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hey guys I'm pretty sure the word ljótr (modern icelandic ljótur) means light and not ugly. it is a common misconception because the modern icelandic ljótur does mean ugly but I heard around (the way you do) that it used to mean light, as in pale, fair, light hair etc.. I didn't edit the main page because I don't have sources and don't feel like doing the work..

I haven't seen an etymology for the surname giving anything other than "ugly". Here's an easy-to-search English/Old Norse dictionary hosted at a York University website. It gives ljótr as "ugly", ljós as "light", and ljóss for "bright". A couple days ago i came across a similar surname - Corlett - which is supposed to be composed of Thor and ljótr/liótr. I found two different takes on the meaning - "Thor-bright" and "Thor-people".--Celtus (talk) 11:26, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
It means ugly in Faroese, so it most likely does so here. FunkMonk (talk) 21:54, 19 February 2013 (UTC)


As great as the Norse-Gaels are (yes we do still exist!) to say "Gaelicized Scandinavians dominated the Irish Sea region until the Norman era of the twelfth century, founding long-lasting kingdoms, such as YORK" is a bit of a strange statement as Ragnall I Ivarsson did not found York (Jórvík), nor was he the first Norse ruler. Maybe it should give a list of Kingdoms founded by the Norse-Gaels and then state that Norse-Gaels ruled the Norse kingdom at Jórvík. Sigurd Dragon Slayer (talk) 12:31, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Calgacus is into power and control over the article he started. Pray tell, would you care to see maps or atlases displaying the Norse-Gael colonisation of ancient Richmondshire? Who cares if you don't think it's relevant, being a Scot and all. I'm English and it matters to me; you don't own the topic anymore than you own the article. IP Address 21:13, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

You should watch it with the personal attacks. See , for instance, WP:Civil and WP:Assume good faith. I don't see its pertinent relevance. It is unmentioned in the article, and looks odd. If you were interested in creating genuine useful links, rather than pushing the Richmondshire link, you would list a number of regions particularly associated with the Norse-Gaels, i.e. Galloway, Argyll, Dublin, the Hebrides; even Cumberland. But why should Richmondshire be the only region linked? No reason. Thanks. - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 21:18, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I hope you recognise the importance of teamwork. IP Address 21:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
You apparently don't and still believe that only your perception which began at the time this article was created, is the one that everybody else should or must follow. How dare you?! WP:OWN IP Address 21:57, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
It's not about me owning the article, it's about adding irrelevant material to this article. What on Earth do the Ulster-Scots of the early modern period have to do with the Gaelic Norse of the early and central middle ages? Of what relevance is Recusancy or Saxon and Norman to do with the Gall Gaidheal? If anyone's trying to "own" the article, it's you by adding what can only can be regarded as nonsense. Please forgive me, either you have only a weak grip on this topic, or you are purposely trolling. - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 22:07, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Sorry if you don't accept the thing called "citing sources". If you choose to be daft as a way of being a dick, then you have yourself to blame. Care to refute the research done by professional historians, mister amateur? IP Address 22:13, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
These connections are alive and prospering, or should I doubt my own existence and that of Richmond's Duke--that Gordon-Lennox fellow living down in Goodwood House? There has been a constant continuation and flow of this culture around the Irish Sea for centuries, but I don't know what can cure your blindness in something so close to make your skin crawl. Me; I'm Northern English of Norse-Gael ancestry in Richmondshire as are all the families in the area from which my family has sprung (the earliest record of an owner of my ancestral town, was of a certain Thorfinn). I have a Scottish (also Anglo-Irish) spouse and all the forenames of my male relatives, including myself are Scottish, Irish Gaelic or Scoto-Norman. I used to be a really big fan of Nordic metal and such cultural attributes always linger. My many cousins celebrate their Irish heritage whenever possible, but I have mixed feelings about the Northern Ireland situation. I bet you've got no reckoning on this sort of vein in UK society, or just are denying it out of spite to your feigned ignorance and me calling you out on the spot. Is it any coincidence that my favourite meats are cod, salmon and lamb or that I was encouraged to know my Norwegian heritage from bairnhood? You are essentially, denying my life and all that I am. I attribute my enjoyment of cold weather and natural ability at sailing to my Norse-Gael ancestors. When I die, I want to be buried on the Isle of Iona. Go ahead and blot me out; how's that for WP:Civil and WP:Assume good faith?

