Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thundering Applause

With the first big storms of the year, I have been sitting in my house staring out the dark windows at lightening as the room shakes with thunder. Although I know it is caused by lightning, when I was younger we came up with lots of reasons for thunder. Among them were:
1. Two clouds are smashing into each other.

2. God is angry and is yelling at us.

3. The angels in Heaven are bowling. (This one was my favorite).

The story of Thor (the Norse god of Thunder) offers another explanation. According to the tale, the sound of thunder is when Thor bangs his hammer. I imagine this like a judge’s gavel but I’m sure that’s not the image it conjured with the Norse peoples.

The Swedish word “tordon,” from which “thunder” is derived literally means “Thor’s din,” as in the noise made by Thor’s hammer.

On a side note, apparently Thunder is a viable baby name now. I wouldn’t name my kid after a random noun like that, but it is supposed to mean “stormy-tempered.” I wouldn’t really want a stormy-tempered child, either.

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