Etymology of Jämtland

Etymology of Jämtland

The etymology of Jämtland entails the origin, history, and use of the name Jämtland which dates back to 11th century Scandinavia. The name is first found on the northernmost runestone in Europe, the "Frösö Runestone", as "eotalont" (in normalized Old Norse: "Jamtaland"). The prefix Jamta is a genitive plural case of Jamts, a Germanic tribe. The root of Jamt (Old West Norse: "jamti"), and thus Jämtland, derives from the Proto-Germanic word stem "emat-" meaning persistent, efficient, enduring and hardworkingcite book |last=Hellquist |first=Elof |title=Svensk etymologisk ordbok |year=1922 |publisher=Gleerups förlag |location=Stockholm |pages=285] . So Jämtland basically mean "Jamts' land" or "land of hardworking people".

A folk etymological theory is that the name ought to have something to do with the even parts around the lake Storsjön. This theory is based on the similarity between the Swedish words "jämt" (from "emat-") and "jämnt" (from Germanic "*ebna", "even")

The form Audio|sv-Jämtland.ogg|Jämtland is Swedish, which previously (pre 20th century) was spelled Jemtland, as it still is in e.g. Danish whilst the local name of the province is Jamtland IPA| [ˈjamtˌlanː] . There have been several Latinized forms of the name, such as "Jemtia, Iempihia" and "Iemthalandia".


How and when the Jamts got their name is unknown, though one possible explanation is presented in the Icelandic work Heimskringla from the 13th century.

Quote|Ketill jamti, son Önundar jarls or Sparabúi, fór austr um Kjöl, ok mikill mannfjöldi með honum, ok höfðu búferli sitt með sér. Þeir ruddu markir ok bygðu þar stór heruð; þat var síðan kallat Jamtaland.

Translation: [Hollander, Lee M. transl. (1964) "Heimskringla" or "Chronicle of the Kings of Norway". University of Texas Press, 105.]
Ketil Jamti, son of Earl Onund of Sparbu (in Trøndelag), went east over the Keel, together with a great many others, taking along their livestock. They cleared the forest and cultivated a large district. Later, this was called Jamtaland.|Snorri Sturluson|"Saga Hákonar góða" in Heimskringla.


In older sources the province's name can be found in forms such as "Jamptaland" [ [ Diplomatarium Norvegicum (volumes I-XXI)] "Pedher Karlson fogode offwer Jamptaland ok Sparbo"] and "Jamptalande" [ [ Diplomatarium Norvegicum (volumes I-XXI)] "Sigurdr Jonsson Loghmadr J Þrandheimi, oc Halluardr Karleson Loghmadr J Jamptalande"] with a "p". Later a sound change occurred in East Scandinavian from "a" into "e", the so called i-mutation. This led to new forms such as "Jempteland" [ [ Diplomatarium Norvegicum (volumes I-XXI)] "...twghwndrede rynskgylden och femtyæ tymmer hermelynn for affgyfft aff Tronndelagenn Nommedalenn Gouldalen och Jempteland"] . The sound change eventually spread northwards although it never made itself apparent in the province's own dialects where the "a" was preserved. The genitive case (now both a and e, depending on the area) was ultimately dropped everywhere, leading to a reduction of the three consonant "mpt". In Swedish and Danish the p was dropped, which resulted in the form "Jemtland". This did not happen in Jamtlandic where the t was lost which resulted in the form "Jamplann" (when "nd" was assimilated into "nn"). This form was commonly used in regional speech until the 20th century when an altered version, "Jamtlann" became prominent. In Swedish language the form Jemtland was still commonly used and when the letter "ä" became "modärn" in the early 20th century the province's spelling changed into "Jämtland". This never happened in the Danish language (and thus not in Norwegian either), where the spelling with an "e" remained.

Settlements like Jemtland in Ringsaker, Norway and Jemtland in Maine, USA both use an older spelling, given that the time they were settled by Jamtish emigrants the form Jämtland hadn't reached official status. When Jämtland was occupied by Sweden in the 16th and 17th century many Jamts fled from their province and founded villages like Jamtøya, Jamtgarden and Jamtåsen in Trøndelag, Norway.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jämtland — Coat of arms …   Wikipedia

  • Scandinavia — This article is about Scandinavia as a cultural, historical and ethno linguistic region. For the peninsula, see Scandinavian Peninsula. For the broader group of Nordic countries, see Nordic countries. For other uses, see Scandinavia… …   Wikipedia

  • Kvenland — This article is about ancient Kvens and Kvenland. For contemporary ethnic group in Norway, see Kven people. Kvenland, known as Cwenland, Kænland or similar in sources, is an ancient name for an area in Fennoscandia. Kvenland is only known from an …   Wikipedia

  • Jamtlandic — Infobox Language name=Jamtlandic, Jamtish nativename=Jamska familycolor=Indo European states=Sweden region=Jämtland (Northern Europe) speakers=30,000 60,000 fam2=Germanic fam3=North Germanic fam4=North Scandinavian iso3=jmk Jamtlandic or Jamtish… …   Wikipedia

  • Offerdal — is a parish (so called socken) and former municipality (pop. 2,100) in Krokom Municipality, Jämtland in the middle of Sweden. The seat of the former municipality Offerdal, Änge, is situated 50 kilometres northwest of Östersund, the capital of… …   Wikipedia

  • Sápmi (area) — Sápmi …   Wikipedia

  • Viking — For other uses, see Viking (disambiguation). Danish seamen, painted mid twelfth century …   Wikipedia

  • Indalsälven — Geobox|River name = Indalsälven native name = other name = category = etymology = nickname = Jämtlandsälven Storsjöälven image caption = One of the many hydropower plants of Indalsälven. country country = Sweden country1 = country2 = country3 =… …   Wikipedia

  • Sylan — Geobox|Range name = Sylan native name = other name = Sylarna | other name1 = Sylene | other name2 = Sylane | other name3 = Bealjehkh category = etymology = country = Norway | country1 = Sweden state = region = Sør Trøndelag | region1 = Jämtland… …   Wikipedia

  • Outline of Sweden — The …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”