ber·serk·er (bər-sûrkər, -zûr-)
One of a band of ancient Norse warriors legendary for their savagery and reckless frenzy in battle.
[Old Norse berserkr : perhaps ber-, bear (akin to björn, bear, and bera, she-bear, from the bear-skins perhaps worn by the warriors ; see bher-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) or berr, bare (from the fact that ancient European warriors often fought nude ; see bhoso- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) + serkr, shirt.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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