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Berserk

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Berserk

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:29 pm

• berserk •


Pronunciation: bêr-zêrk Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Frenzied, wild, out of control, acting in a crazy, reckless manner.

Notes: As the Word History below suggests, berserk is about serious lapses in acceptable behavior. Reserve it for noteworthy temper tantrums and don't apply it to peevish behavior. Someone who goes berserk may be called a berserker, though some prefer to use the adjective itself as a noun: a berserk.

In Play: This is a fairly common household word already: "A good way to send Naomi berserk is to offer parenting advice when her two brats are screaming." However, sports seem to bring on this state more than other human activities, "I would tell Dad what caused his golf clubs to slide into the pond, but he might go berserk and hit me with the one that is left."

Word History: This word comes from the name of an Old Norse warrior, a berserkr, a compound made up of some ancestor of bjørn "bear" (possibly bera, though we are not certain) + serkr "shirt." The berserkrs wore bearskin hides and went into battle screaming, foaming at the mouth, and gnawing at their shields (not unlike Mel Gibson in Braveheart). This word is Old Norse, suggesting that it might have entered English with the Viking invasions beginning in the late 700s. However, it doesn't appear in print until the early 19th century, introduced in a story by Sir Walter Scott. (Lest Rob Towart go berserk at the snub, we now thank him for the suggestion of today's Good Word.)
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Re: BERSERK

Postby Slava » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:54 am

Re-treated, with comments, here.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: BERSERK

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:48 am

The shirt context reminds me of the Plains Native Americans
and the 'ghost dance' in which dancers wore a special shirt
that was supposed to make them invincible to pioneer's
bullets.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: BERSERK

Postby MTC » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:14 pm

Appears berserk has run amok...
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Re: BERSERK

Postby Slava » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:59 pm

Aye, it has been sighted on the site a few times. Perhaps even cited in other areas.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: BERSERK

Postby gailr » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:09 pm

Did I just run amok and post in the wrong berserk thread... :?:
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Re: BERSERK

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:46 pm

IT guy needs to enable conjoining identical and perhaps other related posts, and save Slava the effort, which we all greatly appreciate.
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Re: BERSERK

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:56 am

I'll piggyback on that, thanks slava, good work.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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