I'l admit i needed a double take at "I used to be a really big fan of Nordic metal and such cultural attributes always linger". Thats certainly the most original argument for pushing a POV ive come across on wikipedia. An Siarach

I just have a sum of many different attributes, but you have yet to refute what is not a straw man. I'm afraid your counter-argument is based on the weakest part of my argument, not the strongest. That is by definition, exploiting a straw man. IP Address 23:01, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

That i'd put forward a counter-argument is news to me my friend, i merely commented on the rather credibility reducing arguments you had put forward. To be totally blunt, your comments here, on various other talk pages, and those accompanying edits do far more to discredit you than i could hope to.An Siarach

You joined the party only to shit on me. I'm sorry, but did your grandparents not teach you how to be polite? You weren't involved, but jumped from the frying pan into the fire. I'm afraid that I don't care what your opinion is of me, but that you please learn to be reasonable. If you wish to continue looking like an ass, by ignoring WP:PA then it's all up to you. BTW, this other guy suggested that Wikipedia policy to me before you arrived. So, are you going to ignore what I say because I say it...even though he said it first? You do agree with his position, do you or do you not? Don't pick fights, or run into traffic. BTW, I appear to be the only one accepting the Wikipedia policy of citing sources. Beat that instead of beat off. IP Address 23:21, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

It really is pleasant being saved, so completely, from having to make any effort at debating. Do you seriously think that your tactic of firing forth serious attitude, personal attacks etc is going to gain you the slightest bit of credibility or go any way towards proving your point? Whatever your reasoning is, im not going to bother commenting again. Enjoy your trolling. An Siarach
I knew you liked fighting; you continue to bait over and over again. You are the troll calling me a troll, a classic troll tactic. IP Address 23:38, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
IP Address, why did you violate again when you already knew you had violated 3RR? You are now on 5 reverts! - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 23:30, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
At least I know I'm right, that the info will be right the next time I go to the library or open up the books I got at home. You can continue living in a dream world. IP Address 23:38, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
6 reverts. Even though neither me nor An Siarach can revert your spam, this won't help you; you'll just get blocked. - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 23:42, 20 April 2006 (UTC)


What on earth is going on here? For information, here is the section that IP Address keeps trying to insert:

  • The specific region Norse-Gaels settled in Northern England was once all of one piece and after the Norman Conquest called Richmondshire, the land which was composed of the Irish Sea's coast from the River Ribble (although some went to Cheshire) and throughout Cumbria into the Yorkshire Dales. Toponymy is often used to distinguish between these origins and Danish colonisation from the North Sea coast (see Danelaw). Although the Norwegian element is undisputed, the Celtic side is more Brythonic by tradition and continues to be an English subculture throughout the region. What he calls the "Quaker" North Midlands is discussed at depth in David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed, heavily overlapping the "Scotch-Irish" cultural area of North Britain for all intents and purposes. Professor Fischer expounds upon the Norse surnames and villages of the Quakers (e.g. Margaret Fell) who were poor dalesmen and lived in compact, stone-built homes (much as in Ireland and the Scottish Western Isles across the water). Quaker historian Hugh Barbour believes there were innate differences between the locals and their Norman overlords for many centuries, that the commoners were Evangelical while their landlords were Recusant. Barbour maintains that the Norman system of feudal manors was always resented, compared to the preferred Norse method of "moots". These people wore a style of clothing called "hodden grey" and they raised sheep, contibuting much to the industrial development throughout the North of England.

