The Vikings in Normandy:

Old Norse Words in the Norman Dialect

by Arnaud Le Fvre

Norman Word

Meaning in English

Old Norse (origin)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
acllaumpaer to tie together, to fix klampi (hook, peg)
acre acre akr (field, harvest); ker in N, acker, yacker in Y
agrap bait which is thrown on snow catch birds grpa (to catch)
agrs (MF) tackle (Naut) grei
amain of easy use almanna (for everyone)
arrimer (MF) to stow (Naut) rma
atori stained, mouldy torr (ruined)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
bbord (MF) port side (Naut) bakbori
bada soaked, covered with mud baa (to bathe)
bar stretcher bera (to bear)
bardeau (MF) (Naut) bari
bateau (MF) boat btur
bau beam * bjalkr
beaupr (MF) bowsprit (Naut) bgsproti
bec stream bekkr; beck in Y, bekk in N
bcard, bquerel lamb above 1 year bekri (ram)
bdire, bdot bad bed ber (bed, litter)
ber cradle bera (to bear)
betas yard (Naut) OD bets; beiti-ss in Ic
bette fishing bait beita
bie kind of jug bia (little wood container)
bingue round wicker basket with two handles bingr (container)
bitaer to touch bta (to bite)
bitte (MF) pillar to fasten boats (Naut) biti
blikyi to squint blkja (to shine, to glitter)
bllque overripe bleikr (pale); blek (idem) in N, blake (sallow, yellow complexion) in Y
bord (MF) board (Naut) bor
bouline (MF) bowline (Naut) bglna
brague vivacious, noisy braka (to crackle)
brant sharp prow (Naut) brandr (spur)
brayer (MF) kind of rope (Naut) bra
brier to knead brija (to grind, to break, to chew vigorously) or Germanic brekan
bru bride, daughter-in-law brr (bride)
bruman bridegroom, son-in-law brmar (bridegroom)
brquet brisket brjsk (cartilage); brisk in OD
bu(t)/bye, beuf shed (now usually found as part of a place name) b
buret, buron piggery, little shed br (lean-to, little shed)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
canne copper container to carry milk *kanna (container to put on a table, a big cup); N kanne
carlingue (MF) cabin (Naut) OD karling
catouilli to tickle **kittla; kittle in Y, kile in N
clin, clan pilchard, kind of sardine which is used to bait sld (herring)
cingler (MF) to make for (Naut) sigla
cliu little piece of fabric kltr (scarf)
cllapodaer to dabble * ?; klappe (to apply quickly, to put down quickly, to slap with the hand) in N, clap (idem) in Y
colin (MF) hake (fish) koli
coque, coqueron hay heap which is let dry in a field kkkr (heap), cock (idem) in Y
cotte; cottin; cotie little shed; little house; row of houses kot (little house)
crabe (MF) crab krabbi
craque (f. noun) crow, sloe (in relation with the plumage color of the bird) krka (f. noun : crow); krke in N (idem), crake in Y; ON krkiber (small black berries), N krkjeber/krkeber (idem)
crax kind of little bird (Saxicola torquata) krka (crow); krke in N (idem), crake (idem) in Y
crique (MF) creek kriki (little bay)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
dale valley dalr; dal in N, dale in Y
dalle drain, sink which is carved in stone dla (trench, trough, gutter)
dalot (MF) hole inside a boat to evacuate water (Naut) dla (trench, trough, gutter)
dam marsh area dammr (water reserve)
dgrer (MF) to unrig (Naut) greia
delle ploughed piece of land deill
dic(k) dyke dki
doque, dogue, doche a plant which leaf is used to ease nettle stings dokka; docka in Swedish, docken in Y
drague waders * draga (to drag)
dran (MF) (Naut) drendr
dranet fishing net which is draged dragnet (draga (to drag) and net (net))
drle imaginary being which is able to frighten, goblin, troll trll
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
ebbe ebb tide * OD ebbe
calle banquet hall (now usually found as part of place names) skli; * scale (pasture, summer dwelling) in Y
canchoun scraggy skakkr (tilted, unequal, wrung)
cart (MF) (Naut) skarfr
carver (MF) (Naut) skarfa
clo horse hoof track sl (track)
comaunt disgusting skmm (shame)
coraer to count dried fish skora (to mark)
core steep band (along a river) skor (crak, precipice); * scar, scaur (idem) in Y
