One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Norse or Danish chief.‘the great jarl Thorfinn’
- ‘Later, in the eleventh century, under kings such as Harald Hardrada, the power-broking jarls were crushed.’
- ‘In the early period there is little clear difference between powerful jarls and the many petty kings who flourished in Denmark and Norway.’
- ‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle suggests that the Viking armies were led by jarls as often as kings.’
- ‘But the name earl gradually merged with the Danish jarl and, after the reign of Alfred, earls took over the responsibilities of ealdormen.’
- ‘From the hill folk, I had heard Cyneric was begotten to a Danish woman by a famous jarl named Sigólfr, a name Cyneric bore whether or not the tale was false.’
Old Norse, literally ‘man of noble birth’; related to earl.
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