Jörð is the common word for earth in Old Norse. It stems from Proto-Germanic *erþō ('earth, soil, land'), as evidenced by the Gothic airþa, Old English eorþ, Old Saxon ertha, Old High German erda, Faroese jørð. The Ancient Greek ἔρα ('earth') is possibly related.
In Gylfaginning, the first part of the Prose Edda, Jörð is described as a member of the ásynjur, one of Óðinn's sexual partners and the mother of Þórr. She is the daughter of Annarr ('Second') and Nótt ('Night').
|“||The earth was his daughter and his wife. With her he [Odin] made the first son, and that is Ása-Thor.||”|
According to scholar John Lindow, "Jörd must have been a giantess in the beginning. If so, Óðinn's marriage (or, more likely, sexual relationship outside marriage, perhaps not even a willing one on her part) to Jörd should be regarded as parallel to his other strategically minded relationships with giantesses."
Scholar Haukur Þorgeirsson points out that the four manuscripts of Gylfaginning vary in their descriptions of the family relations between Nótt, Jörð, Dagr, and Dellingr. In other words, depending on the manuscript, either Jörð or Nótt is the mother of Dagr and partner of Dellingr. Haukur details that "the oldest manuscript, U, offers a version where Jǫrð is the wife of Dellingr and the mother of Dagr while the other manuscripts, R, W and T, cast Nótt in the role of Dellingr's wife and Dagr's mother", and argues that "the version in U came about accidentally when the writer of U or its antecedent shortened a text similar to that in RWT. The results of this accident made their way into the Icelandic poetic tradition".
In the same verse in Völuspá, he is referred to as mǫgr Hlóðyniar and Fjǫrgyniar burr (child of Hlóðyn, Fjörgyn's child). The etymologically unclear Hlóðyn must therefore have been another name of Jörð. She is usually thought to be identical with Hludana, to whom Roman votive tablets have been found on the Lower Rhine.
|Jǫtnar and Gýgjar|
|Jǫtnar||Alvaldi • Annarr • Auðr • Baugi • Beli • Bergelmir • Bǫlþorn • Býleistr • Eggþér • Fárbauti • Fjǫrgynn • Fornjótr • Gangr • Geirrǫðr • Gillingr • Gymir • Helblindi • Helreginn • Hrímgrímnir • Hrímnir • Hrungnir • Hrymr • Hræsvelgr • Hymir • Iði • Ím • Kári • Litr • Logi • Loki • Mímir • Mǫkkurkálfi • Mǫgþrasir • Naglfari • Narfi • Narfi Lokason • Søkkmímir • Surtr • Suttungr • Útgarða-Loki • Vafþrúðnir • Váli • Víðblindi • Vǫrnir • Ymir • Þjazi • Þrívaldi • Þrúðgelmir • Þrymr • Ægir|
|Gýgjar||Angrboða • Aurboða • Bestla • Eimyrja • Eisa • Fjǫrgyn • Gerðr • Gjálp • Glǫð • Greip • Gríðr • Gunnlǫð • Harðgreipr • Hljóð • Hrímgerðr • Hróðr • Hyrrokkin • Járnsaxa • Jǫrð • Laufey • Leikn • Nine Daughters of Ægir and Rán/Nine Mothers of Heimdallr • Nótt • Skaði • Sinmara • Þǫkk|