Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

What If the Word for 'Make Love' Were the Name of a Goddess?

Frig and Frig.

Etymologists are pretty much agreed that there's no direct connection between the verb frig (euphemistic for f**k) and the divine name Frig (the Anglo-Saxon goddess for whom Friday was named).

But what a gift of a coincidence it is.

Imagine: a culture in which the word for 'making love' was the name of a goddess.

How good is that?

Robert Cochrane, the father of the contemporary Old Craft movement, used to sign his letters 3 (or 4) Fs. This alludes to an old tongue-in-cheek Devonshire saying: Flax, flags, fodder (and frig). These are the three (or four) necessities of life: clothing, shelter, food, and love.

Flax. Linen, of course, is one of the two sacred fabrics of Europe, wool being the other: plant and animal respectively.

Flags. We tend to think of shelter as having a roof over one's head, but the ancestors saw it instead as having a floor beneath one's feet: not so much protection, as a place to be.

Fodder. Technically, this means 'animal feed,' but—like I said—the saying is intended humorously. And, after all, we're animals too.

Frig. Here, 'love,' or 'sex.' This is, after all, a list of basic biological necessities.

But Old Craft reads this as 'Goddess' as well. After all, we can't get along without her. As well we know, she's a spiritual necessity of life. This reading is emphasized by the use of the saying as a greeting:

R: Flax, flags, and fodder.

V: Flax, flags, fodder, and Frig.

It also suggests that all four elements of the Four Fs have both a physical and a spiritual component.

As indeed they do.

We live in a culture in which to say F**k you is an act of oral aggression: essentially, wishing rape on someone. (Yikes!)

But as we think about the pagan civilization of the future that we want (and need) to become, maybe we need to reach out and take with both hands the gift that English, the sacred language of the Witches, has given us.

A language in which the word for 'make love' is the name of a goddess.


Last modified on
Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Victoria
    Victoria Monday, 26 July 2021

    Who said Frig was etymologically associated with fuck?

    Frig: frigu ? e; f. Love, affection, favour; ămor :-- Sió weres friga wiht ne cúðe she knew nothing of the love [affections] of man, Exon. 13 b; Th. 26, 19; Cri. 419. Ðæt wæs geworden bútan weres frigum that was done without the favours of man, 8 b; Th. 3, 17; Cri. 37.

    Frige or Frig (pronounce free yeh) is remembered in the Old English Frīgedæg (Friday), Frīge being the genitive form of Frig so this is Frig's day. The name of the goddess Frig is derived from the reconstructed Proto Germanic deity *Frijjo which in turn is derived from PIE *priHyo = dear/love, which also gives us ON Frigg and OHG Frija. In Old English frig is a feminine noun meaning love/affection/favour as an adjective free and noble and is most closely associated (or glossed) with Venus of Roman mythology so dies Veneris (Day of Venus) became Frīgedæg.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information