Notes on the Norsemen

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The word ‘viking’ is an Old Norse verb that means to ‘go on an overseas voyage’. A warrior that went on such a voyage was called ‘vikingr’. This is why most people today call them Vikings.

The word ‘starboard’, meaning the right side of a boat, comes from Old Norse. At the back right of the longship was a large paddle that steered the boat. In Old Norse, the word ‘steor’ means ‘steering paddle’, and the word ‘bord’ means ‘ship’s side’.

This literally means ‘the steering side of the boat’, so the right side of the boat became known as the ‘starboard’ side!

It was the Norsemen that first introduced money to Ireland.