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View Full Version : Is it correct to call something from Norway 'Norse'?


alice_in_wonderland
10-05-2011, 01:01 PM
I assume Norwegian is fine. I'm guessing Nordic is also OK, but what about Norse?

FWIW, I'm specifically talking about a necklace a friend got me in...Norway, of all places.

TruCelt
10-05-2011, 01:09 PM
I've heard Norse as a noun used by English-speaking Norwegians to mean the Norwegian language, but also as an adjective tp mean the wider heritage of all Scandanavia, and anything culturally attached. In the second sense, it never seemed to mean specifically Norwegian things.

robert_columbia
10-05-2011, 01:09 PM
I don't think it's equivalent. To me, "Norse" implies the Viking culture and Scandinavian ethnicity.

Swedes and Icelanders are, for the most part, of Norse ethnicity, and English people are of partial Norse ethnicity. The Viking culture was spread not only across Scandinavia but also included Iceland, part of Greenland, parts of Britain (Danelaw and Orkney Islands), with sporadic influence elsewhere, including Ireland and Atlantic Canada.

So, calling something from Norway "Norse" is similar to calling something from Ireland "Celtic" or something from Poland as "Slavic". Not exactly what you may have been intending to say.

Did you hear the joke about that Slavic car?

Gary T
10-05-2011, 01:10 PM
No. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse), "Norse" refers to the Scandinavian people before the Christianization of Scandinavia, and to some related languages. "Nordic" wouldn't be wrong, but it would be odd compared to "Norwegian." It would be like saying something from the U.S. is North American. Seems more accurate and clearer to specify the country.

John Mace
10-05-2011, 02:03 PM
I've heard Norse as a noun used by English-speaking Norwegians to mean the Norwegian language...

Probably an error on their part, or you heard it wrong, since it's Norsk in their language.

Alessan
10-05-2011, 02:19 PM
So, calling something from Norway "Norse" is similar to calling something from Ireland "Celtic" or something from Poland as "Slavic". Not exactly what you may have been intending to say.

It's more like calling someone from Greek a "Grecian" or someone from Israel an "Israelite".

An Gadaí
10-05-2011, 04:02 PM
It's more like calling someone from Greek a "Grecian" or someone from Israel an "Israelite".

Would an Israeli be annoyed to be called an "Israelite" or would they just think the person saying it was an out-of-touch moron? :)

TriPolar
10-05-2011, 04:05 PM
You can call someone from Norway norse, unless he's drunk, then you call him souse.

Kimstu
10-05-2011, 04:41 PM
Would an Israeli be annoyed to be called an "Israelite" or would they just think the person saying it was an out-of-touch moron? :)

Irresistibly reminded of the old story about the retired Latin teacher who finally realizes her life's dream of visiting Rome, and wants to walk down to the banks of the Tiber but doesn't know the way. She can't speak Italian but figures that here in the heartland of classical antiquity she must be able to make herself understood in Latin, so she asks the nearest passerby, "Ubi est flumen?"

The young man responds in perfect English, "Madam, it has apparently been some time since your last visit." :)

TruCelt
10-05-2011, 04:49 PM
Probably an error on their part, or you heard it wrong, since it's Norsk in their language.

Or they looked it up in their dictionary:

;)







Definition of NORSE

1 a : norwegian (http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/norwegian) 2
b : any of the western Scandinavian dialects or languages c : the Scandinavian group of Germanic languages


2 plural a : scandinavians (http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scandinavians)
b : norwegians (http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/norwegians)





Definition of NORWEGIAN


1 a : a native or inhabitant of Norway (http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/norway)
b : a person of Norwegian descent


2 : the Germanic language of the Norwegian people

Alessan
10-05-2011, 05:06 PM
Would an Israeli be annoyed to be called an "Israelite" or would they just think the person saying it was an out-of-touch moron? :)

The latter, probably.

alice_in_wonderland
10-05-2011, 06:00 PM
Well thanks for the response everyone; however, the thread seems to be a bit side tracked into a discussion of Norwegian people - I'm more specifically asking about Norwegian items.

I suppose if someone had a piece of jewelry that had a celtic knot on it, it wouldn't seem odd to me to call the Jewelry celtic.

I'm wondering if 'Norse' is similar, or if it ONLY referrs to Viking type items.

alice_in_wonderland
10-05-2011, 06:06 PM
No. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse), "Norse" refers to the Scandinavian people before the Christianization of Scandinavia, and to some related languages. "Nordic" wouldn't be wrong, but it would be odd compared to "Norwegian." It would be like saying something from the U.S. is North American. Seems more accurate and clearer to specify the country.

Reading this link a bit I should further clarify - the item in question is not old so would not be techinically 'Norse Art' however, it is of similar style to some of the items shown on that page under Norse Art. I suppose it may be more accurate to call it Norse-style?

John Mace
10-05-2011, 06:30 PM
If I were referring to a modern object, I'd use the term Nordic, not Norse. Of course, that would have a broader meaning than "Norwegian", but it would be similar in scope to Norse. I would only use "Norse" to refer to something from the Viking age.

naita
10-06-2011, 02:59 PM
As a Norwegian I'd be confused to be called Norse. To me Norse is the equivalent of Norwegian "Norrøn", i.e. related to the western Scandinavian pre-Christian culture.

Since the actual usage appears different if the dictionary is to be trusted this is only my personal opinion.

Gary T
10-06-2011, 03:39 PM
Since the actual usage appears different if the dictionary is to be trusted this is only my personal opinion.Wikipedia agrees with you. :)

Elendil's Heir
10-06-2011, 03:48 PM
Irresistibly reminded of the old story about the retired Latin teacher who finally realizes her life's dream of visiting Rome, and wants to walk down to the banks of the Tiber but doesn't know the way. She can't speak Italian but figures that here in the heartland of classical antiquity she must be able to make herself understood in Latin, so she asks the nearest passerby, "Ubi est flumen?"

The young man responds in perfect English, "Madam, it has apparently been some time since your last visit." :)

Thanks. You made my day. LOL!

Floater
10-07-2011, 05:02 AM
I'm wondering if 'Norse' is similar, or if it ONLY referrs to Viking type items.
It does only refer to Viking type items.
As a Norwegian I'd be confused to be called Norse. To me Norse is the equivalent of Norwegian "Norrøn", i.e. related to the western Scandinavian pre-Christian culture.
Or fornnordisk in Swedish, but we have the word Norrön as well.

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