derogatory term for viking
at In Old Norse, there are two words, both nouns: a víkingr is a person, while víking is an activity. The debate between those who would see the Vikings primarily as predatory warriors and those who draw attention to their more constructive activities in exploration, trade and settlement, then, largely boils down to how we understand and use the word Viking. Please see some examples in the table below. Judith Jesch receives funding from AHRC for a project 'Bringing Vikings Back to the East Midlands' (1 February 2017-31 March 2018). In the Lokasenna ("The Insolence of Loki"), the term argr is bandied about openly. A portmanteau word in which hús (house) and bóndi (occupier and tiller of soil) are fused together into a single term that is curiously quiet on the subject of wives. Scandinavians in Ireland were merchants who founded towns and never settled far from the coast, while their Scottish counterparts mainly were farmers and fishermen. The English word “Viking” was revived in the 19th century (an early adopter was Sir Walter Scott) and borrowed from the Scandinavian languages of that time. It’s actually very popular among Norwegian sport supporters. The Viking Age was a large and complex phenomenon which went far beyond the purely military, and also absorbed people who were not originally of Scandinavian ethnicity. Respectable books and websites will confidently tell you that the Old Norse word “Viking” means “pirate” or “raider”, but is this the case? It could certainly include raiding, but was not restricted to that. Only in the 18th century did it become normal to say "I feel humiliated" rather than "I am humiliated. The early use of humiliation referred not to an inner state but to being made humble in the presence of those higher on the social scale. When a warrior hears that an enemy has died, instead of celebrating, he takes to his bed for several months. That could be punished by fullrettirsorð "full penalty," meaning that the insulted man could kill the insulter with impunity. October 25, 2017 One reason for this disparity, could be the difference in social conditions. But there is also a stereotype hidden in the word “Viking”. What we probably can take for granted, would be that the first Norse “visitors”, hardly were met with the Irish expression “Céad Míle Fáilte” (a hundred thousand welcomes), when raiding and pillaging monastic sites in search of treasures. A more inclusive meaning acknowledges that raiding and pillaging were just one aspect of the Viking Age, with the mobile Vikings central to the expansive, complex and multicultural activities of the time. ... To lap the distance between that world and ours, you have to keep reading, and think in terms of the codes of honor. Sea Jew: Norwegians Restricting it to those who raided and pillaged outside Scandinavia merely perpetuates the pejorative meaning and marks out the Scandinavians as uniquely violent in what was in fact a universally violent world. Also, some Irish place-names have been derived from Old Norse, while others are directly translated from Irish names. In the academic world, “Viking” is used for people of Scandinavian origin or with Scandinavian connections who were active in trading and settlement as well as piracy and raiding, both within and outside Scandinavia in the period 750-1100. While Danish Vikings were more active in Britain and especially England, the majority of the Vikings arriving at the Irish shores, hailed from Norway and was often referred to as Norsemen or the “Fair Foreigners”. As a result, the English word has usefully expanded and developed to give a name to this phenomenon and its Age, and that is how we should use it, without regard either to its etymology, or to its narrower meanings in the distant past. Not included in the table below is Limerick, another Irish town founded by the Vikings. Nonetheless, for Vikings, a muttered accusation of sansorðinn was serious business. Ultimately, it derives from a word in Old Norse, but not directly. Some of the terms listed below (such as "Gringo", "Yank", etc.) The first Norse loanword in Irish was erell developed from iarla (jarl) followed by punnann (a sheaf of corn = kornband/nek). The Irish spoke Old Irish which developed into Middle Irish from around 900 AD. The widow's laughter while talking with her husband's killer is a nervous outburst, perhaps, or even a ploy; soon she tricks him with "advice" that will lead to his own death. Talking with the man who killed her beloved husband, a woman makes jokes about the bloody ax he carries. Characters' behavior often appears bizarrely unemotional. The intensity of their rages and passion is sometimes easy to overlook for those who study their literature, for people in the sagas almost never talk in depth about what they are feeling and words for emotional states are rare. The authorities would look the other way. Among more educated Vikings sexual name-calling continued, often wrapped in sometimes obscure mythological or literary allusions. A Viking becomes depressed when an old enemy passes away, for that means he will never be able to repay the insults he has suffered. The strict division of male sexuality into hetero- and homo- that we presume today was not usually made before the late 19th century. If you wanted to imply that a man was sansorðin, you posted two figures made out of wood, one behind the other in a suggestive position, and you put the skull of a mare on the figure in front. Rather than entering the Irish language, the Old Norse name Hlymrekr was taken directly into English. In fact, the Scandinavian influence on the Irish language is small, though not insignificant and makes for a very interesting study. But beware of the consequences. Insulting a Viking is easy: Vikings, like 14-year-old boys, almost always used sexual put-downs. Male sexuality, the urge to copulate, was presumed to be powerful and general and not particularly or necessarily limited to women. The word “Viking” does not describe the Norse or Scandinavian people as a whole, but rather it describes the Norse or … University of Nottingham provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK. Blunder The word blundra means to shut your eyes and therefore to walk around banging into things. