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Dagna
Sunday, May 11th, 2008, 01:54 PM
Placenames

The Viking Age was a time of expansion when the population in Scandinavia increased rapidly. People had to find new land to feed their families. Thousands and thousands of Scandinavians left their homes to find new land and they brought their language (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fheritage%2Fevoices.htm) and traditions along. Viking placenames can still be found in many countries in Europe outside Scandinavia: In France (Normandy (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Ffrance%2Fepl-normandy.htm)), Russia (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Frussia%2Fepl-russia.htm), Ireland (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fireland%2Fepl-irel.htm) and especially in England (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fe-pl-england.htm) and Scotland. Why not look for Viking placenames in your country or region.

Let's see what happened at the Helgi's farm situated somewhere in Norway:

Berg farm

Helgi's family had lived at the farm called Berg (rock, small mountain) for more than 200 years. Helgi now lived there with his wife and family. His sons were married and had children. They also lived there. The Longhouse (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Flife%2Felonghouses.htm) was full of people and food was scarce. The eldest son would take over as head of the family and also the farm when Helgi died.

Torstvedt

Helgi gave his second eldest son Tor, the northern part of the farm and told him to build his own farm at a large clearing in the forest there. Helgi in fact 'cut off' a part of his farm and gave it to his son. The Viking word for a part 'cut off' from a farm like this was tvedt or tveit and the local people named this new farm 'Tor's -tvedt'.

Erik's Place

One day in the Hunger month (February) Helgi said to his third son: "Erik, the family farm can no longer feed you and your family. You will have to find a place of your own". In spring Erik left the farm with his wife and children to settle in a new place. He found a good place for a farm and local people might have called it Erik's-by, or Erik's-stad, both suffixes meaning 'homestead'. The suffix -heim might also have been used for his new place. It is hard to say because fashions changed then just as they do now.

Here are some more words the Vikings often used:

http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifTorp (thorpe), a secondary settlement - outlying farm. http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifSeter (-set), mountain pasture, shielding. (Summerset). http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifFjell (-fell), mountain http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifDal (-dale), valley http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifØy (ey), island http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifNes (ness), headland, promontory http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifVik (wick), bay http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifBorg (borough), castle, fortified town http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifVåg (voe), bay http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifGård (garth), farm http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifSund (sound), strait(s)

Vikings settled in many places outside their own homelands and their language influenced the way in which their settlements in other lands were named. Have a look, for example, at what happened in The Danelaw of England (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fdanelaw%2Fepl-danelaw.htm)

More about placenames

http://www.viking.no/e/_themes/viking1/awillbu1.gifComplete listing http://www.viking.no/images/next.gif
Blot (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Flife%2Feblot.htm)
E (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fyork%2Feboracum.ht m)boracum - Eoforwic - Jorvik -York (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fyork%2Feboracum.ht m)
England and The Danelaw (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fdanelaw%2Fekart-danelaw.htm)
Place-names in The Danelaw (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fdanelaw%2Fepl-danelaw.htm)
Scandinavian-named settlements around Jorvik (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fyork%2Fscan_settle ments_in_jorvik_m.html)
Scandinavian-named settlements around Jorvik (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fyork%2Fscandinavia n_settlements_in_jorvik_region_map.html)
The Vikings in Normandy: Density of Scandinavian place names (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Ffrance%2Fplace_name_map.html )
The Vikings in Normandy: Place names derived from the Old Norse words for landscape features and other descriptions (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Ffrance%2Flndscpe-place-names.htm)
The Vikings in Normandy: Place names, based on a Scandinavian personal name element (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Ffrance%2Fpersonal-place-names.htm)
Viking Clothes (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Flife%2Feclothes.htm)
Viking Placenames (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fheritage%2Feplacenames.htm)
Viking Placenames in Ireland (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fireland%2Fepl-irel.htm)Viking Placenames in Orkney (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Forkney%2Feplork.htm)
Viking Placenames in Russia (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Frussia%2Fepl-russia.htm)Viking place names and language in England (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fengland%2Fe-pl-england.htm)

http://www.viking.no/e/heritage/eplacenames.htm (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.viki ng.no%2Fe%2Fheritage%2Feplacenames.htm)

Oswiu
Thursday, May 15th, 2008, 04:09 AM
See my scanned map here:
http://forums.skadi.net/photoplog/index.php?n=672

Sigurd
Thursday, May 15th, 2008, 05:26 AM
Many names are often shrouded in mystery as the years go past. Quite obviously, not every place is as easily understandable as "Newcastle" (i.e. Richard (methinks) son of William the Bastard/Conqueror, built one there in 1080 at the site of a former Roman fort, hence "new castle") or something along the likes.

In Germany and Austria we have a variety of place names that are most likely derived from a pre-Christian root, often linking directly towards the Gods/Goddesses themselves. I'll be posting them in due time, when I have revised their compilation once more. More obvious examples being Hollabrunn (Holda's/Frigg's Well), Berchtesgaden (Berchta's/Holda's/Frigg's Garden), or even Donnerskirchen (Thunder's Church ... just me or more like referring to Donar/Thor). Less obvious as we go along, however, are ones like Bad Godesberg, you'd almost have to know that there was a W->G consonant shift in the 12th century and that the place was called Wodenesberg before that. Which is quite interesting because it is something that - as far as worship was concerned - only reached the Longobards (Godan), but in further consequence the word "gott"/"god" coming from Odin (compare Greek Zeus -> Theus), and in further consequence names like "Gottfried" not actually meaning "God's peace", but really "Odin's Guardian". ;)

More on that in a wee while though. A slightly different topic, really. ;)

As for the endings...that's fairly evident. Germanic place names are quite prevalent. In fact, anything ending on -ham or -ton is clearly Anglo-Saxon, anything ending on -ing, -ang or -ingen is clearly Bavarian, etc. etc. etc. I'll probably post some on all that in a wee while, too. That is, once I've found evidence in pictures. :p

Oswiu
Thursday, May 15th, 2008, 01:53 PM
In Germany and Austria we have a variety of place names that are most likely derived from a pre-Christian root, often linking directly towards the Gods/Goddesses themselves. I'll be posting them in due time, when I have revised their compilation once more. More obvious examples being Hollabrunn (Holda's/Frigg's Well), Berchtesgaden (Berchta's/Holda's/Frigg's Garden), or even Donnerskirchen (Thunder's Church ... just me or more like referring to Donar/Thor).
I look forward to it, and hope to add a few from our side of the German Ocean.

Less obvious as we go along, however, are ones like Bad Godesberg, you'd almost have to know that there was a W->G consonant shift in the 12th century and that the place was called Wodenesberg before that.
We have a Wednesbury too. :) W> G is a new one to me, very odd.

anything ending on -ing, -ang or -ingen is clearly Bavarian, etc. etc. etc.
Godalming? Pelling? Felling? Hastings? Woking? Wetwang? Garstang? (Okay, the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th are inappropriate and not cognate, but I can't think of any other examples off the top of my head - though there are scores of them, just over in the South and East where I'm a Stranger. :p )

Sigurd
Thursday, May 15th, 2008, 06:08 PM
Godalming? Pelling? Felling? Hastings? Woking? Wetwang? Garstang? (Okay, the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th are inappropriate and not cognate, but I can't think of any other examples off the top of my head - though there are scores of them, just over in the South and East where I'm a Stranger. :p )

Well, just near where I live we have a line-of-four of them, it being Inzing, Flaurling, Polling and Hatting (can't remember in which order westward) and there's Haiming a little further, but that's in a different district. ;)