Stamullen author and longtime Meath Coaster columnist, Grace Tierney, launched her third nonfiction book this month. After twelve years investigating unusual English words in her award-winning Wordfoolery blog (www.wordfoolery.wordpress.com) and on LMFM radio in her Wordfoolery Wednesday segment, this time Grace explored our misconceptions about the Vikings and created a book about the English words we stole from them and the stories behind them, everything from akimbo to yule.
The English language acquired words and influences from various languages as it grew – Greek and Latin, French from the Normans (who were descended from the Vikings), German, Dutch etc but the Vikings gave us many basic words we use everyday – they, time, thing, egg, sky, gift, slang, happy, and even modern technology words like bluetooth, skype, and kindle.
She found a surprising number of romantic and political words have Viking stories behind them – from kiss to ombudsman and of course there are tales of valkyries, Valhalla, and Asgard too. More than 300 words and phrases are featured – drawn from ship life, Viking food, farming, norse romance, myths, politics, modern Vikings, anatomy, place names, daily life, and of course how to fight like a Viking.
It’s an ideal read for word geeks, history buffs, and anybody who’s ever longed to throw an axe.
“Words the Vikings Gave Us” is out now on Amazon, Kindle, and Kobo in paperback (€12.80) and ebook (€2.69) editions. You can also order a signed paperback direct from the author, an ideal gift. All the ways to buy the book are on her site (https://wordfoolery.wordpress.com/my-books/ ) where you will also find a free download, “Nine Things You Never Knew About Vikings” filled with Viking trivia such as why we think they had horns on their helmets (they didn’t), the Viking influence on unicorn legends, and how the current Queen of Denmark is related to a Viking with bad teeth (https://wordfoolery.wordpress.com/downloads/ ).