A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum  

Go Back   A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum > The Anne McCaffrey Collection > Dragonriders of Pern

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Apr 13 2011, 09:42 AM   #1
Daccio
Crafter
 
Daccio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Jersey, USA
Gender: M
Fan of: All the Weyrs of Pern
Now Reading: The Two Georges
Default Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

This is probably the most burning question I have regarding the Dragonrider books. Where did Anne get the word 'Weyr'? I've asked linguists, and posted a question on the discussion page of the wikipedia page for Dragon Riders of Pern. I even tried sending an email to (presumably Anne Mcaffrey) via her website, (no reply.)

As I recall, the word is first used (chronologically in the history of Pern) in the short story The Ford of Red Hanrahan, but is it from some obscure dialect that Anne knows about, or did she just make it up? The closest I've ever come to an answer is that someone told me there is a similar word in German which means 'high fortified place'

I'd love to get a definitive answer to this question.
Daccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 10:40 AM   #2
jube
Dolphineer Journeywoman
 
jube's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Australia
Gender: F
Fan of: Dragons of Pern
Now Reading: Puzzles and my thesaurus!
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Maybe she changed the spelling of "Weir" (based on a dam built across a river) to "Weyr" and it became a typo that became common to Pern as opposed to here on Earth. If you look at some weirs, they do look like a highly fortified place if you're looking up at them.
__________________
Dolphineer Journeywoman and part-time researcher....

Find me on ebay.....

Here'tis!
jube is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 11:38 AM   #3
Daccio
Crafter
 
Daccio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Jersey, USA
Gender: M
Fan of: All the Weyrs of Pern
Now Reading: The Two Georges
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jube View Post
Maybe she changed the spelling of "Weir" (based on a dam built across a river) to "Weyr" and it became a typo that became common to Pern as opposed to here on Earth. If you look at some weirs, they do look like a highly fortified place if you're looking up at them.
I just don't see how a dam across a stream or river becomes the name for a cave system in a volcano crater for dragons.
Daccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 11:57 AM   #4
sjslack
Inactive
 
sjslack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Derby, England
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern
Now Reading: as usual
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daccio View Post
I just don't see how a dam across a stream or river becomes the name for a cave system in a volcano crater for dragons.
The first use of the word 'Weyr' (spelt the same) was in the 13th century, and it was used to mean a piece of timber which was used in part of a vessel's (presumeably a ship) structure.
sjslack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 12:34 PM   #5
tatiana
Member
Journeyman
 
tatiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Arkansas
Gender: F
Fan of: Dragonsong
Now Reading: A Storm of Swords
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

I read another online discussion elsewhere about this (from 2007), that postulated "weyr" was derived from the german word "wehr" and that was defined as a military term for a defensible location, often high in the mountains. The pronunciation is the same as weyr ("here"). Considering Ms McCaffrey's studies in Slavonic languages and musical background...if you believe everything posted on wikipedia... , that could certainly be the origin of the word "weyr".

Edit: I checked my mom's ancient German to English dictionary for verification, and it is defined so.

- tanja
__________________
___________________
My Website
My Sketchblog
My Facebook Page

Last edited by tatiana; Apr 13 2011 at 02:06 PM.
tatiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 01:52 PM   #6
Rianne
Inactive
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: CA
Gender: F
Fan of: dragon's dawn
Now Reading: Dream Theives
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

that^ seems more likely than the dam idea.
Rianne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 05:25 PM   #7
Anareth
Journeywoman Healer
 
Anareth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here and There
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, Ship Series
Now Reading: Girl Genius (read it!)
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Though, to point out, German isn't a Slavonic (or Slavic) language.
Anareth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 05:33 PM   #8
tatiana
Member
Journeyman
 
tatiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Arkansas
Gender: F
Fan of: Dragonsong
Now Reading: A Storm of Swords
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
Though, to point out, German isn't a Slavonic (or Slavic) language.
I know, I know... :P
__________________
___________________
My Website
My Sketchblog
My Facebook Page
tatiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13 2011, 06:31 PM   #9
Daccio
Crafter
 
Daccio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Jersey, USA
Gender: M
Fan of: All the Weyrs of Pern
Now Reading: The Two Georges
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
Though, to point out, German isn't a Slavonic (or Slavic) language.
I guess it would be... germanic ?
Daccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 03:51 AM   #10
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daccio View Post
I guess it would be... germanic ?
Which in turn is part of the Indo-European language group, yes
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 05:46 AM   #11
P'ter
Crafter

Craftmaster
 
P'ter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wolverhampton
Gender: M
Fan of: Favorite?
Now Reading: avidly
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

But didn't Anne spent time in Germany with that disaster of a voice coach?
__________________
"Truth is stranger than fiction: fiction has to make sense." Leo Rosten.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis

