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From Old Norse skrælingi.


skrælingi m

  1. barbarian


This noun needs an inflection-table template.


Old Norse[edit]


Uncertain. Apparently from an unattested adjective *skræll (poor, puny), which is linked to Norwegian skral (poor, ill, bad), Dutch schraal (poor, scanty). This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.



skrælingi m (genitive skrælinga, plural skrælingar or skrælingjar)

  1. (pejorative) A native of Greenland or Vinland; an Inuk or Native American.
    • Eiríks saga rauða (1265 or earlier), text from the 14th-century Hauksbók manuscript, ch. 12:
      [manuscript spelling] Þat bar til ad gridungr liop or skoge er þeir karlsefni attu ok gellr hat. þat felast vid skrelingar ok laupa vt a keipana ok ʀeru sidan sudr fyri landit. verdr þa ekki uart uid þa þríar uikur i samt.
      [standardized spelling] Þat bar til, at griðungr hljóp ór skógi, er þeir Karlsefni áttu, ok gellr hátt. Þetta fælast Skrælingar ok hlaupa út á keipana ok reru síðan suðr fyrir landit. Verðr þá ekki vart við þá þrjár vikur í samt.
      [tr. J. Sephton, 1880] Now it came to pass that a bull, which belonged to Karlsefni's people, rushed out of the wood and bellowed loudly at the same time. The Skrælingar, frightened thereat, rushed away to their canoes, and rowed south along the coast. There was then nothing seen of them for three weeks together.


Derived terms[edit]



  • Philippa, M. et al., Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands (2003-2008), 'schraal'.
  • Seaver, Kirsten A., 'Pygmies of the Far North', Journal of World History 19.1 (2008) pp. 63-87.

Further reading[edit]