Origin of berserk
Synonyms for berserk
Antonyms for berserk
Examples from the Web for berserk
Contemporary Examples of berserk
What we are seeing is the good, old American Berserk in action.Is Obama the New Nixon?
September 15, 2009
Historical Examples of berserk
I am ordered to send this berserk with a troop of nineteen men to waylay thee.
“King Harald would speak with thee,” said the man, who was no other than Hake the berserk.
A sort of berserk rage possessed him at the sight of that wound.The Black Buccaneer
Stephen W. Meader
He had all the fervour of the fanatic, and when he prayed his eyes assumed a Berserk look.The Secrets of a Kuttite
Edward O. Mousley
One never gets used to the bulk and height of these berserk Campanias.A Fleet in Being
Word Origin for berserk
1844, from berserk (n.) "Norse warrior," by 1835, an alternative form of berserker (1822), a word which was introduced by Sir Walter Scott, from Old Norse berserkr (n.) "raging warrior of superhuman strength;" probably from *ber- "bear" + serkr "shirt," thus literally "a warrior clothed in bearskin." Thus not from Old Norse berr "bare, naked."
Thorkelin, in the essay on the Berserkir, appended to his edition of the Krisini Saga, tells that an old name of the Berserk frenzy was hamremmi, i.e., strength acquired from another strange body, because it was anciently believed that the persons who were liable to this frenzy were mysteriously endowed, during its accesses, with a strange body of unearthly strength. If, however, the Berserk was called on by his own name, he lost his mysterious form, and his ordinary strength alone remained. ["Notes and Queries," Dec. 28, 1850]
The adjectival use probably is from such phrases as berserk frenzy, or as a title (Arngrim the Berserk).