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Vikings Etymology

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Viking Etymology

Even though the first things that comes into people’s minds when they hear the word “Vikings” is raiders, barbarians, and warriors, these descriptions are very far from its etymological meaning. The word "Viking" came from the Norse word "vik", which means creek, bay, or inlet and the suffix "-ing", which means "coming from". Combining these two words, "Viking" then would mean "a man coming from the bay".

The Old Norse language spells "Viking" as "Vikingr". But to make the spelling modern and more accurate, it was attested in 1840. But still using the Old Norse way of speaking, "Vikingr" corresponds to a person coming from the fjords. Fjord is a type of steep walled creek, created by glacials centuries ago.

The storytellers from France, on the other hand, called the Vikings as "Vikverjar". That word was first used in A.D. 843, which probably means travellers of the sea. At one point, they also called them as "Westfaldingi", which means "Norwegians coming from the Westfold".

The word "Viking" could also have originated from either the Old English word "wicing" or the Old Frisian word "wising", which are both derived from the word "wic", meaning camp or village. History has it that when the Vikings initiate their raids, they built temporary camps for their forces. These camps were always a feature of their raids. "Viking" could have also come from the Latin word "vicus" which means village or habitation.

Original Authors: Jennifer Tumanda
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 29/07/2008

 



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