European nation on the western part of the Scandinavian peninsula, Middle English Nor-weie, from Old English Norweg, Norþweg "Norway, the Norwegian coast," from Old Norse Norvegr "north way, a way leading to the north," from norðr (see north) + vegr "way," from Proto-Germanic *wegaz"course of travel, way" (from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle"). Contrasted with suthrvegar "south way," i.e. Germany, and austrvegr "east way," the Baltic lands. Compare Norwegian.
c. 1600 (n.) "a native of Norway," and (adj.) "of or pertaining to Norway," sometimes in early use Norvegian, from Medieval Latin Norvegia "Norway," from Old Norse Norvegr (see Norway) + -ian. Earlier words included Noreine and Norreis (both c. 1300), from Norrene (n.) "Norway" (c. 1200; the surname Norne is from late 12c.); Noregan (late 14c., from Medieval Latin); Norenish (c. 1200, adj. and n.), from late Old English Norren, from Old Norse Norrœnn.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to go, move, transport in a vehicle."
The root wegh-, "to convey, especially by wheeled vehicle," is found in virtually every branch of Indo-European, including now Anatolian. The root, as well as other widely represented roots such as aks- and nobh-, attests to the presence of the wheel — and vehicles using it — at the time Proto-Indo-European was spoken. [Watkins, p. 96]
It forms all or part of: always; away; convection; convey; convex; convoy; deviate; devious; envoy; evection; earwig; foy; graywacke; impervious; invective; inveigh; invoice; Norway; obviate; obvious; ochlocracy; ogee; pervious; previous; provection; quadrivium; thalweg; trivia; trivial; trivium; vector; vehemence; vehement; vehicle; vex; via; viaduct; viatic; viaticum; vogue; voyage; wacke; wag; waggish; wagon; wain; wall-eyed; wave (n.); way; wee; weigh; weight; wey; wiggle.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vahati "carries, conveys," vahitram, vahanam "vessel, ship;" Avestan vazaiti "he leads, draws;" Greek okhos "carriage, chariot;" Latin vehere "to carry, convey," vehiculum "carriage, chariot;" Old Church Slavonic vesti "to carry, convey," vozŭ "carriage, chariot;" Russian povozka "small sled;" Lithuanian vežu, vežti "to carry, convey," važis "a small sled;" Old Irish fecht "campaign, journey," fen "carriage, cart;" Welsh gwain "carriage, cart;" Old English wegan "to carry;" Old Norse vegr, Old High German weg "way;" Middle Dutch wagen "wagon."
1709, "ancient Scandinavian legend of considerable length," an antiquarians' revival to describe the medieval prose narratives of Iceland and Norway, from Old Norse saga "saga, story," cognate with Old English sagu "a saying" (see saw (n.2)).
Properly a long narrative composition of Iceland or Norway in the Middle Ages featuring heroic adventure and fantastic journeys, or one that has their characteristics. The extended meaning "long, convoluted story" is by 1857.
Scandinavian masc. proper name, popular with early kings, the first to use it was Magnus I, king of Norway and Denmark (d. 1047), who evidently took it in emulation of Charlemagne (Latin Carolus Magnus) under the impression that magnus (Latin, literally "great," from PIE root *meg- "great") was a personal name.
"national traitor," especially during World War II in Nazi-occupied countries, "collaborationist," 1940, from Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), Norwegian fascist politician who headed the puppet government during the German occupation of Norway in World War II; shot for treason after the German defeat. First used in London Times of April 15, 1940, in a Swedish context.