Ragnar Shaggy-Trousers and Eystein Foul-Fart: the truth behind Viking names

Keith Nicholas Ruiter

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

Vikings are pretty trendy of late. Marvel’s Thor films, for example, gave Viking mythology the Hollywood treatment and plonked its characters in contemporary America. There have been multiple Viking exhibitions, and the new season of the History channel’s show Vikings, loosely based on the legendary Icelandic sagas, is about to hit the small screen, too.

So you may find it hard to avoid overhearing details of the adventures of Vikings’ King Ragnar Lothbrok and his fellows in coming weeks. Undeniably, the names of the television show’s characters, such as Bjorn Ironside, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, and Ivar the Boneless, stand out jarringly from the usual linguistic landscape, and with the confirmation of new characters being added to the cast, this horde of oddball Norse names is sure only to get weirder.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2016

Keywords

  • History
  • Language
  • Vikings
  • Names

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