Word Of The Issue: Ljósmóðir - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Word Of The Issue: Ljósmóðir

Word Of The Issue: Ljósmóðir

Published June 2, 2017

Alice Demurtas
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Literally translated as “mother of light,” “ljósmóðir” is the Icelandic word for “midwife,” and it’s considered by many to be the most beautiful word in the Icelandic language. Its soft sound does not do justice to the strength and determination of midwives, but it evokes the lightness and happiness that comes with childbirth.

Its origins are unclear, but the word “light” might be connected to the name Lucina, the Roman goddess who assists women in childbirth. Regardless, the concept of a mother of light makes sense when we think of midwives as the individuals who bring light into the world—the brightness of new life and a fresh hope for the future.

Read more Icelandic words here.

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