"of or pertaining to the Scandinavian people or their languages or physical type," 1898, from French nordique (in anthropologist Joseph Deniker's system of race classifications), literally "of or pertaining to the north," from nord "north" (a loan-word from Old English; see north). Perhaps influenced by German Nordisch. As a noun, from 1901. Strictly, the blond peoples who inhabit Scandinavia and the north of Britain. As a type of skiing competition, it is attested by 1949.