*Jēran or *Jēraz (stem "*jē2ra-";C.f. Page (2005:15). The word may have been either neuter or masculine in Common Germanic.] Gothic "jēr", Anglo-Frisian "ȝēr" /yēr/, Old High German and Old Saxon "jār", Old Norse "ār") "harvest, (good) year" is the reconstructed Proto-Germanic name of the "j"-rune runic|ᛃ of the Elder Futhark.


Proto-Germanic "*jē2ran" is cognate with Avestan "yāre" "year", Greek _gr. ὧρος "year" (and _gr. ὥρα "season", whence "hour"), Slavonic "jarŭ" "spring" and with the "-or-" in Latin "hornus" "of this year" (from "*ho-jōrinus"), all from a PIE stem "PIE|*yer-o-".

Elder Futhark

The derivation of the rune is uncertain; some scholars see it as a modification of Latin G ("C () with stroke") while others consider it a Germanic innovation. The letter in any case appears from the very earliest runic inscriptions, figuring on the Vimose comb inscription, "harja".

The evolution of the rune was the most thorough transformation of all runes, and it was to have numerous versions.

Anglo-Saxon runes

The rune in the Anglo-Saxon futhorc is continued as runic|ᛄ "Gēr" and runic|ᛡ "Ior", the latter a bind rune of Gyfu and Is (compare also runic|ᛠ "Ear").

From Elder to Younger Futhark

During the 7th and 8th centuries, the initial "j" in *"jara" was lost in Proto-Norse, which also changed the sound value of the rune from /j/ to an /a/ phoneme. The rune was then written as a vertical staff with a horizontal stroke in the centre, and scholars transliterate this form of the rune as A, with majuscule, to distinguish it from the ansuz rune, a. During the last phase of the Elder Futhark, the "jēra"-rune came to be written as a vertical staff with two slanting strokes in the form of an X in its centre (), which made it possible to simplify the "jēra"-rune by having only one vertical stroke that slanted towards the left, giving the ᛅ "ár"-rune of the Younger Futhark. Since a simpler form of the rune was available for the /a/ phoneme, the older cross form of the rune came to be used for the /h/ phoneme.Enoksen 1998:52]

Gothic alphabet

The corresponding Gothic letter is

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