Hvalreki ekki Hvelreki
Belgian artist singer-songwriter Ozark Henry (Piet Goddaer) is releasing a new album on EMI Music Belgium soon. The new album is entitled "Hvelreki" (sic). The album is produced by Martin Glover a.k.a. Youth.
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I used this blog before to inform you about the sloppy Belgian journalism on the topic Iceland.
But Belgian artists express the same slovenliness unfortunately.
The next months media will pick up an Icelandic word, "Hvelreki", because Ozark Henry is releasing his new stuff.
But it is not Icelandic.
It has to be "Hvalreki", referring to the word hvalur for whale. Even after being informed about this mistake by a friend of mine, Ozark Henry stands firm.
Although it's easy to find more information & correct spelling online. I call it sloppy & lazy.
In earlier centuries, lacking the boats and equipment to catch whales at sea, beached whales were a boon to an often starving population in a poor country. The beached marine mammals saved many a life. The word for a beached whale in Icelandic "hvalreki" actually means an unexpected event of great luck or good fortune; some have translated it as a "god send". In modern terms you could say it was a lottery prize.
More online @ Iceland Weather Report
Hvalreki literally means “beached whale” or “washed-ashore whale”, but in Icelandic it has come to mean a windfall of some sort.
Such as: “Þetta verkefni var algjör hvalreki fyrir mig” [this assignment was a total beached whale for me].
And you guessed it: it comes from the time where Icelandic farmers would find a beached whale on their land, and were able to utilize it to the max. In some cases, one beached whale could save an entire town from starvation.
Interestingly, I was at at the Ísafjörður maritime museum a couple of weeks ago, and they had a display about “hvalreka” [plural] with some really interesting trivia. Apparently there were really complicated rules regarding the process, with the person who found the whale being obliged to notify the relevant parties [land owner, etc.] within a certain period of time, and the division of the spoils then taking place according to set rules, etc. etc.. This sometimes led to major conflict, with people even being maimed or killed in the process.