"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
P'ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 07:58 AM   #12
Golden Talisath
Dragonrider storyteller
Junior Weyrwoman
 
Golden Talisath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Serbia
Gender: F
Fan of: F'lar and Lessa, DF
Now Reading: My university books
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
Though, to point out, German isn't a Slavonic (or Slavic) language.
I wanted to point this out as well. I'm speaking only for the Western types of Slavic languages here and I can be pretty sure in saying that Anne didn't take the word weyr from any of the languages. In the serbian/croatian/bosnian translations of the DRoP trilogy they didn't even translate that word, keeping it as it is and it's read letter by letter, which makes you really break your tongue while pronouncing it.
__________________
"Manuscripts don't burn", Woland, ''The Master and Margarita''

From the Weyr and from the Bowl
Bronze and Brown and Blue and Green,
Rise the dragonmen of Pern,
Aloft, on wing, seen, then unseen.
Dragonman avoid excess
Greed will bring the Weyr distress;
To the ancient Laws adhere,
Prospers thus the Dragon-weyr.
Golden Talisath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 08:12 AM   #13
Daccio
Crafter
 
Daccio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Jersey, USA
Gender: M
Fan of: All the Weyrs of Pern
Now Reading: The Two Georges
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Any chance we could ask the source? That being Anne herself?
Daccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 02:36 PM   #14
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
But didn't Anne spent time in Germany with that disaster of a voice coach?
Yes, but that was after she wrote Weyr Search

I think I heard Anne say once that she thought of the word after seeing the word eyrie (as in bird's nest).

Daccio, we have a thousand little questions like that but thise who have access to Anne usually do not want to bother her with questions like these. Good chance she wouldn't remember, too

I'll see if it was asked in chat once or maybe on her own forum board (1999-2005).
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 04:45 PM   #15
V'lor Rath Rider
Inactive
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Califonia
Gender: M
Fan of: The White Dragon
Now Reading: Dragonriders of Pern trilogy(3rd time)
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

I like the eyrie to Weyr comparison. But thats just me!
V'lor Rath Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 05:21 PM   #16
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Hah, finally found that thread/topic I remembered in the dusty archives of the Old Old Kitchen Table, and it gives the answer we want but second hand...

discussion started on 17th January 2001 and the last post is from 23rd January 2001

Aenariangirl said
Quote:
i was kinda sorta interested in the word "weyr." is it a word that anne made up or really an older word for a dragon's hatching ground?
mariah said
Quote:
My guess is that 'weyr' is a distortion of aerie, a highly placed nest (as of an eagle).
Christiana218 said
Quote:
I've heard weyr used elsewhere (no pun intended...) so I don't know that it's entirely a new word. But it may also be a takeoff of "lair" which is possible... Honestly, I don't know... one would have to ask the Author to be sure
Renee/Arem said
Quote:
AMC has stated that...

weir (noun)

[Middle Eng. were, from Old Eng. wer; akin to Old Norse ver fishing place, Old High German werien, werren to defend]

First appeared before 12th Century.

1: a fence or enclosure set in a waterway for taking fish.

2: a dam in a stream or river to raise the water level or divert its flow.

...is where she got the name 'weyr.'

Websters say's it's pronounced 'wir.'
Catalina said
Quote:
I've always wondered about the Weyr thing myself. I know that there's a town near where Anne used to go to school in Staunton, VA called Weyer's Cave (how strange is that?), but I doubt that has anything to do with it. It's an interesting coincidence, though. :>
and

Quote:
One thing else... the word is pronounced "we're", not "where", so it wouldn't be anything like lair. Wher is pronounced as such, but weyr is completely different. Hence the rhyming of:

Have they flown to some new Weyr
Where cruel Thread some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why, the empty weyr?

Fear and here don't exactly rhyme with where. ;>
Talitha Oy said
Quote:
Is it safe to assume that Anne added the "y" to weir, to get a nice sounding "why-er", instead of a nasty "wir"?
Lady Domini said
Quote:
I don't pronounce it "why-er". I pronounce it the "we're" kind of way. And we have the traditional kind of "weir" at our park's pond.
Sasha said
Quote:
While living in Downeast Maine there was a fishing weyr-I never saw another spelling-in the cove across the street. The Native Americans used it to collect the fish as they came in with the tide. The design prevents them from going back out with the tide. I was already reading AMC and couldn't imagine the connection between this clever set of nets and poles and caves in a mountainside-but who am I to question.
Talitha Oy said
Quote:
You know, I never gave rhyming a single thought. I just, the first time I read the word, tried several possible pronounciations, asked a few people, who were zero help, and then just went with what worked and sounded right phonetically. I still think "we're" sounds weird. I realize "why-er" doesn't rhyme with "fear", but, I guess I'm probably going to continue to mispronounce it. Sorry Anne.
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 10:02 PM   #17
Samsara
Inactive
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Perth, Australia
Gender: F
Fan of: PERN!!!
Now Reading: Restoree
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by V'lor Rath Rider View Post
I like the eyrie to Weyr comparison. But thats just me!
I agree. Sounds right to me too.
Samsara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14 2011, 10:22 PM   #18
Dragon Fan
Senior Member
 
