Shirt Preview: On þysse nihte, wē drincaþ fram hēafodbollum ūrena andsacena!

Tonight, we drink from the skulls of our enemies!

Tonight, we drink from the skulls of our enemies!

I already have a few people requesting this design, so before it goes into production, I want to give you all a chance to give input. Is it translated correctly? Do you like the layout? Do you like the colors? As always, I’ve put a lot of time and care into the design, and as always, there’s probably something that needs alteration. This design will be in the store by the end of the week.

One of the awesome things about Old English is that this shirt can be translated as “Tonight, we drink from the skulls of our enemies!” or as “Tonight, we will drink from the skulls of our enemies!” The difference depends on intention and whether the shirt was donned in the morning or evening. I’ve not used a form of sculan, willan, or the subjunctive here because this shirt doesn’t express a desire or possible condition. You only put on this shirt if you have a Klingon’s certainty that the mead will be flowing. The sharp contrast between the visuals and the translation is intended to be humorous. I hope you’re as entertained by this design as I am—my designer and I have spent the last few days giggling over it.

drincaþ: present first person plural

hēafodbollum: of the words available for “skull,” I chose this one because it literally translates as something like “head-bowl,” which sounds terribly appropriate for drinking. Dative case to match “fram.”

andsacena: “-ena” ending for genitive plural, since the skulls belong (once belonged?) to the enemies


Shirt Preview: On þysse nihte, wē drincaþ fram hēafodbollum ūrena andsacena! — 3 Comments

  1. Oh, fun shirt! I wonder if I can persuade the guys in my rowing crew to get these . . .

    The translation looks pretty good to me. The only mistake I can see is that ˣúrena should be úre (the possessive pronouns only take strong endings, and there’s no determinative that would call for a weak ending here even for a normal adjective).

    For what it’s worth, þysse could equally well be written þisse, which is historically the regular form. And the dative of ‘night’ has two forms: an older niht (usual in Béowulf, for instance) and a newer nihte with a more clear dative suffix added analogically. Either form is fine in both of these cases – just wanted to point out the variation and the options.

    • Once again, I compose great thanks to you as I quietly applaud myself for getting most of it right and kick myself for missing what is now so obvious. :) I usually gravitate towards “þysse” because for some reason, I really like the look of the “y.” However, now that you’ve pointed it out, I see that changing the spelling would give me a chance to add another heart! *squee* I’ll see what my designer thinks.

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