Eh? I just cannot make head nor tail of it. The above contribution is impenetrable, poorly written, and has every appearance of being plain pants (not helped by the bizarre comments left by the writer on various Talk pages). Is the User perhaps confusing "Norse-Gaels" with the "Vikings" for which he is currently studying for his school project? A striking example is the confusion between the terms Brythonnic, Celtic and Gael - apparently all mean the same thing to the writer. --Mais oui! 12:01, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Revised version[edit]

Well, I haven't defended that version since I was blocked for the 3RR. I simplified it and made the issues discussed, much easier for the casual reader. Your simplistic assumptions about my person are way out of order. Many books talk about the "Norsemen from Ireland" who settled on the highlands of Northern England and also, the joint attacks of Irish-Norse with Harold Godwinson's sons who attempted the dislodging of the Normans in 1069-1070. There is a weird thing here, that Calgacus is very Cumbrian-centric or Celto-centric. If it isn't Cumbria specifically, he goes apeshit at the mention of Norse-Gaels in English history. Tell that to the archaeologists! IP Address 19:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

All right. Angus has done very well in the last edit. IP Address 20:13, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Well it seemed reasonable to me before I edited anything, so hopefully our little disagreements can be forgotten. This needs expanded, and the Kings of Dublin article was tagged for cleanup today, so it too needs TLC. Perhaps the Norwegian translator of Scotland in the High Middle Ages Finn Bjo will write something for the Bokmål WP that we can ask him to translate, or perhaps someone already has. Shoulders of giants and all that. Viking age articles in general need brushing up, but what doesn't ? Anyway, that's my 2 eurocents. Back to watching TV and writing Domnall mac Áedo. Angus McLellan (Talk) 20:23, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree. IP Address 20:37, 22 April 2006 (UTC)


I think that the surname Doyle, very common in Co Wexford, originally meant "black foreigner" referring to ferocious Norse invaders. Millbanks (talk) 09:12, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Scottish flags of relevance[edit]

Flag Date Use Description
100px Standard of the Duke of Rothesay Banner of the Duke's Arms, 1st and 4th quarters representing the title of Great Steward of Scotland, the 2nd and 3rd quarters representing the title of Lord of the Isles. In the centre is an inescutcheon, of the arms of the heir apparent to the King of Scotland
Flag Date Use Description
2007 Flag of Orkney.svg Flag of Orkney A blue Nordic cross outlined in yellow on a red field
Flag of Shetland.svg Flag of Shetland A white Nordic cross on a light blue field
Flag of Barra.svg Flag of Barra A white Nordic Cross on a green field
100px Flag of Lewis The blue and white stripes are said to represent the seven traditional areas of Lewis. In the fly is a white Nordic Cross on a red field

What, you're not thinking of putting them on the article? - Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 21:05, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I've cast aside my flippancy. I leave this to a group decision. IP Address 21:55, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
The Barra and Lewis flags are not in wide use. Most Leodhasaich prefer the birlinn banner IMHO. --MacRusgail 21:30, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Moved from my talk[edit]

[Norse-Gaels...]...are not the sole property of Scottish or Irish history. How bigotedly nationalist of you to avoid the English inheritance of Gaelic culture. Lord Loxley 04:33, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Intead of writing insults [1] and getting all worked up, you could actually backup your edits with sources. If you can't show that Mael Maedóc / Marmaduke has anything to do with the Norse-Gaels article than why did you even try to enter it in the article in the first place?--Celtus 06:36, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Your link says it's Irish, not Norse, so it really does not belong on a list of "Norse-Gael" names. Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:00, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

It does not automatically follow that Norsemen must always have Norse names, when they have lived in Dublin or Limerick or whatever. Don't you see the whole point, of Norse-GAEL? Who brought an old fashioned Irish name to Cumbria, but the Norsemen? The Normans who went to Ireland were connected to South Wales, not the North of England (e.g. Jorvik). This logically means that only one group could have brought such names as Marmaduke and Gilpatrick to Cumbria. Why is it so unfathomable? Imagine some people from England or of English heritage going into something about the Picts and saying that they know everything about it and will exclude anything that "looks funny". I'm sure that you would be up in arms over that. Now, run off and be constructive. Lord Loxley 19:07, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Gilpatrick, that's just the Cumbrian Gospatric in Irish. No need for anyone to move, just to change language. Máel Maedoc is hardly a common name in Viking Age Ireland. Are you sure that's the origin of Marmaduke? Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:30, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't know how you simply decide to call two different names as one and the same. Marmaduke is not ultimately of English origins, but from Ireland to Northern England, in the common presence of Norse place names and surnames (and nowhere else, I'm afraid). Lord Loxley 19:34, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, yes, but do you have a reference for all this? I can find ones for Amlaibh and Iomhar easy enough... Angus McLellan (Talk) 19:39, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Where some are, there are bound to be others. It is ludicrous to believe that only TWO names could be found, as you assert.

