narwhal

narwhal
[17] The narwhal, a small arctic whale with a long unicorn-like tusk, is whitish in colour, which evidently reminded Viking seafarers somewhat morbidly of a corpse, for they named it in Old Icelandic nāhvalr, literally ‘corpse whale’. In Danish and Norwegian this became narhval, and English took it over and partially anglicized it as narh whale. Over the centuries this has contracted to narwhal.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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Synonyms:
, , (Monodon monoceros)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Narwhal — Nar whal (n[aum]r hw[.a]l), n. [Sw. or Dan. narvhal; akin to Icel. n[=a]hvalr, and E. whale. the first syllable is perh. from Icel. n[=a]r corpse, dead body, in allusion to the whitish color its skin. See {Whale}.] [Written also {narwhale} and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • narwhal — (n.) 1650s, from Dan. and Norw. narhval, probably a metathesis of O.N. nahvalr, lit. corpse whale, from na corpse + hvalr whale (see WHALE (Cf. whale)). So called from resemblance of its whitish color to that of dead bodies. The first element is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • narwhal — ► NOUN ▪ a small Arctic whale, the male of which has a long spirally twisted tusk. ORIGIN Danish narhval, perhaps from an Old Norse word meaning corpse , with reference to the whale s skin colour …   English terms dictionary

  • narwhal — [när′hwāl΄när′wəl, när′hwəl] n. [< Scand, as in Norw & Dan narhval < ON nahvalr, lit., corpse (< IE base * nāu , death, corpse) + hvalr, WHALE2 (with reference to the whitish underside)] an arctic toothed whale (Monodon monoceros) of the …   English World dictionary

  • Narwhal — This article is about the species of whale. For the class of submarine, see Narwhal class submarine. Narwhal [1] …   Wikipedia

  • narwhal — narwhalian /nahr hway lee euhn, way , wol ee /, adj. /nahr weuhl/, n. a small arctic whale, Monodon monoceros, the male of which has a long, spirally twisted tusk extending forward from the upper jaw. Also, narwal, narwhale /nahr hwayl , wayl /.… …   Universalium

  • narwhal — [17] The narwhal, a small arctic whale with a long unicorn like tusk, is whitish in colour, which evidently reminded Viking seafarers somewhat morbidly of a corpse, for they named it in Old Icelandic nāhvalr, literally ‘corpse whale’. In Danish… …   Word origins

  • narwhal — narvalas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Monodon monoceros angl. narwhal; narwhale; sea unicorn; unicorn whale vok. Einhorn; Einhornwal; Narwal rus. нарвал pranc. licorne de mer; narval; unicorne… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Narwhal class submarine — may refer to:*USS Narwhal (SS 167) *USS Nautilus (SS 168) …   Wikipedia

  • narwhal — also narwhale noun Etymology: Norwegian & Danish narhval & Swedish narval, probably modification of Icelandic nárhvalur, from Old Norse nāhvalr, from nār corpse + hvalr whale; from its color Date: 1646 an arctic cetacean (Monodon monoceros) about …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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