coute (MF) rope which is fastened on the sail bottom corners to fix and adjust its orientation (Naut) skaut
crde scale * skrei (fish shoal, dried fish)
grillaer, grillaer to slide skrila; OS skrilla (to skate)
lingue (MF) sling slyngva
linguer (MF) to sling (to load a parcel) (Naut) slyngva
lugi to stun, to exhaust, drunk ljask (to be tired)
embarni to make a woman pregnant barna (idem); barn (young child in Y, under 13 years in N)
enftounnaer to fasten the cows to prevent them from eating the apples in the apple-trees festr (rope)
quiper (MF) to equip (Naut) skipa
eskei easy to drive ship of little size (Naut) skei
eskipre seaman skipari (sailor)
esnque easy to drive ship of little size (Naut) snekkja
esquif (MF) little ship (Naut) skip
est (MF) east austur
estague stay (Naut) stag
estire helm (Naut) stri
estran shore * strnd
estrenc rope (Naut) strengr
esturman pilot, steersman (Naut) strimar (steersman)
tac heap stakkur
talingue (MF) chain which is bound with the anckor (Naut) staglna
tambot (MF) piece of wood or metal which forms the rear limit of the hull (Naut) stafn-bor
tambrai (MF) (Naut) timbr
tigot piece of wood which sticks out **stigi (ladder); stige (ladder, stile, fence) in N, stee, stey (idem) in Y
toc tree trunc stokkr (tree trunc, log)
trave (MF) big building piece, longitudinal or median, at fhe forward part of the boat keel (Naut) stafn
tui (MF) canvas which wraps up the sail or covers up the boat (Naut) stingr
ey island (now found as suffix in island names) ey; ey in Y, y in N
eyaer to see, to observe, to put an eye eygja (to see, to look at); related to auga (eye)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
falle bird crop, chest, stomac falr (hole inside which is put the stick to fix a spear)
feste kind of rope (Naut) festr (rope)
fiae big amount f (herd)
finaer to find finna
flner (MF) to stroll flana (to act hastilly and carelessly)
flleu, fleur bay, marsh (now usually found as suffix in place names) fli
fllie kind of sea shell same origin as Faeroean flidha
flliet little stream fljt (stream)
fllique piece of bread or meat flikki (bacon rasher)
fllo herd flokkr (group, troop)
fllonaer to get angry, to irritate flna (to heat up, usually milk)
fllot; flot (MF) flood fl
fllotte () afloat floti
fllouette, fllouet weather cock fluga (fly)
flloundre plaice (fish) OD flundra ; flynder in Danish; flyra in Ic
flotte (MF) fleet (Naut) floti
forlenc groop of furrows of a certain width (Agric) from AS : furlang in OE
furolles will-o-the-wisp * fri (fire)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
gade, grade currant gaddr (thorn)
gales joys, festivities gala (to sing)
galetaer to shiver with cold kaldr (cold)
gardin garden garr; Y garth.
gare river bank vr or Frankish warn
gate way, street, narrow passage gata; gate (way, street) in Y, gata (street) in N
gaupaillaer to eat gluttonously * gapa (to open wide the mouth) or glpa (to chew with the mouth full); gape (idem) in N, gawp (idem) in Y
gnotte, gernotte little plant (Conopodium majus) which underground tuber is edible jarhnot (earth (jar) nut (hnot)); jordntt in N
gloe log gl (glowing embers)
gnaquaer to bite ** gnaga (to gnaw)
gord fishery made with 2 rows of poles, on a river ground, closed with a net garr (fence)
goubelin imaginary being which is able to frighten, goblin, troll ?; goblin in English
gravaer to pierce, to mark with pox grafa (to dig); ** graave in Y
grer (MF) to rig (Naut) greia (to fit out, to get ready)
greillot hook to hitch up greia (to fit out, to get ready)
grou liquid manure **grf (hole); grop (drain) in N, groop (liquid manure drain) in Y
grunne rocky sea bed which uncovers rarely grunn
guaunchaer to go ganga
guenette, guenipe 
(gouine in French)
bad life woman, lesbian kvinna (woman)
guilledou (courir le) (MF) to look for love affairs (and to run "hunting" like a wolf for this) kveldlfr (evening-wolf)
guindas, guindeau (MF) little capstan with an horizontal axis (Naut) vindss
