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Forget Vladivar, did the vikings put the ‘V’ in Warrington?
10:20am Thursday 27th September 2012 in News
COULD the founding of the town’s name come from the Vikings?
A linguist from the borough believes he may have traced the origins of Warrington back to ancient times after setting up a dialect blog just for the borough.
Robert Brooks is Warrington born and bred and now lives in Finland. Last year he decided to take up the study of his home town dialect with the help from contributors from around the world through his blog wire-lect.blogspot.co.uk.
And through his studies linked with knowledge from the Old Norse language, the 38-year-old could have stumbled on the answer to why the area is called Warrington.
He said: “It has long been believed that Warrington gets its name either from the ancient river crossing probably situated somewhere in Latchford, or from the fishing weirs that were constructed across the Mersey in ancient times.
“By looking at the Viking influence along the Mersey shorelines and the Scandinavian influence on the place names and some dialect words, I have developed a theory that Warrington gets its name from the Viking invaders and traders that were present in the area in the 900s.
“I believe that the Vikings named the place where Warrington stands after their word for a place to moor their boats.
“The ending ton comes from an old word ‘tún’ meaning a settlement or town. This gives us the Viking name Vörringtún, which means ‘the place to moor the boats’.
“It could potentially affect the way we see ourselves and our common history in Warrington.”
The blog has gained fans around the world with Warringtonians from 33 countries logging on.
But Robert is looking for more help from natives to add their own comments and tales of ‘Warringtonisms’ they know.
He added: “To document the dialect and make observations and draw any kind of conclusions, there has to be sufficient data and this means that people have to write the words and phrases that they use.
“It may seem pointless to post a word or phrase that you use every day because it seems so ordinary, but to a trained linguist like me, the hidden information contained in those words and phrases is priceless.”
l You can hear Robert’s own Warrington dialect when he appears on Radio Warrington tomorrow, Friday, from noon to 3pm on the Diane Abbott Show.