Black Foreigners & Fair Strangers

Black Foreigners & Fair Strangers

In Viking times, the Danes were called ‘DHOO-GAEL’, that is black foreigners, while the Norwegians were called ‘FIN-GAEL,’ fair strangers. It has usually been supposed that this was a distinction made on account of a difference in complexion and colour of the hair in the two races but the Danes were not dark but fair and ruddy, as were the Norwegians.

The reason is that the Danes were so called on account of the dark metal coats of mail they wore.

The personal names ‘Dougal’ and ‘Fingal’ arose from the distinction.

The people of Man and of the Isles in these times were said to belong to the ‘INNIS-GAEL’ or ‘GALL-GAEL,’ the name used exclusively to denote the race springing from inter-marriages between people of the two nations, after Man and the Isles became largely inhabited by the Norse.


(source: Island Heritage (1952) by William Cubbon; photo from the film The 13th Warrior)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


Tags assigned to this article:
historynorse

Related Articles

Place-names (1)

The vocabulary of the Manx language has been enriched in no small degree with words bequeathed to it by the

Harvest Customs

The following description of the procedure at an old-time harvest-home is gathered from a pamphlet by George Quarrie entitled ‘The

Strangers on the Isle of Man

A position of comparative advantage was enjoyed only by native Manxman, and by such strangers as had sworn fealty to

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment


Warning: Illegal string offset 'rules' in /homepages/19/d193289258/htdocs/clickandbuilds/AsManxastheHills/wp-content/themes/quadrum/functions/filters.php on line 235

Warning: Illegal string offset 'rules' in /homepages/19/d193289258/htdocs/clickandbuilds/AsManxastheHills/wp-content/themes/quadrum/functions/filters.php on line 238
<