‘Words , words, words – on language in Historical Fiction’ by Snorri Kristjansson

Draumr Kópa

Hello, readers of Draumr Kopa! My name is Snorri Kristjansson, and unless you‘re one of the 310.000 or so Icelanders on the planet or a keen student of the Icelandic Sagas we‘re already off to a rocky start. In truth, it’s unlikely that you’ve ever encountered the name ‘Snorri’ before now, so you might be asking totally natural questions like:

‘…is that even a name?’
(yes it is – Old Norse, roughly translates to ‘Warrior’ or ‘fierce in battle’ as far as I know),

‘…how do I pronounce it?’
(like the words ‘gory’ and ‘hoary’, which explains a lot)

and ‘…I wonder if he is aware that in my language that word means-’
(yes I am. All of them, thank you very much. And they’re hilarious).

The oddness of the name may be a great conversation starter – “I’m Icelandic. Well, I’m glad to be the first one you’ve met…

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