Dragon Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Gender: M
Fan of: The Smallest Dragonboy
Now Reading: The Rift
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Didn't it All come From Anne's Mind. That works for me.
__________________
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven"
Dragon Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 15 2011, 09:07 AM   #19
Daccio
Crafter
 
Daccio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Jersey, USA
Gender: M
Fan of: All the Weyrs of Pern
Now Reading: The Two Georges
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Daccio, we have a thousand little questions like that but thise who have access to Anne usually do not want to bother her with questions like these. Good chance she wouldn't remember, too

I'll see if it was asked in chat once or maybe on her own forum board (1999-2005).
Hans, Thanks for looking up the thread. And I'd lean more towards the 'corruption' of Aerie, than anything along the lines of 'weir'. Just something feels incomplete that we didn't have some sort of slurring in one of the early (in chronological history) stories of Aerie becoming weyr.

I suppose the thing we have to remember is that the Pern 'universe' was conceived as different than ours, complete with 'weyr' and 'kla' without explanation. It's only when Dragonsdawn was written that we wondered why the colonists would come up with a name like that.
Daccio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 15 2011, 10:59 PM   #20
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

My two bits, I know some who last name is spell Weyr, how its say is beyond me. and thank Hans for digging it out.
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 25 2011, 09:50 PM   #21
ghost8772
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Denver, Colorado US
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern
Now Reading: The Dresden Files
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

and here I thought it either had an official definition before Weyr Search, or there was a discussion about Pern before anything was written...
"Here there be dragons."
"Where?"
"Ooh, that gives me an idea..."
ghost8772 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 26 2011, 12:57 AM   #22
Rianne
Inactive
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: CA
Gender: F
Fan of: dragon's dawn
Now Reading: Dream Theives
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

thats funny.
Rianne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 27 2011, 09:11 AM   #23
D. M. Domini
Talent
Finder
 
D. M. Domini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chicagoland
Gender: F
Fan of: Afra Lyon, and Robinton!
Now Reading: Sabriel by Garth Nix
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Holy blast from the past. That "Lady Domini" Hans quoted is me. God, I must have been...what, 18? 17? Had to be, I was referring to a pond in my hometown, and I moved from there when I was 20, 8 years ago ^_^ And the Old Kitchen Table shut down in the early 2000s.

Sorry, didn't mean to derail. It's scary seeing my "younger self" even in a quote.
__________________
Read my Pern and Talent fanfic on Archive of our Own.

Fanfic WIPs: The Day Benden Went to War (Pern/Talent); Slosh (Pern); Weyrbred Lads (Pern); When You Fall Asleep /Between/... (Pern)

Completed Fics: Flight (Pern), Flight v2 (Pern), Golden Glow (Pern)

D. M. Domini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 29 2011, 05:50 PM   #24
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

LOL

And I have all the archives, Lady DM So I could potentially embarras you in many ways eh?

I actually didn't even realise that that discussion is over TEN years old...
And I understand your surprise and the scare. For me it is not that importnt, the difference between 53 and 43 is much less than that between 28 and 18... despite it being 10 years for both of us!
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 29 2011, 09:25 PM   #25
Sandi
Senior Member

 
Sandi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Gender: F
Default Re: Etymology of the Word 'Weyr' ?

Hans, if you start pulling old threads out of those archives you could embarrass a lot of us. A lot.
Sandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
etymology, history, origin, weyr, word

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hold/Hall/Weyr color guide Cheryl Dragonriders of Pern 12 Feb 8 2011 02:07 AM
Pern RP idea? Almaron Dragonriders of Pern 4 Jan 3 2010 11:01 AM
A realistic look at dragon attrition. ElectricDragon Dragonriders of Pern 21 Sep 17 2009 02:41 AM
The Writing on the Wall (Pern Fic) HarperBrandy Exhibit Hall 4 Aug 21 2007 11:19 AM
Collecting Highlight (23) - An unknown early hc publication of Weyr Search in German Hans Collecting Highlights Archives 6 Jul 10 2006 10:54 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

A Meeting of Minds forum owned by Cheryl B. Miller.
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey’s fiction are copyright © Anne McCaffrey 1967-2008, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.