The name Denmark!

Most handbooks link the word ‘den’ which means ‘flat land’ to one of the three sources listed here

1. to German ‘tenne’ which means ‘barn floor’,
2. to English ‘den’ which means ‘cave’, and;
3. to Sanskrit ‘dhánus’ (धनुस्) meaning ‘desert’.

However, it is the Sanskrit ‘dan’ (दान) which means ‘meadow’ or ‘open pastures’ which is the most appropriate.

Many place names in Denmark (Denmark included) have two syllables. The most common second syllables are:

1. ‘Ager’ which means ‘field’. ‘Ager’ is said to be derived from the Latin ‘ager’, originally from Sanskrit ‘ajrya’ (अज्र्य) meaning ‘fields’.
2. ‘Berg’ which means ‘hill’, traced via Old German ‘berg’ to Sanskrit ‘brhant’ (बृहन्त) meaning ‘high’ or ‘elevated’.
3. ‘Borg’ meaning fort, derived from Sanskrit ‘Durg’ (दुर्ग).
4. ‘Bro’ meaning ‘bridge’ from Sanskrit ‘Brhi’ (भृ) which means ‘to carry’, ‘support’ or ‘lift up’.
5. ‘Dal or ‘Dahl’ meaning ‘valley’, as in Sanskrit ‘dal’ (दल्) meaning ‘crack’ or ‘split’.

The second ‘syllable’ of the word ‘Denmark’, or the Norse ‘Danmaork’ is said to mean ‘woodland’. ‘mark’ or ‘maork’ may be traced to the Sanskrit ‘marya’ (मर्या) which means ‘limit’, ‘border’ or ‘boundary’. ‘Marya’ (मर्या) certainly fits in much better, considering that it also is the source of Old Frisian ‘merkia’, and, German and Dutch ‘merken’, which all mean ‘mark’, which is often used in the sense of ‘marked territory’, hence equivalent to ‘border’ and therefore the Sanskrit ‘marya’.

It is also possible that both ‘mark’ and ‘maork’, and their accepted meaning of ‘woodland’, may be distorted forms of Sanskrit ‘marg’ (मार्ग), which usually is taken to mean ‘path’, ‘passage’ or ‘route’, but also means ‘track of a wild animal’, and  ‘hunting’. It is in this sense that the Danish meaning of ‘mark’, which is ‘woodland’, may be linked to the Sanskrit ‘marg’.


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