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Viking swear word on series L episode 9

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Jimbona
1104384.  Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:49 pm Reply with quote

Has anyone had any luck googling that word? If they spelled it out, I missed it, but any word too rude for Stephen to define on-air... well, I MUST know. Sounded like "rasregar" to my ear. Also searched for "rasregaar", "rasregaer" and "raesregar", but I'm coming up empty.

 
pinklady
1104385.  Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:03 pm Reply with quote

Eggshaped kindly spelled it out on Twitter: rassragr.

There are links on his tweets from this evening for more on this word and other similar.

 
Jimbona
1104386.  Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:04 pm Reply with quote

Thank you most kindly! I probably wouldn't have slept tonight.

 
suze
1104387.  Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:22 pm Reply with quote

A rassragr was a man who allowed other men to sodomize him.

The Norsemen weren't completely opposed to gay sex, so long as you were the buggeror. Being the buggeree was shameful, and accusing another of being one was a very bad insult indeed.

By means of metathesis, rass shares an etymology with arse.

 
CharliesDragon
1104389.  Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:32 pm Reply with quote

"Rasshøl" is the modern Norwegian for "asshole".

 
14-11-2014
1104403.  Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:43 am Reply with quote

pinklady wrote:
Eggshaped kindly spelled it out on Twitter: rassragr.


If you're fast enough, and they say such a foreign word again: subtitles.

 
14-11-2014
1104404.  Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:52 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
rassragr was a man who allowed other men to sodomize him.


Greek & Latin, arse & rage?

 
Fontanelle
1104417.  Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:17 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
A rassragr was a man who allowed other men to sodomize him.


My favourite sort of man.

 
suze
1104525.  Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:34 am Reply with quote

14-11-2014 wrote:
Greek & Latin, arse & rage?


It's a bit of a stretch to claim arse as Greek, but for sure the Greek orros is cognate with Old English ærs. All we can really do is to mumble "Proto Indo-European" and hope that no one notices that this means "we don't altogether know".

The English word rage comes from Latin rabies, certainly. The use of the word rabies for a dog disease is later Latin, and the disease gets its name because it sends dogs into a rage.

But Norse ragr is not cognate with English rage. It is a metathetic variation of argr which meant "effeminate". German has an archaic adjective arg which latterly meant "evil", but derives from argr. (This adjective is said to be practically obsolete in Germany but still in use in Austria. I am not able to say whether or not this is correct.) It is possible - if a controversial claim - that the English verb irk comes from the same place.

The Norse considered magic to be women's work, and so a man who cast spells was said to be argr; there is a runestone in Sweden which curses a chap thus. And they certainly considered receptive sexual intercourse as women's work, so a rassragr was an effeminate man who took it in the ass.

 
CharliesDragon
1104571.  Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:26 pm Reply with quote

I don't like the sound of this, as I thought Viking women had a pretty high status in society and I'd prefer to keep believing they were a cool bunch.

It is possible that our understanding of Viking life is influenced by today's gender roles, especially research done by Old White Men(tm). I sadly don't know enough about Vikings to offer an educated guess. I can offer a theory more or less pulled out of my rass:

Vikings had slaves/thralls, and as I know from the slave keeping in the US, a master could do pretty much whatever he wanted with his slaves, which often included sex. (Lionel Richie is decended from one such liason.) It could just be that rassragr referred to a man letting himself be treated as a slave, and the Vikings certainly didn't have a high opinion of their slaves. In Norse mythology, the first people created as slaves were described as ugly.

It's hardly better in terms of how they treated slaves, seeing as the myths created around black slaves in the US ("they're stupid, thugs, can't be trusted on their own,") still affect African-Americans today. So it's a choice of the Vikings looking down on women or on slaves in term of sex... I don't want either to be true, it turns out.

 
merk
1106089.  Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:54 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

German has an archaic adjective arg which latterly meant "evil", but derives from argr. (This adjective is said to be practically obsolete in Germany but still in use in Austria. I am not able to say whether or not this is correct.)


"Arg" is still in used as an adjective or adverb, but which would now be better translated as "bad" or "very" (not downright "evil") in slightly negative connotations. It is colloquial and informal in use and sounds slightly like lessening the impact. As an emphatic adjective standing on its own it is mosly used by children (modified by "ganz" for "very" in "ganz arg", similar to "ganz schlimm") and normally doesn't sound convincing to adults by the same token. It is mostly used as a modifier to adjectives (with a sense of "very", as to "schlimm", meaning "bad", or almost any other adjective to signal a detrimental "too much" of it), but mostly in speech.
I can imagine that it derives from a stronger or more basic meaning and has taken a weaker meaning due to its quaintness.
It is probably related to "Ärger", meaning "trouble", and the verb "ärgern" (getting angry about something or actively annoying others). I can't say if they're all related to "anger", maybe the connection is illusory...
But I'm just saying, this doesn't seem relevant.

 
14-11-2014
1106095.  Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:49 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
"Arg" is still in used as an adjective or adverb


Or erg in Dutch, a common word in that Germanic language.

Hij is erg grappig, he is very funny.
Hij schreeuwde zonder er erg in te hebben, he shouted without noticing it.
Dat is erg, that's terrible / bad / serious.
Ik ben erg lang, I am very tall.
Zij is erg ziek, she is seriously ill.
Ergernis, annoyance.
Ergeren, to annoy.
Dat is slim, that is smart.

 
CharliesDragon
1106096.  Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:07 pm Reply with quote

On that note, ergelse is a word for annoyance in Norwegian. You can also say someone is arg when they're angry, but that's more old-fashioned and/or Swedish.

 
Zziggy
1106161.  Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:09 am Reply with quote

In English you can say "Grr, Arg" if you are a little monster at the end of a Buffy episode.

 
14-11-2014
1106185.  Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:00 am Reply with quote

The word I was trying to refer to originally, rage, was raggen. Violently moving up and down... Up and down the road, for example... Driving a car... Or violently inserting something. Then you, possibly a ragger (unlikely word), rag it in. Hence the association, but I'm not suggesting that there's a link.

An item can be afgeragd (heavily been used; rough, without intended maintenance), like this guitar (Willy Nelson's?):

 

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