guinder (MF) to pull up via a pulley and a rope (Naut) vinda
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
h little shark (fish) hr
hague red bay of howthorn hag (from hagthorn : hawthorn)
hague open meadow hagi
hagui to chop OD hagga; Ic hggva (to hit with an axe)
haler (MF) to haul in, to tow (Naut) hala
hammaer to row to move back (Naut) hamla
han plant which lives along the river banks (with long roots) hampr (hemp)
hanequaer to tighten strongly the rolled up sail (Naut) hankar (hank)
hangar (MF) warehouse heimisgarr (home); OD heimsgarr
har hair hr
harousse old horse, old mare hross (horse or mare)
harpaer, happaer to grap, to catch * harpa (to grip, to pinch)
htie hate hata (to hate)
haubaner (MF) to fix with cables (Naut) hfu-benda
have, havenet shrimp or bird net hfr (net) and net (net)
havetoque little octopus from haf (sea), means "sea pocket"
havette (bte -; f. noun) fantastic animal who attracts children in the bottom of the waters hfr (net) or hafkitta (f. noun : big creature living in the sea)
havre (MF) haven hfn; OD hafn (port)
havroun wild oat hafri (oat); havre (idem) in N, haver (idem) in Y
hel tiller (Naut) OD helm; hjlmr (helm) in Ic
herquette rake herkja (to roam)
htier big flat pan * heitr (burning, hot)
heune head, top (Naut) hnn
hore, horette young girl hra (hore)
hougue mound, hill haugr
houle (MF) swell hola (hollow)
houlle round hill (now found in place names) hll
houlme, houme, homme islet hlmi
houmard lobster humarr
houole (f. noun) cavity, hole, cavity inside rocks hola (f. noun : hole)
houvelin spider crab * hfr (hoof)
houvet sort of crabe * hfr (hoof)
hovelland the place where the furrows stop on perpendicular furrows (Agric) from AS : heafodland in OE
hublot (MF) porthole (Naut) hfa
hus house (now found as suffix in place names) hs
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
itague (MF) (Naut) tstag
jaumire (MF) (Naut) hjlm
jinganne (de) askew vingla (to confuse) or vingladhr (confused)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
lague specy, race lag (order, position, community, law)
land land (now found as suffix in place names) land
lanet net which tightened lagnet (leggja (to lay) and net (net))
lonaer to stroll * linn (tired, exhausted)
leican simpleton (simple minded) * leika (to play); laik, lek (idem) in Y, lek (idem) in N
liban (MF) (Naut) lk-band
lieu (MF) pollock, coley (fish) lrr
lige free, independant, empty * ?; ligge (to stay, to lie down) in N, lig, ligg (idem) in Y
lingue (MF) kind of fish lyng-fiskr
londe grove lundr
loure norman bagpipe or kind of bag lr (kind of horn)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
move sea bird mr, plur. mvar
marsouin (MF) porpoise marsvn (kind of whale)
mat (MF) mast (Naut) mastr
matenot companion mtunautr or Dutch mattenot
melgreux grass which grows on sand dunes from melr (dune) and grs (grass); melgresi in Ic
melle ring which is used to fix an animal mella (slipknot)
merque mark, track, particularity merki
mielle sand dune mellr (-mel(l)(s) as a placename element in Scandinavian England, e.g., Ingoldmells (Lincolnshire)
minchi to break, to spoil * minnka (to diminish)
mucre, muque mould mygla (same sens) ou mykr (manure); muck (manure) in Y, mkk (manure, dirt) in N
mulaer (se) to sulk mli (mouth)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
naquettaer to have ones teeth chattering gntra (the same, due to a mortal desease) or ntra (to shiver)
nez (MF) cape nes; ** ness in Y
nord (MF) north norur
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
orfi kind of thin and long fish hornfiskr
ouaiche, houage (MF) wake (Naut) vk
ouest (MF) west vestur
ouinaer to cry veina (to moan)
oure rocky and uncultivated slope ur (heap of stones fallen from a hill side)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
pouque bag, sack poki; poke in Y, pakke (paquet, parcel) in N
quille (MF) keel (Naut) kjlr
racage (MF) collar which is put around the mast to diminish a yard friction (Naut) rakki
