One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A land tax levied in Anglo-Saxon England during the reign of King Ethelred to raise funds for protection against Danish invaders.
- ‘The Danegeld was a tax created by English rulers to pay for the defense of their country from Viking raiders.’
- ‘Just under £3,000 came from taxation, nearly all of this from the geld or Danegeld, as the old Anglo-Saxon land tax was now called.’
- ‘The time honoured methods of ransom, Danegeld and baptism of Viking leaders continued to be more successful.’
- ‘This was followed by attempts to buy off the Danes by the payment of immense sums as Danegeld, a course of action suggested by Archbishop Sigeric.’
- ‘The Danegeld was an English tribute raised to pay off Viking raiders to save the land from being ravaged by the raiders.’
- 1.1 Taxes collected for national defence by the Norman kings until 1162.
- ‘On this basis in the early eleventh century English kings faced with Viking attacks called for payments from all land to pay mercenaries - the so-called Danegeld.’
Late Old English, from Old Norse Danir ‘Danes’ + gjald ‘payment’.
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