GALLERY: How the Vikings changed English

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
GALLERY: How the Vikings changed English
A still from the History Channel show, The Vikings. Photo: Jonathan Hession

The Local's look at the Old Norse words that entered the English language after the Viking longships arrived in the 8th Century, emphasises just how much violence and destruction they brought in their wake.


Indeed, it's a little hard to believe modern historians with their new appraisal of the Vikings as a peaceful, enlightened traders bringing systems of law and democracy to the lands they settled. 

Judge for yourself with The Local's list of What the Vikings did for English language.

The Viking raids on Britain began in 789, when three ships from Hordaland raided the Isle of Portland on the southern coast of Wessex. Further raids sacked the monasteries at Lindisfarne and Iona in 793 and 795 respectively, after which the Vikings traumatized the coasts of England and Scotland for nearly a hundred years. 

It was then that they began to settle, starting in 866, when Norse armies captured York, one of the two major cities in England. They soon had Northumbria, Yorkshire and East Anglia under their sway, holding onto their territories until 937 when Erik Bloodaxe, the last Norse King of York was defeated at the Battle of Brunanburh.


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