Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ten Words The Vikings Gave Us

I've not blogged in a very long time. So I thought I'd kick things off with something fun and befitting our theme.

Where would the english language be without these common everyday terms? Well, the Vikings brought us more than just their hunky good looks and great legends. We can thank them for some of our most commonly used words.  
#1 Viking
The first and most obvious on the list is "viking." The word comes from the Old Norse word "vīkingr." It's believed by many the word stems from the phrasal verb "fara í víking," which means "to go on an expedition."

#2 Window
Window literally translated is wind-eye according to the old Norse. It stems from vindauga, where vind means wind and auga means eye.

#3 Thursday
The word "Thursday" stems from "Thor's day" and dates back to the 12th century.

#4 Berserk
To go berserk means to behave in a frenzied and violent manner. The word is believed to be derived from 'bear sark', meaning 'bear coat.'

#5 Ugly
The word "uggligr," stemming from "ugga to fear," was an term vikings commonly used when insulting each other.

#6 Knife
The word "knife' comes from Old Norse knīfr. The modern Swedish word is "kniv." Knives were an important part of the Viking culture and were often buried with the owner.

#7 Cake
The word "cake" stems from Old Norse kaka, it is related to "cook"; cake first meant small, flat bread roll baked on both sides by being turned, as in pancake or potato cake.

#8 Husband
The word "husband," meaning "householder," stems from "hūsbōndi," where hūs means house and "bōndi" which means holder.

#9 Freckle
The word "freckle" stems from the word "freknōttr" meaning speckled.

#10 Troll and elf.
Scandinavia is famed for it's folklore and mythology, this being where "elf" (alfr) and "troll" originate from.

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