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Ships and Sailors in Geiffrei Gaimar's "Estoire des Engleis"

William Sayers
The Modern Language Review
Vol. 98, No. 2 (Apr., 2003), pp. 299-310
DOI: 10.2307/3737812
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3737812
Page Count: 12
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Ships and Sailors in Geiffrei Gaimar's "Estoire des Engleis"
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Abstract

Gaimar employs a historically accurate Norse-derived nautical vocabulary when writing of Danish ships raiding the English coast. The article explores whether his Anglo-Norman lexicon for sailors has a similar origin in the Gallo-Romance of Norse-settled Normandy. Etymologies for the terms "bucekarle" and "haspal" are identified and a functional distinction between these two kinds of seamen-for-hire is proposed. Evidence of related loans into Old English is reviewed in the context of the evolution of pre-conquest levies of sailors and financial resources for coastal defence.

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