Origin: Old Norse/Swedish/Norwegian
Meaning: “sea fearer; sea expedition.”
Scan (VEE-king); Eng (VYE-king).
You must be wondering why I’d post a name like this, just last week, we were barraged in the news by a little boy named Falcon who seemingly took flight on a hot air balloon. Viking has a similar feel, and yet, you must be asking, is this really legit?
Viking has been used as a male first name on and off in Scandinavia since the middle ages. It even boasts its own name-day in the Swedish-Finnish name-day calendar: October 19. In modern society, the term is used in reference to a particular culture and group of people who existed in Scandinavia in the early Middle Ages, however, this is a modern term and the Vikings themselves never referred to themselves as “Vikings” in a cultural sense or in reference to a distinct group of individuals. In Old Norse víkingr is a verb used to describe a sea-fearing expedition while víking is a noun that refers to someone who takes part in these expeditions. The term is found on several rune stones throughout Scandinavia. In Anglo-Saxon the word was wicing and appears in the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon poem Widsith in which it is used to refer to a pirate. Adam of Bremen also uses it to describe a pirate in his writings. The term disappeared from the English lexicon by the end of the Middle Ages and was revived in the 18th century as Viking, this time referring to a distinct group of people, culture and period in history. In modern Scandinavian languages, the term Viking is used more as a term to describe specific people within the Norse culture who went out on sea expeditions, and not necessarily a term to describe a particular culture or group of people.
Other forms of the name include the Icelandic Vikingur.