The British language has certainly been huge affect on many languages all over the world – including modern Norwegian. Because of ‘internationalisation’ from the web, TV and movie, Norwegians frequently use words like baby, drink, awesome, jeans, web and chips – to title a couple of.
But not so long ago it had been the other way round. Many British words really originate from old Norse language – introduced by Vikings to England in medieval occasions. Here are a few words you've most likely uttered without understanding you're speaking Norwegian!
- Anger – from angr (“trouble, affliction”)
- Bag – from baggi. Norwegians make use of the word bag today but, ironically, by having an British pronounciation. The term has really been re-imported from British!
- Berserk – from berserkr (“bare shirt”). Fierce players who fought against without armour (and ate miracle mushrooms for courage).
- Crawl – from krafla (“to claw”).
- Grime – from drit (“feces”).
- Gun – from gunn (“war, battle”)
- Hell – from Hel, the ruler from the Underworld in Norse mythology.
- Hit – from hitta (“find”). Another illustration of a re-imported word.
- Husband – from husbondi (“master from the house”).
- Knife – from kniv, kvifr. You might have suspected that one already. Actually, any word beginning with kn- is most likely from old Norse.
- Raft – from raptr (“log”). Today we make use of the (British) word rafting in Norwegian when speaking concerning the popular sport.
- Reindeer – from hreindyri. In modern Norwegian: reinsdyr.
- Scare – from skirra (“to frighten”).
- Steak – from steik, steikja (“to prepare, roast”). Strangely enough, the term restaurant is typical in Norwegian today.
- Town – from tun, mentioning towards the open space between structures.
- Ugly – from uggligr (“dreadful”).
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