Courtesy of The Vintage News
In case you can’t watch the video for whatever reason, here are my favorite Viking words:
Happ is the Old Norse word for good fortune or fate.
A word (Husbondi) in which hus (house) and bondi (occupier and tiller of soil) are fused together into a single term.
From the Old Norse rannsaka, which means to search a house.
Appropriately enough, it comes from slatra-the Norse verb for butchery.
A vindauga is a wind-eye, referring to the ability to see things coming up outside of your house while remaining sheltered inside it.
Loft is the Norse word for the sky, heaven, and a loft.
The names for these comes from skal, a word for a bowl or drinking cup.
The English borrowed several festive customs from Scandinavia, including jol; a pagan feast set in the depths of the winter solstice.
The word blundra means to shut your eyes and, therefore, to walk around banging into things.
This was interesting, Nicholas. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 — Suzanne
Glad you enjoyed it! Have a lovely weekend 🙂
Who’d’a thunk! 😀 … I love how English is the bastard child of so many others 😀 … and continues to be.
One of my favorite things about it 🙂
Really interesting and fun, Nicholas. I do love happ.
We just saw the last episode of Vikings! It’s brilliant and your words here are delightful! Thank you for this!
Thank you 😀
A fun post. I love learning about words. 🙂
Same here! Thank you, D 🙂
Interesting. They didn’t include ‘berserk.’ It’s one of the first words that pops into my mind when I think of the Norse. As I recall, a prayer that referred to this battle frenzy went along the lines of ‘From the fury of the Northmen, deliver us, O Lord.’ It seems to slid through the ages pretty much unchanged in meaning, too.
I think it’s one of the words that pop into everyone’s mind, which is probably why they left it out 🙂
The Vikings were maligned by historians. They were “agrarian reformers” who recognized the small isolated communities that farmed the coastal areas depleted the soil and the locals had a small gene-pool which weakened their progeny. The Vikings knew the English were too “uneducated” to understand their problem, so the Vikings drove the farmers inland to farm better land. What historians called “rape and pillage” were actually acts to improve the gene-pool with larger, more healthy stock, much like bringing in a prize bull to create better livestock.
The Vikings lacked a PR group to put the proper spin on their plans for “agrarian reform.” History depends on your point of view. 😉
Lol- that’s certainly a novel way of looking at it 😀
Nice list, but I’m not sure they invaded – languages blend rather than engaging in battle!
Lol-it’s all click bait 😀
They left out BERSERKA, Viking meaning to go wild or crazy in battle.
The English word is “berserk,” to act wild or crazy.
True. I think the reason is that too many people know it’s a Viking word, whereas the rest of the words were more surprising 🙂
I am listening to music inspired by the Viking era these days
Ya gotta love those Vikings! Okay, maybe you don’t “gotta,” but there are so many reasons to do so, and some of them don’t even involve Chris Hemsworth. 😀 😀 😀
Thanks for a very interesting post, Nicholas. I love learning about the roots of words and expressions.
Thanks! I, too, love etymologies 🙂
Vindauga and happ are definitely my favourites! Thanks.
I know what you mean 🙂
Ransack needs to make a comeback. So much fun to say.
Lol-I second that 😀
how interesting –
One thing to bear in mind is that the “English” were a mix of tribes from northern Germany, the North Sea coast and Denmark, which meant that there were going to similarities between Old English & Norse, even before the Vikings arrived. From wiki: “The Anglo-Saxons and the Scandinavians spoke related languages from different branches (West and North) of the Germanic family; many of their lexical roots were the same or similar, although their grammatical systems were more divergent”. So it’s possible that an Englishman in 850 AD would have been far more able to converse with a Viking than with a modern English speaker.
That’s an excellent point. Languages become more diverse with time.
I only knew about loft, so the rest are good to discover. The German word for air is ‘luft’, another close comparison.
Best wishes, Pete.
German is surprisingly close to English–and yet so distinct from it. It’s weird.
Some of these words are close the Danish language too, Nicholas. Fx. Husband – hus bond, which means a mand bonded by his soil. Slaughter – slagter. Window – vindue. Scales – skål. Blunder – blund, which means to take a little nap.
I had no idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂
You are welcome. Denmark is part of Scandinavia and we do have lots of words from old times in our languages, even if much are changed in these days and more English is coming into daily use.