From Old Norse valkyrja (“chooser of the slain”, singular), plural valkyrjur (plural), either from Germanic roots equivalent to, or formed in Norse from, the elements valr (“the slain”) + kjósa (“to choose”). Cognate to Old English wælcyrge. First attested in English as a proper noun (Valkyries) in the 1770s; attested as a common noun (valkyries) since the 1880s.
valkyrie (plural valkyries)
- (Norse mythology) Any of the female attendants of Odin, figures said to guide fallen warriors from the battlefield to Valhalla.
- Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (published 1853) famously features valkyries.