Meaning & History
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn, which was derived from óðr meaning "inspiration, rage, frenzy". It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz. The name appears as Woden in Anglo-Saxon sources (for example, as the founder of several royal lineages in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and in forms such as Wotan, Wuotan or Wodan in continental Europe. However, Odin is best known from Norse mythology, as the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.
Depiction of Odin from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript
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Entry updated November 16, 2019