in “boot” (but not the short “oo” sound in “foot”). You may use the ŪRUZ  stave to write a word with this /u:/ sound in it.

Etymology: ŪRUZ is Proto-Germanic for “aurochs.” The “aur-” in English aurochs is descended from the ŪR in ŪRUZ. In German, ŪR(UZ) comes up as “Auer-,” which is used as a prefix to denote the male version of a wood grouse. ŪRUZ does not go back to Indo-European. The Latin form ūrus and the Greek form oũros were thus not descended from Proto-Indo-European, but borrowed from the Germanic.

        Kluge’s Etymologisches Wörterbuch (23rd Edition)
        New Oxford American Dictionary

Whereas the previous rune FEHU indicated a domesticated animal, whose gender in Indo-European languages was often neuter, the rune ŪRUZ indicates an untamed wild animal whose gender was definitely masculine, and did not descend from the Indo-Europeans. ŪRUZ may descend from whatever language was spoken in Europe by indigenous peoples before the Indo-Europeans arrived. The pantheon and culture of the indigenous peoples were polar opposite to those of the Indo-Europeans. In terms of Scandinavian mythology, we can say ŪRUZ is to FEHU as the Vanir are to the Æsir. The indigenous Europeans were matriarchal and worshipped Mother Earth (BERKANO); the invading Indo-Europeans were patriarchal and worshipped Father Sky (TEIWAZ).

        The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe by Marija Gimbutas
        Vǫluspá of the Elder (Or Poetic) Edda
        In Search of the Indo-Europeans by J. P. Mallory
Notice the entire semantic domain covered by ŪRUZ through time. Let this be the MYSTICAL MEANING of ŪRUZ. Study it and ABSORB it.

AUTHOR: Francis Tokarski