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Scandinavians
Total population
34,6 million (est.)[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
The Nordic countries
Languages

North Germanic languages

Religion

Protestantism, particularly Lutheran
Historically Norse paganism.
See Christianisation of Scandinavia

Related ethnic groups

Other Germanic ethnic groups

Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia, which includes Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes. When including the areas of Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Svalbard, Aland, and Finland Swedes in Finland, the group is technically known as Nordic. Scandinavians were known as Norsemen during the Middle Ages. Until the 9th century, the Scandinavian people lived in small petty kingdoms and chiefdoms, which have since been unified into the three kingdoms known as Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

     The three monarchies that compose Scandinavia according to the strictest definition      The possible extended usage      The maximal extended usage that takes Scandinavia as synonymous to the Nordic countries

The term Scandinavians may in a modern context also be used to refer to the inhabitants of the three Scandinavian countries, not including Iceland and the Faroe Islands, both of which are usually not considered to be part of Scandinavia; (see photo on left). Faroese and Icelandic people are largelynote 2 ethnically Scandinavian[note 1], being descendants of Norsemen[note 2][1][2][3], who settled in Iceland during the 9th and 10th centuries and the Faroes from the 7th century onwards. However, their languages, despite similarities, lost their mutual intelligibility with the continental Scandinavian dialects by the 15th century.

The three countries in Scandinavia, however, share a mutually intelligible dialect continuum and close cultural and historical bonds. The Faroese and Icelandic languages are mutually intelligible to some extent with one another and the Old Norse language. Some Western Norwegian dialects may be mutually intelligible with Icelandic and or Faroese, perhaps depending on situation or knowledge[citation needed].

Inhabitants of the Nordic countries sometimes or frequently remark their fellow [Nordic] nations as brethren or uncles.[citation needed]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Largely from Western Norway, far smaller amounts from other parts of Norway and Scandinavia.
  2. ^ Many of the settlers of Iceland and the Faroes were of Gaelic and Pictish (Irish, Scottish) origin —(see photo). The genes of an average Icelander are therefore around 60 to 80 percent Scandinavian, the rest matching with the before-mentioned Celtic origin. In Faroese people, it is similar, but the Celtic side is believed to be slightly stronger.

References

  1. ^ Estimating Scandinavian and Gaelic Ancestry in the Male and Female Settlers of the Faroe Islands
  2. ^ Icelanders, a diverse bunch?
  3. ^ Estimating Scandinavian and Gaelic Ancestry in the Male Settlers of Iceland
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Noun

Scandinavians

  1. Plural form of Scandinavian.

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