Local Author Releases Viking Book

September 14, 2021 0

Grace Tierney, an author writing in Stamullen, Meath, today releases her third book about the history of words. This time she’s exploring the influence of Old Norse and our Viking heritage on the English we speak today. Grace, a native of the Viking city of Dublin, who moved to the Meath coast in 2005 says she was surprised by how much of an influence the Vikings had on how we speak.

words the vikings gave us grace tierney“I’ve been blogging every Monday for 12 years about the history behind English words, and chatting about it on LMFM radio each month. Viking history shows they were much more than just raiders. They traded down the Silk Roads, built settlements from Russia in the east to Canada in the west (centuries before Columbus “found” the Americas), and established the oldest parliament in the world giving us words like law and ombudsman along the way – not exactly the lawless hooligans we expect,” she says.

She believes the Vikings deserve more credit, particularly as they founded many of the coastal towns and cities in Ireland. Without them we wouldn’t have words like – them, they, time, sky, happiness, get, slang, trash, Friday, or take. Their contribution to romance is strong too – honeymoon, husband, hug, kiss, handfasting, and even glitter. She loves the stories behind the words – the Viking king with a rotten tooth whose runes are on our smartphones (Bluetooth anybody?), their surprisingly modern approach to women’s rights, the operatic costume designer who convinced the world Vikings wore horns on their helmets (they didn’t), and how the word enthralling gives us a grim glimpse into the time when Dublin was a slave trading centre.

“Words The Vikings Gave Us” is out now in paperback and ebook (Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, signed copies from the author’s blog, etc), along with her earlier books – “Words the Sea Gave Us” (nautical words and phrases, with a side order of pirates) and “How To Get Your Name In The Dictionary” (the stories of the people whose names entered the dictionary, from Casanova to Zeppelin).

What’s next for this self-confessed word geek who writes her books while mentoring writers in Louth and Meath on the National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) challenge every November? She’s already researching festive traditions, words, and phrases for the next book in the series, “Words Christmas Gave Us”.