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Tursas is an ill-defined being in Finnish mythology – Finland was known as the land of the giants (Jotland) in Scandinavian/north Germanic mythology.[2]

By extension, it was also associated with the Germanic giant-killer Thor/Donar and his hammer Mjollnir. To a lesser extent in its aspect of bringing misfortune, it has also been linked to the Lord of Mischief, Loki.[3] Note, however, that name of the god (Þōrr) has no etymological connection with the word for giant (þurs), being related instead to Þunor (thunder). Nevertheless Loki is said to be a giant, who moved to Asgaard from the land of the giants, Jotunheim.

In Anglo-Saxon England, the same rune was called Thorn or „Þorn“ and it survives as the Icelandic letter Þ (þ). Since „thorn“ is also not obviously etymologically related to „thurs“, an attempt has been made to account for the substitution of names by taking „thorn“ to be a kenning (metaphor) for „giant“.[4]

It is disputed as to whether a distinct system of Gothic runes ever existed, but it is clear that most of the names of the letters of the Gothic alphabet correspond to those of the Elder Futhark. In modern transliterations of Gothic texts, the relatively newer thorn character is substituted for the Gothic letter Gothic letter thiuth.svg, although neither the thorn glyph or name were used in Gothic. The glyphs of the Gothic alphabet do not follow the runes for the most part, the earlier runic ᚦ being replaced by Gothic letter thiuth.svg, called þiuþ „(the) good“ in the Codex Vindobonensis 795.

The lack of agreement between the various glyphs and their names in Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, and Old Norse makes it difficult to reconstruct the Elder Futhark rune’s Proto-Germanic name. Assuming that the Scandinavian name <þurs> is the most plausible reflex of the Elder Futhark name, and comparing that with the Old English þyrs „giant, ogre“ and the Old High German duris-es „(of the) giant“, the Proto-Germanic form *þurisaz has been reconstructed.

Thank you Wikipedia for the text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thurisaz_%28rune%29

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