rade straight avenue, straight alley raa (to align, to put in order)
ralingue (MF) rope which reenforces the sail edges (Naut) rlik
raque perced bowl which is used to make a "racage" (Naut) rakki ("racage")
raquer (MF) (Naut) raka (to rake hay)
raquillon hay scrap which is eaten by the cattle, pear or apple core rask (scrap)
raun king of sea shell, young ram under 2 years ram (ram)
raz (MF) strong current in a narrow passage which links two seas rs (current, channel)
rquaer, rchaer to pick up the last fruits * rekja (to extend) or raka (to rake hay)
reuchin round trip, course hringr (ring)
ridet male hare * ria (verb which describes the mating of a male animal, moreover of the horse)
rime hoarfrost hrm
ringuenaie round dance hringr (ring)
riper (MF) to let slide (Naut) rispa
ris (MF) part of the sail where are the ties which allow to decrease the sail surface (Naut) rif
rogue, roque fish eggs hrogn
rohal walrus rosmhvalr (rosm = red, red-brown)
ronchaint field round hring (ring)
rouf (MF) roof deck which does not extent on all the ship surface (Naut) hrf
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
sigle sail (Naut) segl (same meaning) or sigla (to set sail)
sombrer (MF) to sink (Naut) sumla
sud (MF) south suur
sund strait, passage (Naut) sund
supaer to suck up spa
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
talputte fish which is found in the puddles from pyttr (puddle)
tanguer (MF) to pitch (Naut) tangi
taungoun kind of seaweed (long, brown, on rocky shores) ang
thuit cleared area veit
tialz tent which is pitched on a ship board at moorage (Naut) tiald
tierre chain or rope which is used to fix an animal to a post tjr
tillac (MF) upper desk on a ship (Naut) ilja
tille (MF) (Naut) ilja
tilli to split, to shop, to prune telgja (to shop with a knife or an axe)
tolet (MF) cylindrical piece around which a moving element pivots (Naut) ollr
tondre tinder tundr
torve peat torf, torfa
tt (m. noun) farm tft (f. noun)
touer (MF) to tow (Naut) toga
tourp isolated farm, hamlet (now found in place names) orp (village, a clearing in the forest in Proto-Nordic); torp in N, thorp(e), torp, trop (hamlet; now found in place names) in Y
tribord (MF) starboard (Naut) OD storbordh; Ic stjrnbordhi
tro kneading-trough trog
truta curdled rtna (to rise, to swell)
tun enclosed meadow (now found as sufix in place names) tn
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
ullac outlaw tlagi
vague (MF) wave vgr
vamque poppy valmogi; valmoghe in OS
varangue (MF) on a boat, 2 component piece in the lower part of a torque (Naut) OD vrang; Ic rng
varou werwolf varlfr
vtre mess, messy water * vatn (water)
vlingue kind of seaweed vringla (to roll up)
vendinc place where the plough is turned (Agric) from AS : wending in OE
vibord (MF) (Naut) vgi-bor
vic (MF) bay vk
videco woodcock vidhkokkr (vidhr (wood) and kokkr (cock))
viquet wicket vkjask (to slip away)
virewite, virouette weather cock ver-viti
volle round hill (now found as suffix in place names) hvll
vrek, vrak, vr wrack (seaweed) reki or vgrek, OD vrek

* : words for which there is strong evidence of old Norse origin, but need confirming.
** : words for which there is no strong evidence but which are likely to have old Norse origins.
ON old Norse.
OD old Danish.
OS old Swedish.
MF modern French (mots normands passs dans le franais).
AS Anglo-Scandinavian (from Danelag/Danelaw).
OE old English.
N Norwegian.
Ic Icelandic.
Y Yorkshire.
Naut nautical term.
Agric agricultural term.
The Norman "ll" following a consonant is pronounced "li"; e.g. : "fllot" is pronounced "fliot".

 

Bibliography:

bulletBernage G., in Heimdal, n29, Bayeux, 1984.
bulletBoimare, J. and Bomare, J-M., in Heimdal, n39, Bayeux, 1979.
bulletde Gorog, R. P., The Scandinavian Element in French and Norman, New-York, 1958.
bulletMabire, J., Lgendes Traditionnelles de Normandie, 1997.
bullet

Renaud, J., Les Vikings et la Normandie,1989.

 
- 14. august 2004 -