All Old Norse, All the time. Be ready.
HELL FUCKING YES. WE HADN’T TILL YOU REMINDED US, BUT THAT’S FUCKING GREAT.
Here are three elements we often see in town names:
If a town ends in “-by”, it was originally a farmstead or a small village where some of the Viking invaders settled. The first part of the name sometimes referred to the person who owned the farm - Grimsby was “Grim’s village”. Derby was “a village where deer were found”. The word “by” still means “town” in Danish.
If a town ends in “-ing”, it tells us about the people who lived there. Reading means “The people of Reada”, in other words “Reada’s family or tribe”. We don’t know who Reada was, but his name means “red one”, so he probably had red hair.
If a town ends in “-caster” or “-chester”, it was originally a Roman fort or town. The word comes from a Latin words “castra”, meaning a camp or fortification. The first part of the name is usually the name of the locality where the fort was built. So Lancaster, for example, is “the Roman fort on the River Lune”.
A Little Book of Language by David Crystal, page 173. (via linguaphilioist)
The status of Viking women may be underestimated due to the way we interpret burial findings.
Sá er sæll
er sjalfr of á
lof ok vit meðan lifir
því at ill röð
hefr maðr opt þegit
annars brjóstum ór.
He is blessed,
who has within himself
esteem and wit throughout life
because poor advice
has man often gotten
from the breast of another.
In the first draftings of The Hobbit Thorin was to be named Gandalf, as Gandalf is listed in the Dvergatal in the Poetic Edda as the chief of dwarves. The wizard, our current Gandalf, was then named Blådorthin.
However the name Gandalf includes ‘-alf’ the word denoting ‘elf’ which to Tolkien was highly un-dwarvish. Blådorthin then became Gandalf, and Thorin obtained two names from the Dvergatal: Thorin and Eikinskjaldi, or ‘Oakenshield’.
(Source: , via tattootranslation)
In this article changing views, not only of Viking activities, but also of the etymology and meaning of the word viking will be discussed. Particular attention will be paid to the Netherlands.
Outside Scandinavia, post-mediaeval interest in Old Scandinavian culture including Vikings arose in England at the end of the seventeenth century and France in the middle of the eighteenth century. Other countries followed suit, and this ultimately led to the incorporation of the word viking into Modern Dutch. The Modern Dutch word viking (also vikinger, wiking, wikinger) was introduced from German or English; the earliest entry in the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, the large Dictionary of the Dutch Language, is from the year 1835. Both in German and in English, the word had been reintroduced in the beginning of the nineteenth century; in German the word begins with w- (Wiking), in English several spellings were used, e.g. vikingr (= Old Icelandic víkingr), vikinger, vikingir, wiking, before viking became the standard form. Dutch viking with v- reflects English influence.
Dahlerup’s dictionary of the Danish language mentions viking in an Early New Danish text from 1633; it also has some examples from the eighteenth century. According to Hellberg, in Swedish the word viking (vikingr, vikingur) can be found for the first time in the sixties and seventies of the seventeenth century; Vikingen (1811) became the title of a famous poem by the Swedish poet Erik Gustaf Geijer.
What Vikings did has given rise to many questions. To the linguist, however, the word viking causes a serious and, as will be shown, probably unsolvable problem: scholars disagree on how the mediaeval word came into being, where it arose, and what it originally meant.
Booth: Summer pasture
By: Farm; Village
Fell; How: Hill or mound
Gardr: Yard; landing place
Gill: Ravine or valley
Ings: Marsh; meadow
Kelda: Spring, stream
Slack: Stream in a valley
Stakkr: Rock in the sea
Thorp: Daughter settlement
Thwaite: Forest clearing; meadow
Wray: Remote place