In Norse and Norwegian both, hug means "memory". Norse hugsa and Nynorsk hugse is "to remember".

Is there a reason that s was attached? I can't think of any other verbs derived from nouns in this way. How did hugsa evolve to huske, which is how it's written in Bokmål? Presumably that's some kind of metathesis, but I haven't seen that anywhere either.

1 Answer 1


The addition of the letter s forms an iterative verb. There are more examples in Germanic languages, e.g. Low German hoppen "to hop", High German hopsen "to bounce, to lollop".

The second step is called metathesis and this is again not an unusual process, for instance the English word wasp is derived from to weave (because of the nests that wasps build) with and s-suffix and metathesis.

  • 2
    The connection between the IE words for "wasp" and "weave" is not universally accepted, especially since wasps (unlike spiders) do not actually weave anything (see de Vann, s.v. vespa). But of course metathesis is a well-attested phenomenon.
    – fdb
    Apr 27, 2018 at 12:59
  • 1
    Norwegian data would be more convincing.
    – Alex B.
    Apr 27, 2018 at 20:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.