By Tette Hofstra
In this article changing views, not only of Viking activities, but also of the etymology and meaning of the word viking will be discussed. Particular attention will be paid to the Netherlands.
[Snip] Dahlerup’s dictionary of the Danish language mentions viking in an Early New Danish text from 1633; it also has some examples from the eighteenth century. According to Hellberg, in Swedish the word viking (vikingr, vikingur) can be found for the first time in the sixties and seventies of the seventeenth century; Vikingen (1811) became the title of a famous poem by the Swedish poet Erik Gustaf Geijer.
What Vikings did has given rise to many questions. To the linguist, however, the word viking causes a serious and, as will be shown, probably unsolvable problem: scholars disagree on how the mediaeval word came into being, where it arose, and what it originally meant.
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