This meme will appear regularly on different Facebook pages.
When I read the Meme I feel it makes four statements, and I will look into each:
1. Jord was the first wife of Odin and mother of Thor.
This is true, it can be attested in the lore (look for references in Simek; Dictionary of Northern Mythology: p. 179)
2. She (Jord) was also known as Mother Earth
This is a bit harder. I can’t seem to find any reference to anyone in ancient Scandinavia talking about a “Mother Earth”. It’s mainly a modern concept used to associate the same function in different mythologies around the world. It is not clear to Ymir, the giant from which Midgard was made and me the relationship with the goddess Jord.
3. Her name Jord was pronounced Yard
I don’t know which language it is referring to, I don’t know old Norse but in modern Scandinavian languages, Jord is pronounced different from the English Yard.
4. It literally means Earth or Land! And is why we call parcel of land a Yard
Let’s start with the English word Yard. There are two origins of the word yard. The first one is the measurement from the Old English word Gerd, meaning Stick/rod (from the yardstick that was used to measure length). This is not the word referred to in the Meme.
The other meaning of Yard is a “patch of ground around a house” from Old English geard or Old Norse garðr. (source http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=yard&fref=gc)
I have looked at the danish word Jord, and it has its origin in the Old Norse word jörð and the old English word eorþe. From http://ordnet.dk/ddo/ordbog?query=jord
So you see, that the old Norse/Scandinavian word Jord for earth/soil/goddess have different old Norse and Old English origins. So there is no common origin between the words
I will add an observation here, that the English word Yard has a connection to the Old Norse word garðr (fence), which are part of Old Norse Miðgarðr (Midgard), which are one of the 9 worlds and the world the humans live in. But saying that because Midgard is the fenced area where the humans lives and a fenced area around your house are the same word is a bit of a stretch. I will also say that we don’t know if the Goddess is Jord are associated with Midgard, or maybe the soil.
This page was deleted by a mistake at the end of 2019. This blog post is from the old page and has been reposted on the new page. The original article was posted in August 2017.