Ash is an English name for the a-e ligature æ. It gets that name because in the Runic alphabet æsc was the name of the rune with the same sound as æ, and it got carried over.

(When æ is properly italicized in a serif font it looks unnervingly equivalent to the o-e ligature œ. Try not to let this faze you as much as it does me.)

According to OED, the original ash rune looked something like this:

           | \
           |\ \
           | \ 

The ash rune was named after the ash tree, not the powdery remains of something burned or the Pokémon master.

The ash tree is any tree of the genus Fraxinus of the olive family (Oleaceae). The genus includes about 70 species of trees and shrubs, mostly distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, some of which are valuable for their timber and beauty. A few species extend into the tropical forests of Mexico and Java.

The leaves of ash trees are opposite, usually deciduous, and pinnately compound and have an odd number of leaflets, often five to nine. The one-seeded fruits are narrow and winged and are called samaras. The flowers usually are small and showy and grow in clusters, and some species have petaled blooms. Most ash trees are small to medium in height, though some of the larger timber-providing species grow to 18-34 m (60-120 feet). Eighteen species of ash are found in the United States, with five furnishing most of the ash lumber cut. The most important are the white ash (F. americana) and the green ash (F. pennsylvanica), which grow throughout the eastern and much of the central United States and northward into parts of Canada. These two species furnish wood that is stiff, strong, resilient, and yet lightweight. This "white ash" is used for baseball bats, hockey sticks, paddles and oars, tennis and other racket frames, and the handles of shovels, spades, hoes, rakes, and other agricultural tools.

The black ash (F. nigra) of eastern North America, the blue ash (F. quadrangulata) of the Midwest, and the Oregon ash (F. latifolia) of the Pacific Northwest furnish wood of comparable quality that is used for furniture, interior paneling, and barrels, among other purposes. The Mexican ash (F. uhdei), a broad-crowned tree that is widely planted along the streets of Mexico City, reaches a height of 18 m and has leaves with five to nine leaflets.

The European ash (F. excelsior), with 7 to 11 leaflets, is a timber tree of wide distribution throughout Europe. A number of its varieties have been cultivated and used in landscaping for centuries. Notable among these are forms with dwarflike or weeping habits, variegated foliage, warty twigs and branches, and curled leaves. The flowering ash (F. ornus) of southern Europe produces creamy white, fragrant flowers, has leaves with seven leaflets, and reaches 21 m. It is also known as manna ash for a laxative that is extracted from its gum. The Chinese ash (F. chinensis) yields Chinese white wax.
The ash tree is fast-growing and makes excellent firewood - unlike most wood, it even burns well straight off the tree. These facts make it extremely valuable for those who have space to grow trees and regularly need wood to burn.

Ash was sacred to the druids as well as the Vikings and their ilk; in Norse mythology, Yggdrasil, the world tree, was said to be an ash, and from it Odin carved the first man, Ask. The spear Gungnir, which he used to start wars on Earth, was also carved from the ash-wood of Yggdrasil. In Celtic mythology Gwydion, Odin's very approximate counterpart, made magical wands from ash. In Greek mythology, ash was sacred to the sea-god Poseidon.

Ash out of Evil Dead was apparently the model for the main characters in both Doom and Duke Nukem.

'Ash' also appears along with protein, fat and so on in the nutritional information for various snacks for pets. I have never been able to figure out why.

Ash are an indie-rock group originally from Downpatrick in Northern Ireland, now based in London.

The band:

  • Tim Wheeler -- Songwriter | lead singer | guitar
  • Mark Hamilton -- Bass
  • Rick McMurray -- Drummer
  • Charlotte Hatherly -- Guitar (since 1997)
  • The sound:

    Ash have a variety of sounds. They do melodic guitar tracks (Uncle Pat / Goldfinger), storming indie-punk-rock (Innocent Smile / Submission) and non-cheesy heartfelt ballads (Oh Yeah / Lost In You). If I had one criticism it would be that singer Tim's voice is a little too weak and wobbly to both complement crushing guitars and harmonise on the ballads. But you have to take a band's sound as a whole.

