Norse loan word narrative

14.11.2017 kl. 15:07 - Sveinbjörn Þórðarson

An English-language narrative consisting almost entirely of arguably Norse loanwords:

The odd Norse loans seem an awesome window onto a gang of ungainly, rugged, angry fellows, bands of low rotten crooks winging it at the stern's wake, sly, flawed "guests" who, craving geld, flung off their byrnies, thrusting and clipping calves and scalps with clubs. But for their hundreds of kids, the thefts, ransacking, and harsh slaughter, the wronging of husbands, the bagging and sale of thralls, the same hitting on skirts and scoring with fillies, the lifting of whoredom aloft, the scaring up and raking in of fitting gifts, semed flat and cloying, and got to be a drag. They shifted gears, balked at gusts, billows, rafts, and drowning, and took to dwelling under gables, rooted in their booths and seats on fells beneath the sky. Dozing happily on dirty eiderdowns, legs akimbo, they hugged their ragged, nagging slatterns, bound to birth and raise a gaggle of wall-eyed freckled goslings -- ugly, scabby, wheezing, bawling, wailing tykes in kilts. Though our thrifty swains throve in their break hustings, wanting not for eggs or steak, bread or cake, they gasped and carped at both by-laws and in-laws and -- egged on by the frothy blended dregs of the keg -- got tight, crawling, staggering, swaying, loose-gaited, athwart muck and mire and scree.

Courtesy of Professor Roberta Frank. Excerpt taken from from Anders Winroth's The Age of the Vikings (2014).