126.96.36.199 Old English
The existing lexicographic sources devoted to the Old English period do not mention any foodsemic ethnonyms. There is a record, however, of what may be called a ‘semi-ethnonym’, or – more specifically (though no less awkwardly) – ‘religio-ethnonym’ in Old Norse, a sister language of Old English. The term in question is hrossæta ‘horse-eater’ (NION). Originally it described pagan Germanic tribes, among whom the consumption of horsemeat was primarily of religious significance, being part of rituals devoted to fertility (see DuBois 2006:76). In the ethnic context the term was used by the tenth-century Christian king of Norway, Olaf Tryggvason, as a contemptuous label for the then pagan Swedes (Keysler 1868:24). Consequently, it may be classified as an instance of the
188.8.131.52 Middle English
The Middle English period appears to be almost as lacking in foodsemic ethnonyms as the previous period. Primary sources mention two terms, neither of which is a clear case, though for different reasons. The former is actually...
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