Names...

Viking, Saxon, and Early Christian Irish cultures

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Names...

Postby Cathal on Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:44 pm

Hi folks,

we have many place names in Ireland with Viking roots. Now I wonder how the Vikings themselve have called Ireland and the Irish people. Any ideas??

Thanks, Stefan
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Re: Names...

Postby RecycledViking on Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:58 am

I don't know its worth but check this out: http://runeberg.org/irescan/0040.html This is interesting:
It is also interesting to note that the second element
in the names of the three provinces, Ulster, Leinster and
Munster is derived from the O.N. stathir (plural of stathr,
’a place ’), while the name Ireland (O.N. Iraland) is Scandi-
navian in form and replaced the old Irish word Eriu during
the Viking period.
I knew that those provinces' modern names were of Norse origin - but if this is correct, then the name 'Ireland' itself is too. It does make sense, I guess I just never thought about it.
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Re: Names...

Postby ratatosk on Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:04 am

I think the Vikings invented the term "Irish," the inhabitants of your island having previously been know as "Scots" or "Scotti."
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Re: Names...

Postby Dave Mooney on Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:44 pm

I think it will be found that 'Irish' comes from 'Eire-ish', the country being called Eire and the neighbours total lack of effort in saying Eire.

We were known as the 'Scots Irish' by the neighbours also as we were seen as closely related to those lads north of the wall. Hi lads. :twisted:
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Re: Names...

Postby Leinsterman on Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:35 am

I read somewhere that the term 'Scoti' was used by others to describe the inhabitants of this island from pre-Roman times up to Battle of Clontarf period (Brian was referred to as Emperor Scotorum) and then Hibernia or 'Hibernicus' (an Irishman) took over. Wasn't there a mass migration of Irish into Alba (Scotland) in the middle of the first milennium which probably caused the name change over time?
The Gaels always referred to the English as Sassenach - Saxons - even up to the present. So I suppose it's reasonable to assume that it took several centuries after the 'Scoti' arrived in Alba for the name to change.

It's possible that terms varied depending on wheather you were reading Latin or Early English or Scadanavian references; and from which period.
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Re: Names...

Postby Freebeard on Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:51 pm

the term " Scotti" was used by Latin writers to describe people from this island - mainly referencing raids by people from this island on Britain.

there was a migration of people from Ireland to northern britain somewhere around the middle of the 1st millenium AD, or so it is thought - though not know if one large movement or a long drawn out gradual movement - most probably the latter.

i read somewhere that Eire might have come from Iverni - an early peoples here - linguistic changes made Iverni into Eireann, later Eire - but this could be pure speculation.
The Irish have always called people of a Saxon persausion saxons, even in modern times - Sassana comes from Saxon, which means the English. Teh Welsh too, in modern times call the English "Saeson" from the same term.

Our own name, "Gael" comes from the Welsh - who called us "Gwyddellig" meaning "wild man, man of steam, woodsman". i can''t remember the exact old irish spelling, but this later became gael. the welsh themselves get there their name from teh Saxons from the term "Gwales" meaning "foreigner"


the name Alba for Scotland was first adopted (or so first recorded) by the year 900 where Domnall was referred to as rí Albann in the year 900AD.
before then there were various names for the territories - depending on who was naming it - Irish, Pictish, Cumbrian (?), Roman. the name ALba derives from the old name for Britian "Albion", and Alba had originally meant all of Britain, but later the northern territories occupied by the Irish.

the name Hibernia for Ireland may also derive from the people group the Iverni.

Scotti and Hibernia were seemingly used interchangeably alright, depending on who wrote it.

I don't know of waht the Scandinavians called us, but i know we called them "genti" (heathens), Finngall (Norse - fr. Finn Gall - Bright, light haired foreigner), Dubhgall (dark haired foreigner - Danes), Ostmen (men of the east - supposedly we thought scandinavia lay east of ireland, not north).
these are afew of the terms we had for them,

now it is interesting to find out what they called us.
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Re: Names...

Postby Cathal on Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:46 am

Excellent information on the irish surroundings - thank you so much! It's quite amazing where all the names come from. Didn't know most of the interrelations yet...

Freebeard wrote:I don't know of waht the Scandinavians called us, but i know we called them "genti" (heathens), Finngall (Norse - fr. Finn Gall - Bright, light haired foreigner), Dubhgall (dark haired foreigner - Danes), Ostmen (men of the east - supposedly we thought scandinavia lay east of ireland, not north).
these are afew of the terms we had for them, now it is interesting to find out what they called us.


...and what about the "Lochlannach"? The meaning is "Men from the Lake", right? The clans of O'Loughlan and McLochlan should have their roots in this direction, afaik. I'm still searching for the evidence of a late Hiberno-Norse guy called "Lochlanson". In my opinion the earliest form of those family names. Maybe someone here has futher informations?

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Re: Names...

Postby Freebeard on Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:56 pm

oh yes,

i forgot about that one....my bad.....yes, we called them Lochlannaigh alright.
i forgot that "genti" means pagan or heathen, and wasn't only attribted to teh vikikngs, but to irish people as well. but w know that vikings were called genti due ot their raiding on church sites
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(you are farting like an irishman)
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Re: Names...

Postby Leinsterman on Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:46 pm

It has always bugged me as to why the three provinces were called '.....ster'. I accept the 'ster' is Scandanavian, but who decided, or when, to draw a map and put those names on it. Obviously, Oriel and Meath etc ceased to exist as regions, and the four provinces were set down... but when?

Also, the placename 'Skerries' is supposed to have a Scandanavian root, and there are a number of places around the country called 'Loughlann's' hill etc.. meaning the Northmen not someone called Mac or O'Loughlann.
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Re: Names...

Postby the_power on Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:34 pm

Freebeard wrote:i forgot that "genti" means pagan or heathen, and wasn't only attribted to teh vikikngs, but to irish people as well. but w know that vikings were called genti due ot their raiding on church sites


That's hardly the reason. Church sites were raided by Irish a lot more frequently than by vikings - main difference was that the Irish had local contacts & would ransom back the goldware & books...the vikes would head home and melt down the gold, and sell the books outside Ireland for better prices.

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