    I had the fortune to see them at The Forum in London's Kentish Town. They totally fucking rocked, in spite of making me wait until the encore to play 'Kung Fu'. Bastards!

    A bio:

    Tim and co were very early starters. They formed in 1989 (while still at school!) and played for fun as a metal band. Back then they were called Vietnam, changing to 'Ash' when the 90s came.

    They released the mini-album 'Trailer' in 1994 and heavy interest in the band began.

    In summer 1995, the lads finished school and turned professional. Trailer spawned the 'Petrol' and 'Uncle Pat' singles.

    In Britain, Britpop fever was itching to take hold and the future looked bright for anyone lucky enough to be British and have a guitar. Evidently, being Irish and having a guitar was good enough.

    The singles released from their first full album '1977' (Goldfinger, Girl From Mars, Kung Fu) catapulted Ash into the mainstream. DJ and influencer Chris Evans liked them, (which back then was a good thing) and played them lots.

    1977 was so-called because not only were they born then, but it was the year in which their fave movie 'Star Wars' was released. Samples of Tie Fighters are on the album.

    They played for a while as three young male rockers, but in 1997 they recruited Londoner (and very female) guitarist Charlotte Hatherly. The first sign of Charlotte on record was the title track they composed for the movie 'A Life Less Ordinary'.

    In 1998 Ash released their 2nd full length album 'Nu-clear Sounds'. This was a very different sound for them. Casual music fans who had possibly been encouraged to get into the band by Britpop fever found it hard and unlistenable. While still having a solid amount of musical hooks, these were buried under brutally harsh guitars and a tough attitude.

    Ash seemed to be losing their appeal to the masses.

    3 long years later Ash were back on the scene with the catchy, almost poppy 'Shining Light'. The growing popularity of Nu-metal in Britain had meant that previously 'unlistenable' songs could get played on daytime radio, and be promo'd on Top Of The Pops and other chart shows.

    Ash's 3rd full-lengther was 'Free All Angels'. Perhaps the most commercially viable record of their career.

    1st Shining Light was the successful comeback record, followed by the gloriously pop-punk 'Burn Baby Burn'. (Cheerleaders and guitars on Top Of The Pops! Life was good).

    3rd single 'Sometimes' was the crucial extra hit that warranted many people buying the new album 'Free All Angels'.

    The... 'interesting'... 'Candy' is the most recent single release by Ash

    You need to hear: Uncle Pat for the solos | Oh Yeah for the feelings | Submission for the funk-rock | Goldfinger for the mel-o-dee | Jesus Says for the two-chord rock | Kung Fu for the lyrics!


    Jack Names The Planets EP

    Feb 1994

    1. Jack Names The Planets
    2. Don't Know

    Petrol EP

    Aug 1994

    1. Petrol
    2. The Little Pond
    3. Message From Oscar & Patrick
    4. Things

    Uncle Pat EP

    Oct 1994

    1. Uncle Pat
    2. Different Today
    3. Hulk Hogan Bubblebath


    Oct 1994

    1. Season
    2. Jack Names The Planets
    3. Intense Thing
    4. Uncle Pat
    5. Get Out
    6. Petrol
    7. Obscure Thing

    Kung Fu EP

    Mar 1995

    1. Kung Fu
    2. Day Of The Triffids
    3. Luther Ingo's Star Cruiser

    Girl From Mars EP

    Jul 1995

    1. Girl From Mars
    2. Astral Conversations With Toulouse Lautrec
    3. Cantina Band

    Angel Interceptor EP

    Oct 1995

    1. Angel Interceptor
    2. 5 a.m. Eternal
    3. Give Me Some Truth

    Get Ready EP

    Dec 1995

    1. Get Ready
    2. Zero Zero

    Goldfinger EP

    April 1996

    1. Goldfinger
    2. I Need Somebody
    3. Sneaker
    4. Get Ready


    May 1996

    1. Lose Control
    2. Goldfinger
    3. Girl From Mars
    4. I'd Give You Anything
    5. Gone The Dream
    6. Kung Fu
    7. Oh Yeah
    8. Let It Flow
    9. Innocent Smile
    10. Angel Interceptor
    11. Lost In You
    12. Darkside Lightside

