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Thread: Scandinavians and the "Germanic" Nomenclature

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    Scandinavians and the "Germanic" Nomenclature

    This is a qustion for Scandinavians on this forum, but others can answer as well if they are knowledgeable on the topic.

    Do Scandinavians look down on the term "Germanic"? Do they identify as "Germanic" or do they avoid this term because it reminds them of Germans? Which term is most commonly used in Scandinavia to refer to Germanics as a whole? I know of the existence of words like "nordisk" but I am curious if there is another which includes people like the Germans, English or Dutch.


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    Names of Germany in various Germanic languages

    Afrikaans: Duitsland
    Danish: Tyskland
    Dutch: Duitsland
    Faroese: Týskland
    German: Deutschland
    Icelandic: Þýskaland
    Norwegian: Tyskland
    Swedish: Tyskland

    English: Germany

    The term germansk/germönsk does exist in the North Germanic languages, but I am willing to guess that its application is limited to historical and linguistic contexts, the way it is in Germany, and any connection to contemporary identity is lost. It is sad that the time when we sang songs about each other's heroes is over.

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    The Swedish word for Germanics doesn't being used so much. The word Scandinavia is very usually. We Scandinavians see us self as "nordbor" or sometimes Scandinavians but that is not often.

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    "Germanic" Scandinavians

    I could introduce you to plenty of Norwegian-American immigrants who would not tolerate being called Germanic because, having lived through at least part of the German occupation of Norway in World War II, they hate Germans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorm the Old View Post
    I could introduce you to plenty of Norwegian-American immigrants who would not tolerate being called Germanic because, having lived through at least part of the German occupation of Norway in World War II, they hate Germans.
    Yeah the problem with using Germanic is that most people think it means German.
    Anglo-Saxon should preferably be used instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatest View Post
    Yeah the problem with using Germanic is that most people think it means German.
    Anglo-Saxon should preferably be used instead.
    Why? People misunderstand the term "Germanic", so they should think about their mistake regarding the usage of the world.

    And "Anglo-Saxon" - you know from where they originally come from? And by the way, Scandinavians have very less to do with Anglo-Saxons...

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    A cleaner solution, albeit much harder to popularise, would be to stop calling Dutch people "German" and start calling Nederlanders "Netherlanders". As far as the Norwegian-Americans are concerned, they should direct their anger at the defects of their adopted language.

    Before the 16th century, the English considered us "Almain", just like the Franco-Normans considered us "Allemande", i.e. Alemannic. Calling other Germanic tribes by their common Latin name would not have made any sense to them, so they used the name of the tribe in closest proximity. What we are dealing with are identity issues among the English people that manifested during the English Renaissance and prompted them to adopt an Italian naming convention that not even France and Spain follow. It is not a sneaky attempt to turn all Germanics into "Germans".

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatest View Post
    Yeah the problem with using Germanic is that most people think it means German.
    Anglo-Saxon should preferably be used instead.
    I don't believe so. Angles and Saxons are only two of the many Germanic tribes. It would be like calling all reptiles snakes.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    I don't believe so. Angles and Saxons are only two of the many Germanic tribes. It would be like calling all reptiles snakes.
    I agree. Anglo-Saxon denotes pre-Norman English people, and at best could denote an Englishman or a person of English heritage. I find it ironic when Scots-Irish southerners referred to themselves as Anglo-Saxons.. Nowadays it is even used to merely refer to a White person here in America. For example the alliance between the Americans and the British during WWII was called the "Anglo-Saxon Alliance" based primarily on America's early British heritage and the two territories common English language. Now it's merely a linguistic term to differentiate English-speaking white America from Spanish speakers. It's like the option on census: White (non-Hispanic).. Hispania is the Latin name of Spain.. Are native European Spaniards (Castellanos, Gallegos, Catalans etc.) really supposed to lump themselves in with Spanish speaking Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, Tainos and their various hybrids?

    There never really was a clear and accurate assortment of population groups in the census. The "Hispanic" issue should tick-off the native Pan-Mesoamerican peoples and the mestizos just as much as people of European Spanish heritage (criollos).
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatest View Post
    Yeah the problem with using Germanic is that most people think it means German.
    Anglo-Saxon should preferably be used instead.
    Why "preferably"? Do you even know what Anglo-Saxon means? Anglo-Saxon means English. We're not all English.

    Germanic is a perfect description.
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