“Kiss me” code

This code reads ‘kiss me’ and is an example of the playful nature of rune codes…and apt for Valentines day!

“Kiss me” written in digit runes (Photo: Jonas Nordby)[/caption]

This is written in a variant of digit runes, where number combinations represent a rune. This particular code has been able to be translated for a while, however there has been a recent discovery of how to understand a previously un-solved code.

The jötunvillur code can now by read because of the work of Jonas Nordby.

In the jötunvillur code the last sound of the rune’s name replaces the rune in the code. Nordby suggests it was used to help remember the runes’ names and the code has sometimes been found in an educational context, supporting this theory. It was unlikely to be used for messages as it isn’t easy to immediately decipher. The first thing I remember being taught about runes and rune codes at university was that they aren’t mystical or magical, but used in everyday contexts. I think the kiss me translation is a nice example of this (especially today on Valentine’s day!).

As a child my cousin and I made a type of code (to use the word loosely) with each letter of the alphabet replaced with a symbol. I don’t think we used it much as we had to remember what the symbols stood for and I think our childish spelling probably didn’t help in being able to translate it! But this shows the fun people have in creating codes.


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