HUSBANDS, OUTLAWS AND KIDS: THE INFLUENCE OF OLD NORSE ON THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

  • Antonius Gerardus Maria Poppelaars Federal University of Paraíba

Abstract

ABSTRACT: What have common English words such as husbands, outlaws and kids and the sentence they are weak to do with Vikings? All these examples are from Old Norse, the Vikings’ language. However, the Viking influence on English is underestimated as the Vikings are viewed as barbaric, violent pirates. Also, the Norman occupation of England and the Great Vowel Shift have obscured the Viking influence. These topics, plus the Viking Age, the Viking presence in England, as well as the Old Norse linguistic influence on English and the supposed French influence of the Norman invasion will be described. The research for this etymological article was executed through a descriptive-qualitative approach. Concluded is that the Vikings have intensively influenced English due to their military supremacy and their abilities to adaptation. Even the Viking-Norman French language has left marks on English. Nowadays, English is a lingua franca, causing borrowings from English to many languages, which is often considered as invasive. But, English itself has borrowed from other languages, maintaining its proper character. Hence, it is hoped that this article may contribute to a greater acknowledgement of the Viking influence on English and undermine the scepticism towards the English language as every language has its importance.

Keywords: Old Norse Loanwords, English Language, Viking Age, Etymology.

Published
2020-08-11
Section
Articles