I'm afraid that Londonocentric versions of English history care more about the naming conventions of Anglo-Saxons and Normans than anything North of the Trent, whilst Scots involved with this article obviously don't care about their old border enemies anywhere between there and your side of Hadrian's Wall. Oh yes, we don't have a history of our own? We don't deserve to? On Talk:Modern Celts and Talk:Celtic nations, one finds a supreme amount of POV nationalism on the part of Celticists and their affiliates seem to be working just as hard here as the Germanophile supremacists on Talk:English people and Talk:List of English monarchs. If you are a Celtic supremacist and want to exclude any and all things English from such a relationship, feel free to make Wikipedia a joyride of propaganda on your part. I have decided to be content with knowing that your edits will speak for themselves. I don't need to be the sheriff and watch. Let this be a chance to police yourselves on hooliganism. Maybe you will one day realise that all the efforts made into ethnic separatism will bring no true comfort, since my nonresistance will speak for itself. It's the time of your life, another Great Conspiracy to bring down the evil British (or is that evil "Welsh"?). Lord Loxley 19:55, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Lord Loxley, there are a few, but not really that many. Stop turning this into a petty thing. --MacRusgail 18:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


Sorry about my misspelling of anglicised. I was just performing a partial revert to the version of an editor who frequently makes errors in fact, but not this time. "Englished" is not an English word. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 14:34, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Englished certainly is a word (try it on Google books), albeit a rather old-fashioned one now. Englishing is still current. Angus McLellan (Talk) 16:25, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
"Englishing" is a word. Somebody tried to persuade me that "swap" (or was it "swop") was wrong, simply because they'd never come across it. The subtle difference is between "Sorley" which is an anglicised spelling of Somhairle, and Samuel, which is an unrelated name which is used to English it. Ditto "Norman" for "Tormod" - the names have nothing to do with one another. --MacRusgail 16:52, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Englishing is almost certainly not the preferred term for an encyclopedia. "Anglicization" has a broader cultural range and is much more common, especially in an academic context. I think you're trying to make a (necessary) distinction between rendering words into modern English and translating them from Gaelic (etc) into the dialect of English or Anglo-Saxon spoken at the time. I can't help but think there must be a way to make this clearer without using an archaic word. Apologies if I have misunderstood your intention.

Please sign your contributions. "English" is perfectly acceptable, and does not mean exactly the same as anglicise. --MacRusgail (talk) 18:10, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 21:02, 9 November 2007 (UTC) SHIP: Are you sure about the ship there? I was told it was the remains of a Danish ship that never made it home. Can someone verify? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 7 June 2011 (UTC)


Hello all, I reverted the addition of macDonell, because there was no obvious indication to me that Dhòmhnaill is a norse-origin name. However, O'Donnell dynasty seems to suggest, but not say explicitly that Donnell and Connell derive from O'Neil which in turn comes from Njal, which is norse. Any thoughts or sources, on this? Also, how should we deal with names that derive indirectly from other names that have norse origins? Should they be included? de Bivort 16:41, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Dhòmhnail is to my knowledge not a Norse name. While the Mac Donnells were considered a Galloglass family by the Irish as they were foreign Gaels from Alba, they are descended from Somhairle who traces his descent from the Irish King, Conn of the Hundred Battles. It is my understanding that the name itself is a Gaelic origin name meaning "World ruler", composed of the old Celtic elements dumno "world" and val "rule". The Irish orthography renders it as Dónal. The MacDonald/MacDonnell family came to prominence in the Western Isles because their founder Somerled (Somhairle) was successful in expelling the Norse.

In general this article seems to intimate that these "Norse Gaels" were culturally Norse when in fact, the Galloglass were of mixed ethnic origin (Norse, Pict, Gael) and were culturally Gaelic and very little traces of Norse culture remained in the Western Isles. Contrast with the citizens of Orkney and Shetland where the Norse influence was much stronger and the Norn language was spoken. (NMD) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Language, Gaelic or Norse?[edit]

Many websites and wikipedia articles are quite unclear as to the extent of Norse in colonized areas of the Gaelic/Pictish world. In norse colonized areas of the Gaelo-pictish world, did the descendants of the viking settlers become gaelic speaking or did Norse dominate the areas that they colonized?

