How Not to Use the Word ‘Viking’

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Have you ever wondered what the word ‘Viking’ actually means? No? Just me?

You can usually tell a gerund by its -ing ending. Hiking, sleeping, and gesticulating are all gerunds. Viking is a borrowed from Old Norse and is not a gerund. If it were, you could strip the -ing off and make a verb. No one says, “I’m going to go vike something.” or, “Hey! Don’t vike that!” That ends today. I want you to start using ‘vike’ and I’m going to tell you how.

 

Before we borrowed it, ‘viking’ actually was a gerund. A Viking would go viking. To go viking meant to go raiding. Someone who went viking was called a vikingr.

It’s that simple. To vike means to raid or plunder. It may be by force or it may be by stealth. Either way, someone who vikes takes what they want.

So, go ahead, vike the fridge. Next time someone brings donuts at work, vike your favorite. Better yet, vike an entire box and take it to your desk. Go to a party and vike all the chips and dip. Whatever you do, don’t let Miriam-Webster tell you ‘vike’ isn’t a word. A Viking makes their own rules.

 

Thanks for reading. Do you have any words you’d like to see become standard? Let me know in the comments.

 

*Disclaimer – Some comments in this blog are made in jest. I do not endorse the viking of an entire box of donuts. Use your common sense before you vike any baked goods.*

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