There have been a lot of misconceptions about the etymology of the word Viking. Some linguists posited that it could've been a demonym for someone from the Viken region of Norway. Others proposed that it could be from an Old Norse unit for measurement, vika. There are even more theories I'm not listing, but the most widely accepted origin today goes back to the Old Norse word vikingr, which essentially had the same meaning as today. More literally, though, it meant "one who belongs to the fjords". This is because the root, vik, could mean "inlet" or "fjord", and the ending, -ingr, could mean "one who belongs" or "one who frequents". Vik, through Proto-Gremanic wiko, comes from Latin vicus and Proto-Indo-European weyk, meaning "village", and -ingr derives from Proto-Germanic ingo, which similarly modified words.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a rising junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.