Keth wrote:
> Do you know how many words we are talking about ? (order of magnitude)
> If you were to make up a list, would it be exhausted in a
> single mail ?

I guess no, since I also have an idea that much of the cultural lexicon
was to be borrowed.
> Personally I have never looked too deeply into this question
> of Finnish,
> because the Finnish language is soo different from the other European
> languages, and is supposed to be soo difficult to learn, that very few
> people make the effort. Far more people have actually tried to learn
> languages like Russian, and I suppose those who got a chance to live
> there are also more or less fluent. But Finnish is, I think, even
> more difficult than Russian !

I think not. Grammatically it is less complex (even though I am hardly
an expert here, as I know no Finnish). The impression I get from the
resources available on the Web gives a suggestion that it is not greatly
more complex than ON.

> Of course, there is the same phenomenon with respect to the Saamic
> language(s): e.g.. the Saamic god "Horgallis" is supposed to derived
> from ON "Torekall".
> Looking it up, I find, then, 426 (for hundred and twenty
> six) borrowings from North Germanic into Finnish. The list
> includes such well known words as:

[list snipped]

> So what this list suggests is: social institutions (marked),
> weekdays, gods, supernatural beings, instruments, things
> to do with fishing and sailing; also the plow, as well as
> things that have to do with the building of houses.

It would be natural for the more or less nomadic Finns wandering into
the areas populated by Germanic tribes adopting the terms for what they
had no notion of.

[interesting discussion snipped]

> "jól" (=yule) was indeed part of the list I quoted.
> Also note that words like geohol, gehhol, geol, geola
> are documented in Anglo-Saxon. Also in the Gotic language
> there is "fruma-jiuleis" = the month of November.
> All this shows that the word "jól" is an old one.
> But when the Icelandic Annals say that this name
> was introduced in honour of Julius Caesar, how seriously
> are we to take this? It is of course relevant to consider
> that it was Julius Caesar who *was* responsible for an
> important calendar reform. But the question is whether
> the Icelandic annalists are merely speculating, or -
> what would be more interesting - are passing on a genuine
> tradition.

Looks like speculation to me - the chronists were good at ascribing
Roman origin to everything they saw (take Geoffrey of Monmouth). It
seems to be a trait of the Germanic historians. In a sense, they were
passing on a genuine tradition of Romanizing everything ;-)