skrælingi

IcelandicEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old Norse skrælingi.

NounEdit

skrælingi m (genitive singular skrælingja, nominative plural skrælingjar)

  1. barbarian

DeclensionEdit

SynonymsEdit


Old NorseEdit

EtymologyEdit

Uncertain.

Possibly from an unattested adjective *skræll (poor, puny), compare Norwegian skral (poor, ill, bad), Dutch schraal (poor, scanty).

Michael Fortescue et al. (1994) proposes relation to skrá (dried skin), in reference to the animal pelts worn by the Inuit.

May be linked to skrælna (to be shrivelled, e.g. by the sun).

Onomatopoeic origin has been proposed by William Thalbitzer (1932), compare skrækja (to screech, shriek).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

skrælingi m (genitive skrælinga, plural skrælingar or skrælingjar)

  1. (derogatory) A native of Greenland or Vinland; an Inuk or Native American.
    • Eiríks saga rauða (1265 or earlier), text from the 14th-century Hauksbók manuscript, ch. 12:
      [manuscript spelling] Þat bar til ad gridungr liop or skoge er þeir karlsefni attu ok gellr hat. þat felast vid skrelingar ok laupa vt a keipana ok ʀeru sidan sudr fyri landit. verdr þa ekki uart uid þa þríar uikur i samt.
      [standardized spelling] Þat bar til, at griðungr hljóp ór skógi, er þeir Karlsefni áttu, ok gellr hátt. Þetta fælast Skrælingar ok hlaupa út á keipana ok reru síðan suðr fyrir landit. Verðr þá ekki vart við þá þrjár vikur í samt.
      [tr. J. Sephton, 1880] Now it came to pass that a bull, which belonged to Karlsefni's people, rushed out of the wood and bellowed loudly at the same time. The Skrælingar, frightened thereat, rushed away to their canoes, and rowed south along the coast. There was then nothing seen of them for three weeks together.

DeclensionEdit

Derived termsEdit

DescendantsEdit

  • Icelandic: skrælingi (barbarian)
  • Norwegian Nynorsk: skræling
  • Norwegian Bokmål: skræling
  • Danish: skrælling (wimp, weakling)
  • English: Skraeling
  • Greenlandic: kalaaleq (Greenlander) (possibly)

ReferencesEdit

  • Philippa, M. et al., Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands (2003-2008), 'schraal'.
  • Seaver, Kirsten A., 'Pygmies of the Far North', Journal of World History 19.1 (2008) pp. 63-87.

Further readingEdit