The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

RSS feeds: v0.91; v1.0 (RDF); v2.0; Atom.

Previous entry. Next entry.

1:50pm on Friday, 29th May, 2009:

Auld Reykjie


Because Icelandic is basically the same language that the Vikings spoke, it's not surprising that a lof or English words bear some similarity to Icelandic ones. For example, the major roads out of Reykjavik have names that start with that of some town and end in "raut"; given that the pronunciation of "raut" is almost exactly half-way between "road" and "route", it's probably related to one of them and quite possibly both.

I always thought the "Reyk" in Reykjavik probably meant something like "king" or "realm" (the "avik" part means "harbour"). After all, the Spanish for king is "rey" and the French is "roi", both coming from the Latin "Rex". German has "reich" and English has "realm" — there definitely looked to be some royal connection.

It turns out that actually "Reyk" means "smoky". There are a bunch of volcanic hot springs in the area, and it was named after these. The English word that comes from the same root is "reek".

I'm sure that one day kno9wledge of the etymology of this word will prove invaluable to me...

Latest entries.

Archived entries.

About this blog.

Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).