Viking Names Or Are They ? Although the Scandinavian settlers are collectively referred to by the term ‘Vikings’, the Scandinavians were far from a coherent, collective group. Scandinavian surnames and place names are sprinkled across Scotland. Scandinavian origin is best described as multiple influences upon various areas resulting in the names impression upon the people measured through utilization in written and spoken language. In 800 A.D., settlers from Norway in the North Isles of Scotland made the longest lasting Scandinavian impression upon Orkney and Shetland. Several centuries followed for Scandinavian settlements and overlordship in this region. IN 1266, a resurgence in Gaelic speaking displaced the Old Norse language in the West Indies. Many Old Norse words were borrowed into the Gaelic, such as sgarbh (Gae) from skarfr (ON) meaning “cormorant” and geodha (Gae) loaned from gjá (ON) which means ” gully, chasm”. This Gaelicisation (Gaelic pronunciation and replacement for Norse names) around the 13th century resulted in many names being attributed to Gaelic origin due to their coining the names, even though they were derived from the Scandinavian Old Norse. SW of Scotland (Galloway & Dumfries), SE of Scotland (Danish name elements), Isle of Man, Ireland, and northern England have all been influenced by the Scandinavians and their name elements. The Icelandic and Norwegian languages derived from the Scandinavian settlers in the Western & Northern Isles who spoke West Norse or West Scandinavian. Name m/f derivation/ form/ myth reference Old Norse “meaning” – popularity in other areas variants (Country-Cou) Njord m derived fr root ner; fr Norse myth god of fertility & sailing; Freya's father “strong, vigorous” Njo, Jord Frer, Fre m Norse god fr mythology who controlled rain, sun, growth; Gird's husband “lord” Freyr, Frey, Frej (Dan, Ger, Swe) Grid f` frost giantess in Norse myths who aided Thor when he battled Geirrod, the giant. “peace” Gri Gridd Freya f feminine form of Frer; Norse myth love & beauty goddess “lady” -Top UK name Freyja, Frea, Frey Frøya f Norwegian form fr Freya “lady”; beauty implied Freyr Alf m derived fr alfr Old Norse “elf” ; trending American popularity Alv (Nor) Urd f destiny goddess; 1 of 3 Norns responsible for history. “fate” Urdi Tyr m Norse justice & war god, son of Odin; form derived from Germanic Tiwaz, related to Grk Zeus “god” – one handed warrior depicts sacrifice for man Tiw (Ang-Sax Myth), Týr, Thor fr Þórr (Old Norse); derived fr Germanic punraz -god of thunder, strenth & war “thunder” Tor (Nor, Swe, Dan), Thorr Borghild f elemental combination of borg & hildr “fortification” & “battle” Borghildr (Myth); Borghi, Borgi, Borggih Eir f Norse medicine goddess, provided healing “mercy” Eira (Nor, Swe), Eire Odin m Anglican form fr Ooinn; derived fr wooanaz (Germanic) “inspiration, rage, frenzy”- also popular in USA & Norway Oden, Woden, Wotan, Wodan Loki m ? may come fr leug European root “to break”; Norse trickster god of fire & magic became increasingly evil finally being chained by the other gods. UK ? , possibly “to break” Loke, Lokie Vidar m fr dithematic combination of vior & arr – Vioarr is Grid's son who will return at the Ragnarok (end of world) to avenge his father (Odin) per Norse legend. “forest” & “warrior” – Popular name for boys in Sweden. Vioarr Idunn f derived fr the 2 Old Norse elements ið & unna; myth goddess of immortality & spring “again” & “to love”= to love again Idunn, Idony (Eng), Idonea (Eng) Nanna f taken fr Old Norse, nanb “daring, brave” – Top name in Den & USA Nana Ask m Norse myth's 1st man created (Adam) “ash tree” Askr, Asskr Embla f Norse myth wife of Ask, the 1st woman created (Eve) “elm tree” Embli, Emba Close Neighbors Scandinavians originated from NE Caithness or the Northern Isles and influences various geographical regions. The Old Norse forms can be found in an Icelandic-English Dictionary, such as brei (derived fr Old Norse breior “broad”) name element frequently used in Scottish names. In some regions, it can be very difficult to distinguish between Scots and Scandinavians due to the centuries of cultural melding. Old Norse Alphabet Some unconventional and unusual entries into Old Norse spellings are listed below which will facilitate easier pronunciation of Scandinavian names. þ – digraph 'th', as in “thorn” ð – definite article “the” æ – forms name parts, as in Fara ö – very German sounding stress for elements like, strönd “coast” or höfn “harbor” Another alphabet difference between English and Norse, besides the aforementioned characters, is the Norse accentuation for vowels. Acute accents on a, i, u, y, and o indicate a long vowel sound in Norse. . Norse naming custom Scandinavian names are used throughout Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Faeroe Islands, and Iceland. A full name is made up of at least one given name which typically derives from a Norse name followed by a patronymic family name. European names are also common sources for given names among Scandinavians. Along with other similar countries, Denmark, Sweden and Norway govern the naming customs of its citizens by dictating the naming laws for children. Norse Elements Name elements taken from the Old Norse language enable the Scandinavians to create meaningful, poetic names for their children which are as a rule, unique. Popular names are avoided, and most Scandinavian names are not used simultaneously by more than 1% of the population at a time. Scandinavians gave names which were very descriptive and typically reflected their current perceptions when naming took place. Norse place names often depict natural features, such as Ha Banks & Hahouse from Old Norse har meaning “high”' or Longa Berg which translates as “long rock”. Isbister derived from the word eystri (Old Norse) meaning “easterly”. Generic suffixes coupled with other name Norse elements to form names, such as saetr or setr became a commonly occurring name element. Also typically seen in the form setter. The frequent use is evident in many Scandinavian place names and surnames like Winksetter, Dalsetter, and Swinister.