Why Viking Swords Usually Got Names?

Posted by Ms Elly on

Why Viking Swords Usually Got Names?

If you are a Viking enthusiast, you are sure to know that the Viking sword was the most valuable and preferred weapon. Because only the minority of the Vikings could afford a sword. It was expensive and time-consuming to make a sword. A Viking sword often presented the high social rank and wealth. One cool thing was that the Vikings loved to name their swords. 


Indeed, the Viking sword was in the top of the weapon list. It was not a common weapon for the Viking warriors. Only the earls and the kings carried the sword with them because only big figures like kings and earls could afford a Viking sword. The common weapons in the Viking community were axes and spears.

The smith forging a sword had to put many pieces together to make a sword. This was the technique of pattern welding. Not only could this technique make the sword more flexible when using but it also improved the appearance of the Viking sword. 

Later, the technique of pattern welding went out of fashion. And the Viking sword then became much narrower and more tapering. Generally, it became gradually narrower and sharper from the hilt to the tip.

Viking sword names. Why the Vikings usually named their swords

Artifacts of the Viking swords


The Viking swords often got named because of the supposed magical qualities, heritage, and remarkable events. Below are the names for the Viking swords:

  • Gramr: Fierce. This was the name of the sword that hero Sigurd used to kill the dragon Fafnir
  • Gunnlogi: Battle Flame, War Flame
  • Leggbir: Leg bitter
  • Skrofnung: Gnawer
  • Keurnbut: Millstone-breaker
  • Naegling: Hole-maker
  • Fotbitr: Foot-biter

The names of the swords were believed to offer the swords with an infinite source of power. Generally, the name of the sword summoned the attributes, traits, and history that each name referred to. Names about the ancestors and the family lineage would call up the power of the past and the family heritage. The name that indicated the animal, for example "bear", would summon the power of the bear during the battle. 

Viking sword names. Why the Viking named their swords

Swords that had names were a treasure not only for money but also for the honour for the family and the clan. 

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1 comment

  • Since there’s more than seven Vikings, there must be the same name for many like ow there are millions of Emilys or Nikas or Toms or Tims! Right?? There are probably way more Than seven names but tell me if I am wrong!!

    Pastle on

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