Now I know that the northern isles continued speaking Norse that evolved into Norn that lasted well into the nineteenth century but how long did the language survive in: The Hebrides, mainland Scotland (including Caithness and Galoway), The isle of Man and the Norse colonized areas of Ireland? On several websites and wikipedia articles, they said that the Norse in Ireland became both christian and Irish speaking and perhaps bilingual even before the Battle of Clontarf, where as other websites say that Old Norse was spoken under the Lordship of Ireland after the Norman invasion. Now I know that the Hebrides, Isle of Man and Galloway that were colonized by the Norse were bastions of the Gaelic language and the Hebrides still but were the viking ruled lands and cities in Ireland:

  • Irish speaking (before they were colonized/set up by the Norse)
  • Norse speaking (while ruled by the Norse, before the Normans)
  • French/English speaking (under the Normans)


  • Irish speaking (before they were colonized/set up by the Norse)
  • Norse/Irish speaking (while ruled by the Norse, before the Normans)
  • Irish speaking (before the Normans)
  • Irish/French/English speaking (under the [[Hiberno-Normans|Normans])

Can someone explain please? Abrawak (talk) 13:14, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

The simple answer is that they spoke both, although a heavily Nordic version of Gaelic usually settled in after a few generations. Orkney and Shetland, and to a lesser extent Caithness, retained Norn later on, due to geographical factors. Although Gaelic took over in at least two thirds of Caithness after the Norse had died out. Even today Caithness dialect contains numerous Gaelicisms.--MacRusgail (talk) 13:52, 28 February 2012 (UTC)


Who coined this name? I doesn't seem to be used in the titles of any of the sources. It is perhaps just a made up name for this article? FunkMonk (talk) 21:56, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

In defence of the McLeods and their namesakes[edit]

In the “List of Surnames” (5 May 2013) the name Ljótr (or Ljótur in modern Icelandic spelling) is said to mean “ugly”. As was pointed out at the very beginning of this Talk Page this is wrong, and to a reader, it may cast doubt upon the reliability of other information. The McLeods are not named for an ugly forefather. The writer of the article may know some Icelandic or Old Norse, or somebody may have informed him that the adjective “ljótur” means, indeed, ugly. But actually the name, although spelt in the same way, is entirely different in origin. It is related to “ljós” , which as a noun means “light”, and as an adjective means “fair”, “lucid”, or “bright” (in the physical sense, not the figurative one). A man named Ljótur is, like Lucius in Latin, Luis in Spanish or Louis in French, a man of fair complexion, or perhaps one who brightens up his surroundings (Ludwig and its correlates in other languages is a different matter, originally meaning a renowned warrior). Ljótur, although devoid of religious connotation, is a masculine equivalent of a Greek Photina, Russian Svetlana, or Danish Birte. In Iceland, Ljót has also been a female name in past ages, but like Ljótur it has unfortunately fallen out of favour because of this unwarranted and fortuitous connection with ugliness. “Ugly” is not, and never has been, a name to be given a baby. Please check with a competent etymologist. A reference to an American website possibly concerned with selling what info it may have or think it have, does not alter this.Togifex (talk) 01:39, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

About The very old name "Þorketill"[edit]

The very old name "Þorketill" wich presumable refers to the correctly spelled name "Þorkl" should have some reference to the rare but still used modern name "Torkel", wich originally refers to the Old Norse god Tor or "Þorr" / "Þor"

Bo or "Bui" :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Edit: I have read "Þórkætill" is also a historically form of the name. Very interesting, that shows differencies in language or dialects a bit earlier from what I thouht before. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Edit2: Þórkætill means "Tors Kittel" in modern Swedish or "Thors Kettle" in modern English — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:22, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

The different forms of the name: Þórkætill torkel, Þorkl ; they express a timeline. (talk) 03:27, 16 August 2013 (UTC)