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View Diary: Origins of English: The Norse Influence (41 comments)

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  •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
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    Ojibwa, MT Spaces
    The oldest settlements in the area surrounding the Oslofjord date from the Stone Age and the Bronze Age. It was here on the eastern and western shores that three of the best preserved Viking ships were unearthed. In historical times, this bay was known by the current name of the region, Viken (the bay).

    So let's see, at least three Viking ships were buried in the Viken indicating that Viking kings were living there.  The area is perfect for supporting a large population - now 2 million people - and is well protected from invaders. It is also highly conducive to naval operations and located exactly where expeditions could easily be launched into the Baltic and North Seas.

    So therefore Viken is not related at all to Viking because Viking is a perfectly good Old Norse word  meaning "pirate" which, however, were unknown in the region.

    •  pleae see the wiki article ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... I referred to above. It specifically refutes the "viken" theory. The norse word "víking" didn't refer to a person, originally, but to a journey, and then later to an occupation.  In other words, you went on a viking, or you went viking, but you weren't a viking.

      In Old norse, there was already a term for someone from Vik, "víkverir" (the Wiki translates this as "Vík dweller;" a closer translation, in not-very-idiomatic English, would be a "Vík-being"). There are other etymological problems as well with the Viken theory (detailed in the Wiki article).

      In short, it's a neat hypothesis on the surface, but it looks pretty hopeless once you poke at it with some serious etymological tools.

      The real etymology is from a word meaning "turn" or "rotation," which came to mean a unit of nautical distance, the amount you could row before you had to rotate the crew. It's a distant cousin to English 'week' which is a rotation of 7 days. There's a lot of evidence to back this up; again please see the Wiki and, especially, the refs. in that for details.

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