Antedating of "Viking"

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Wed Mar 20 13:51:52 UTC 2013

Isn't that one of the problems with the term -- that it's actually
recorded in OE before it's recorded in ON? We have it in BoM and the ASC
(entry for 980 for example), but earliest runestone instance I know of
is U 617 Bro, dated based on style to 990-1010, which is probably pretty
contemporaneous with both the BoM and ASC texts (depending on how you
date those).

What's interesting about Fred's hit is that it's *clearly* modeled on
the ON _vikingr_ rather than the OE _wicing_ (with that Vikinger variant
being given). Fred's hit also is earlier (by only a smidge) of the 19th
century antiquarian interest in things Norse than I expected. . .

And Christine Fell refers to the 1807 instance as the term's
"re-emergence" in English in her article. . .

---Amy West

On 3/20/13 12:00 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
> Date:    Tue, 19 Mar 2013 22:39:05 -0400
> From:    Dave Wilton<dave at WILTON.NET>
> Subject: Re: Antedating of "Viking"
> I think we can antedate that by about 800 years.
>  From "The Battle of Maldon" in BL Cotton Otho A. xii, probably written not
> long after the battle itself, which was in 991, lines 25–26a:
> "Þa stod on stæðe,     stiðlice clypode
> wicinga ar."
> (Then there stood on the bank, and fiercely called out
> a messenger of the vikings.)
> Ælfric, in his grammar, also glosses the Latin "pirata" as "wicing oððe
> flotman" (viking or sailor).
> There are lots of other Old English examples of the word.
> Of course, it may not have been used much in the intervening centuries, but
> I suspect that more searching will turn up interdatings.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
> Shapiro, Fred
> Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:07 PM
> Subject: Antedating of "Viking"
> Viking (OED 1807)
> 1795 Thomas Pownall_An Antiquarian Romance_  75 (Eighteenth Century
> Collections Online)  These sea-rovers pursued their praedatory enterprizes,
> each Vik, Vikin, or Vikinger, with one separate band, and in his own fleet.
> Fred Shapiro

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