Undeniable Fact: S-wordplay

Thursday, October 19, 2006

In the late 15th century the French military imported a number of exotic weapons from Norway. Among these was the "brädsward" (from the Old Norse "bräd" meaning "fearless woman" and "sward", meaning "sword"). This was the weapon used by the infamous Norse warrior-women, the most notable of which was of course Helga the Stone-hearted, Queen of the Vikings. In English, this name was translated as "broadsword". Many misinterpreted the name as being a simple description of the weapon, and since the broadsword's blade is wider than that of many other swords, the word "broad" meaning "wide" entered the English language.

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Blogger duffytoler said...

Probably everybody knows this, but Wagner based his character Brunhilde (from the Ring trilogy) on Helga the Stone-hearted.

Also, the brädsward had something to do with the origin of the term bratwurst... but I can't seem to remember what, Helga liked sausage or something.

11:06 AM  

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