    Oh Yeah EP

    June 1996

    1. Oh Yeah
    2. T.Rex
    3. Everywhere Is All Around
    4. Does Your Mother Know

    A Life Less Ordinary EP

    Oct 1997

    1. A Life Less Ordinary
    2. What Deaner Was Talking About
    3. Where Is Our Love Going
    4. Halloween

    Jesus Says EP

    Sep 1998

    1. Jesus Says
    2. Taken Out
    3. Heroin, Vodka, White Noise
    4. Radiation
    5. Dancing On The Moon

    Nu-Clear Sounds

    Oct 1998

    1. Projects
    2. Low Ebb
    3. Jesus Says
    4. Wild Surf
    5. Death Trip 21
    6. Folk Song
    7. Numbskull
    8. Burn Out
    9. Aphrodite
    10. Fortune Teller
    11. I'm Gonna Fall

    Wild Surf EP

    Nov 1998

    1. Wild Surf
    2. Stormy Waters
    3. When I'm Tired
    4. Lose Control
    5. Gonna Do It Soon

    Numbskull EP

    Apr 1999

    1. Numbskull
    2. Blew
    3. Who You Drivin' Now?
    4. Jesus Says (Live)
    5. Girl From Mars (Live)
    6. Fortune Teller (Live)

    Shining Light EP

    Jan 2001

    1. Shining Light
    2. Warmer Than Fire
    3. Gabriel
    4. Feel No Pain
    5. Jesus Says Hedrock Valley Beats Remix

    Burn Baby Burn EP

    Apr 2001

    1. Burn Baby Burn
    2. Only In Dreams
    3. 13th Floor
    4. Thinking About You
    5. Submission Arthur Baker Remix

    Sometimes EP

    Jul 2001

    1. Sometimes
    2. Skullfull Of Sulphur
    3. So The Story Goes
    4. Teenage Kicks
    5. Melon Farmer

    Candy EP

    Oct 01

    1. Candy
    2. Waterfall
    3. Nocturne
    4. Stay In Love
    5. Sweetness Of Death

    Phew.. my poor fingers. helped with the chronology...

    Character played by Bruce Campbell in the comedy/horror movies Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness. Works at S-Mart in the housewares department. Quests for the Necronomicon. Favorite weapons are a chainsaw and a shotgun. In Army of Darkness, battles the Deadites and Bad Ash.

    "All right, listen up you primitive screwheads... this... this is my BOOMSTICK!"

    See also Klatu Verata Nictu

    A character from the movie Alien. Ash was a synethic, an android, programmed to work for The Company (read as 'The Man'.) Betrayed the crew. He wasn't half as cool as Bishop.

    Ash (#), n. [OE. asch, esh, AS. aesc; akin to OHG. asc, Sw. & Dan. ask, Icel. askr, D. esch, G. esche.]

    1. Bot.

    A genus of trees of the Olive family, having opposite pinnate leaves, many of the species furnishing valuable timber, as the European ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and the white ash (F. Americana).

    Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum Americanum) and Poison ash (Rhus venenata) are shrubs of different families, somewhat resembling the true ashes in their foliage. -- Mountain ash. See Roman tree, and under Mountain.


    The tough, elastic wood of the ash tree.

    Ash is used adjectively, or as the first part of a compound term; as, ash bud, ash wood, ash tree, etc.


    © Webster 1913.

    Ash, n.,

    sing. of Ashes.

    Ash is rarely used in the singular except in connection with chemical or geological products; as, soda ash, coal which yields a red ash, etc., or as a qualifying or combining word; as, ash bin, ash heap, ash hole, ash pan, ash pit, ash-grey, ash-colored, pearlash, potash.

    Bone ash, burnt powered; bone earth. -- Volcanic ash. See under Ashes.


    © Webster 1913.

    Ash, v. t.

    To strew or sprinkle with ashes.



    © Webster 1913.

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