Adebar and Hoier-Boier

Storks prefer to nest in the airy heights – © F. Mohrwinkel

The term Adebar, familiar from fables, is now translated as “swamp walker” as a derivation from the words uda (= wetland, water) and faran (= to walk). In Bergenhusen, however, the storks are called Hoier-Boier, which is Low German and means “high builder”, because the nests are always found in airy heights.

The origin of the name dates back to a time when the Danish language had a great influence on the dialect in Schleswig-Holstein: Until 1920, the northern part of the country still belonged to Denmark. Therefore, it is conceivable that the Danish term “at bygge højere” became Hoier-Boier: He who builds higher.

Another interpretation sees the term Hoier-Boier as a variation of its Old High German name odebero. This changed in the course of the time to Adebar. The Dutch name for the stork, Ooievaar, can also be traced back to this origin. The same could be true for the Stapelholm terms Hajebaje and Hoierboier; the hyphenated spelling is exclusively documented for Bergenhusen.

Finally, the german word “Storch” as well as the english term stork possibly come from the Old High German word storah. This means strong, but also rigid or stiff. The term could thus allude to both the physique and the stiff-legged gait.