Monday, 26 November 2018

Straight From the Norse's Mouth!

No, not a misprint - just my fascination with words and their origins. My pupil said something about "going berserk" on Friday and I replied "that's a Viking word! It originally meant 'taking your shirt off'". This led to a great discussion [it's OK Mr Ofsted Man, we are looking at the roots of words in our literacy Lessons, so it was relevant] 
We spent five minutes finding common words which are an ongoing gift from their Norse origins.
Do you realise just how many of our ordinary everyday words date back to that period just before the Norman Conquest when there were Scandinavians all over England? OK, so maybe hygge and lagom are new kids on the block, but just look at these words, which come directly from Old Norse...
gun - from the female name Gunnhildr - gunn & hildr translate to war & battle
ransack - from rannsakka meaning to search a house
slaughter - from slatra , to butcher
husband  - from husbondi - hus [house] &  bondi [occupier and tiller of soil]
steak - [I love this one!] from steik - to fry
bug  - bukr - which is an insect within the tree trunk
muck - myki -  meaning cowdung
[they had lots of words for dirt - including drit]
glove  arrives via lofi-  meaning the middle of the handblunder - blundra-  that is  to shut one's eyes and stumble about blindly
oaf  is from alfr or elf
whisk comes from  viska, to plait or braid
bag from baggin 
window - this is beautiful - vindaugga literally wind-eye
ugly - uggligr meaning  dreadful
kid - kid- young goat   [pretty obvious]
cake is simply kaka
egg is...egg

And with that I wish you good tidings [tidindi = news of events]


  1. Well I never knew any of that so have learned lots today already and it's not even 9am yet!

  2. It's so interesting to read about word origins! Thank you for educating us!


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