Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of wergeld.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Anglo-Saxon and ancient Teutonic law, a kind of fine for manslaughter and other crimes against the person, by paying which the offender freed himself from every further obligation or punishment.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Last week a poster by the name of "wergild" had this to say about the "progress" under McDaniels. wergild wrote: denver is 20th in a 32 team nfl in scoring. so let's count up the mistakes the self appointed genius has made since taking over as dictator:

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • The church placed its own members on the wergild scale.

    The Bass Handbook of Leadership

  • The leader of the recent excavation, Martin Carver, argues that the value of grave goods might represent the ‘wergild’ man-price of the occupant.

    The Sutton Hoo Man: who was he?

  • Carver argues that the wergild for a nobleman was 480 oxen, roughly equivalent to 7 oz 200 g of gold.

    The Sutton Hoo Man: who was he?

  • In some particulars they were less enlightened than the laws of King Liutprand of Lombardy: they kept the old wergild, ordeals, trial by combat, and punishment by mutilation; and decreed death for relapse into paganism, or for eating meat in Lent- though here the priest was allowed to soften the penalty.

    Archive 2008-01-20

  • In 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed, the Austro-Hungarian empire had no choice but to send an ultimatum to Serbia, demanding wergild for the Archduke, or promising war as the alternative.

    Think Progress » U.S. approves two more weeks of fighting.

  • They could ask for wergild, which was paid in cash, or they could take vengeance, which was paid in blood.

    The Alamut Ambush

  • Hugh's very old-fashioned – he doesn't want wergild.

    The Alamut Ambush

  • Guest gave him the one wergild (a hundred of silver), which Howard received in the skirt of his cloak; and then Thorbiorn paid one wergild slowly, coin by coin, and said he had no more money; but Guest bade him pay it all.

    Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race

  • In the second year Biargey again urged Howard to try for a wergild.

    Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race

Comments

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  • Wow. I guess that's where enthrall comes from! Isn't that nifty!

    March 7, 2007

  • Thralls were a Viking thing, somewhere between a serf and a slave, I think. There were a bunch of funky rules about thralls that I have very fuzzy recollections about. Maybe they had to wear neck rings? I think they were either captured on raids or people who were destitute enough to put themselves up for thralldom. I'm sure there is info out there...

    March 7, 2007

  • Interesting notes! I didn't know it could be spelled wergild--only saw it as weregild--but it stands to reason. Thanks for posting the usage! WTF is a thrall anyway?

    March 7, 2007

  • blood money

    From wikipedia:
    "Wergild was a reparational payment usually demanded of a person guilty of homicide or other wrongful death, although it could also be demanded in other cases of serious crime. The payment of weregild was an important legal mechanism in early northern European societies, such as those of the Vikings, and Anglo-Saxons; the other common form of legal reparation at this time was blood revenge. The payment was typically made to the family or to the clan. The word means "man price". If these payments were not made, or refused by the offended party, a blood feud would ensue.

    The size of the weregild in cases of murder was largely conditional upon the social rank of the victim. Thralls and slaves technically commanded no weregild, but it was commonplace to make a nominal payment in the case of a thrall and the value of the slave in such a case."

    March 7, 2007