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English words of Old Norse origin



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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Old_Norse_origin






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Words of Old Norse origin that have entered the English language, primarily from the colonisation of eastern and northern England between 800-1000 CE. Old Norse (abbreviated in dictionaries as O.N.) existed in its spoken and written form from c. 100 CE, until its spread from the Nordic region to colonies as far west as Greenland and far east as Russia and the Baltic region (spoken by Swedish settlers). The language diverged into West Norse (Norway, Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland) and East Norse (Denmark and Sweden). With some minor regional variations in loan words both West Norse and East Norse are essentially the same. The Vikings who invaded or settled in Great Britain came mainly from Norway and Denmark.

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A

ado
influenced by Norse "at" ("to") which was used with English "do" in certain English dialects
aloft
  • á ("=in, on, to") + lopt ("=air, atmosphere, sky, heaven, upper floor, loft")
  • English provenance = c 1200 CE
anger
  • angr ("=trouble, affliction"); root ang (="strait, straitened, troubled"); related to anga, plural öngur (="straits, anguish")
  • English provenance = c 1250 CE
awe
  • agi ("=terror")
  • English provenance = c 1205 CE (as aȝe, an early form of the word resulting from the influence of Old Norse on an existing Anglo-Saxon form, eȝe)
are
awkward
the first element is from Old Norse öfugr ("=turned-backward"), the '-ward' part is from Old English weard
axle
öxl ("=ox tree")

B

bag
baggi
bairn
barn (="child")
bait
beita
bark
bǫrkr
bask
baðask reflex. of baða "bathe" (baðast, baða sig)
berserk
berserkr, lit. 'bear-shirt', (alt. berr-serkr, 'bare-shirt') frenzied warriors
billow
bylgja
birth
byrðr
blunder
blundra (="shut one's eye")
both
bathir
bulk
bulki
bulk
balkr
bull
boli
bylaw
bylög ('by'=village; 'lög'=law; 'village-law')

C

call
kalla (="cry loudly")
cast
kasta (="to throw")
club
klubba (="cudgel")
crawl
krafla (="to claw")

D

die
deyja (="pass away")
dirt
drit (="feces")
dregs
dregg (="sediment")

E

egg
egg
equip
skipa (= to put together, or to ready a ship) (through French)

F

flit
flytja

G

game
gaman, O.H.G. gaman "joy, glee",
garth
garðr (="garden")
gawk
from Middle English gawen, from Old Norse ga (="to heed")
get
geta, gat (> got), gittan (> gotten)
geyser
from Icelandic geysir, from Old Norse geysa (="to gush")
gift
gift (="dowry")
girth
gjörð
give
gefa
gosling
gæslingr" (="goose")
guest
gestr
gun
from Old Norse Gunnhildr (female name, both elements of the name, gunn and hildr, have the meaning "war, battle").
gust
gustr

H

hack
höggva (="hew")
haggle
haggen (="to chop")
Hell
may be in part from Old Norse Hel, the daughter of Loki and ruler of the underworld in Norse mythology
hit
hitta (="to find")
husband
husbondi (="master of the house")

I

ill
illr (="bad")

K

knife
knifr
knot
knutr

L

lad
ladd (="young man")
lathe
hlaða (="to load")
law
lagu
leg
leggr
litmus
litmose (="lichen for dying", lita ="to stain")
loose
lauss (="loose/free")
low
lagr

M

mire
myrr (='bog')
mistake
mistaka (="miscarry")
muck
myki (="cow dung")
mug
mugge

N

Norman, Normandy
from Old Norse through Old French, meaning "northman", due to Viking settlement in Normandy region

O

oaf
alfr (="elf")
odd
oddi (="third number", "the casting vote")

P

plough & plow
plogr

R

Ragnarök
Twilight of the Gods from Old Norse mythology, from Old Norse word of same meaning, composed of words ragna, genitive of "the gods", and rök "destined end" or rökr "twilight"
raft
raptr (="log")
raise
reisa
ransack
rannsaka (="to search thoroughly")
reindeer
hreindyri
rive
rifa
root
rot

S

saga
saga (="story, tale")
sale
sala
scare
skirra (="to frighten)
scarf
skarfr (="fastening joint") (interestingly, "scarf" and "scarves" have been reintroduced to modern Swedish in their English forms)
scathe
skaða (="to hurt, injure")
score
skor (='notch'; 'twenty')
scrape
skrapa (="to scrape, erase")
scrap
skrap (="scraps, trifles") from skrapa
seem
soema (="conform")
scale
(for weighing) from skal (="bowl, drinking cup", or in plural "weighing scale" referring to the cup or pan part of a balance) in early English used to mean "cup"
shirt
skyrta (="shirt") see also skirt
skate
skata (="fish")
skid
probably from or related to Old Norse skið (="stick of wood") and related to "ski" (="stick of wood", or in this sense "snowshoe")
skill
skil (="distinction")
skin
skinn (="animal hide")
skip
skopa (="to skip, run)
skirt
skyrta (="shirt")
sky
sky (='cloud')
slaughter
slahtr (="butchering")
sleight
slœgð
sleuth
sloð (="trail")
snub
snubba (="to curse")
stagger
stakra (="to push")
steak
steik, steikja (="to fry")

T

take
taka
tarn
tjörn, tjarn
their
þierra
they
þeir
thorpe
þorp
thrall
þræll
thrift
þrift (="prosperity")
troll
troll (of disputed etymology)

U

ugly
uggligr (="dreadful")

V

Vanadium
from Old Norse Vanadis, another name for Freja

W

wand
vondr (="rod")
want
vanta (="to lack")
weak
veikr
whirl
hvirfla (="to go around")
whisk
viska (="to plait")
wight
vigr (="able in battle") - The other wight meaning "man" is from Old English.
window
vindauga (="wind-eye") - Although gluggi was more commonly used in Old Norse.
wing
vængr

See also

External links

 

 

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Published - January 2009


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