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. Vikings came from a world of good stories. The insult didn't have to be that direct, as long as the meaning was clear. Víkingr did not imply any particular ethnicity and it was a fairly neutral term, which could be used of one’s own group or another group. In them, víkingar were generally ill-intentioned, piratical predators, in the waters around Scandinavia, the Baltic and the British Isles, who needed to be suppressed by Scandinavian kings and other saga heroes. There are actually two, or even three, different words that such explanations could refer to. “Viking” in present-day English can be used as a noun (“a Viking”) or an adjective (“a Viking raid”). The stealth version includes trenið, or "wood-insult," which was an alternative of muðnið or verbal insult. Húsbóndi means house-occuper (and gardener). “Viking” in present-day English can be used as a noun (“a Viking”) or an adjective (“a Viking raid”). The word “kerling” describes mountains of a certain shape. Professor of Viking Studies, University of Nottingham. Ultimately, it derives from a word in Old Norse, but not directly. Write an article and join a growing community of more than 115,600 academics and researchers from 3,759 institutions. The worst was implying that a man was sansorðinn -- "used in the position of a female (blauðr) by another man," in other words "demonstrably sodomized." The Norse Vikings settling in Ireland from the 9 th century spoke Old Norse, a North Germanic language. Vikings were Norse or Scandinavian raiders and seafarers. Every sports merch shop will stock viking paraphernalia. In war, of course, all rules are lifted, especially when you are trying to terrorize your foes, so muðnið likely was rampant on the battlefield. Viking quotes, sayings, and phrases are powerful to know… because they contain the wisdom of a legendary, knowledgeable people, that for most of us, conjure visions of war, adventure, and conquest.. And while they were relentless warriors, and certainly a force to be reckoned with, the Viking people’s wisdom and wit often go overlooked. Dublin was named Dyflin by the Vikings, taken from the Old Irish Dublinn (dubh linn), meaning black pool. The stereotypes about Vikings can partly be blamed on Hollywood, or the History Channel. Please see the table below for Norse, Irish, Norwegian and English translations. Although the English word is ultimately linked to the Old Norse words, they should not be assumed to have the same meanings. We are accustomed to understanding emotion as a personal experience -- something that occurs "inside" and may or may not be expressed. The Norse Vikings settling in Ireland from the 9th century spoke Old Norse, a North Germanic language. The activity of víking is not specified further, either. A víkingr was someone who went on expeditions, usually abroad, usually by sea, and usually in a group with other víkingar (the plural). The fusion between Norsemen and Gaels therefore began much earlier than in Ireland and lasted longer. But there are cultures in which emotion is overwhelmingly a social matter, not a private one. Attempts to fit Walt Whitman or Lord Byron into a comfortable diagnosis of "homosexual" falter on the realities of their time and place. Those hairy warriors from Scandinavia who raided and pillaged, and slashed and burned their way across Europe, leaving behind fear and destruction, but also their genes, and some good stories about Thor and Odin. Swedish National Heritage Board, Photo Bengt A. Lundberg, they should not be assumed to have the same meanings, also absorbed people who were not originally. Insulting a Viking is easy: Vikings, like 14-year-old boys, almost always used sexual put-downs. We don’t know what víkingr and víking meant before the Viking Age (roughly 750-1100AD), but in that period there is evidence of its use by Scandinavians speaking Old Norse. Reference: A Dictionary of Scandinavian Words in the Languages of Britain and Ireland authored by Diarmaid Ó Muirithe and published by Four Courts Press. Shortened/derogatory slang term: Ola: Norwegians: Swedish slang for stupid Norwegian. Scholars have long concluded that the Irish had no specific word for Norway until Lochlann emerged in the 11th century. Refers to the abundance of Reindeer and silent J's found in this part of the world. ", There was so much emotion about Viking sexual insults that the thirteenth-century Gulaðing proscribed the use of these words in public. What does the word really mean, and how should we use it? Linguistics have discovered that Old Norse words and expressions are far more common in Scottish Gaelic than in the Irish Gaelic language. Carlingford in County Louth is an interesting one, with the Old Norse name thought to have been Kerlingafjǫrðr. In modern American conceptions of masculinity, any suggestion of "homosexuality" is considered equally insulting. The following is a list of ethnic slurs (ethnophaulisms) that are, or have been, used as insinuations or allegations about members of a given ethnicity, or to refer to them in a derogatory (that is, critical or disrespectful), pejorative (disapproving or contemptuous), or otherwise insulting manner.. Rjeindeer-Fjucker: Norwegians: More specifically applies to Scandinavian aboriginals (Saami), but most popular towards Norwegians. Calling a man a "mare," or a "woman," or worse, argr (its polite meaning is "cowardly"; its sexual meaning is "emasculated, unmanned, womanish") could also call down the weight of fullrettirsorð. From the late 8th to early 12th centuries they raided wide areas of Europe and also established many governments, and trading networks. Linguistics have discovered that Old Norse words and expressions are far more common in Scottish Gaelic than in the Irish Gaelic language. We all know about the Vikings.
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