What does Skol Mean in Viking?

What does Skol Mean in Viking

Viking culture is one of the most fascinating in history, and its traditions continue to intrigue people around the world. One of the most iconic customs of the Vikings is their toast, which is expressed with the word “Skol.” In this article, we will explore the meaning of the Skol Viking word, its origins, and why it is still used today. Keep reading this article to discover what does the Viking word Skol mean. 

What is Skol Viking Meaning?

Skol is a word in Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. Its original spelling is “skål” or “skál.” The term has several meanings, including “cheers,” “good health,” “to your health,” and “drink up.” Skol is used as a toast, a friendly greeting, or an expression of gratitude. In essence, it is a way of acknowledging the presence of others and wishing them well.

What does “skoll” mean in Old Norse?

There is no word “skoll” in Old Norse. The word Skoll is usually spelled “skål” or “skál” in Old Norse, and it is a toast or a drinking salute. The word “skål” is derived from the Old Norse word “skál,” which means “bowl” or “cup.” In the Viking Age, drinking horns or cups were used to share ale or mead during feasts, and toasts were made to honor the gods, ancestors, and guests.

It is important to note that Skoll (spelled with a double “l”) is also the name of a giant wolf in Norse mythology. According to legend, Skoll and his brother Hati chased the sun and the moon through the sky, and it was said that if they ever caught their prey, the world would end. But this is a different word and context from the drinking salute.

In summary, the word “skål” or “skál” in Old Norse is a drinking salute or toast, while Skoll (spelled with double “l”) is a giant wolf in Norse mythology

What Does the Viking Toast Skol Mean?

The Skol Viking word is a way of showing appreciation and respect to those present. It is a celebration of life, friendship, and camaraderie. When Vikings gathered for feasts, they would raise their drinking horns and say “Skol” before taking a sip of mead or ale. The toast was a way of expressing gratitude for the bounty of food and drink and for the company of friends and family.

What Do Vikings Say When They Toast?

When Vikings toasted, they would say “Skol” or “Skál,” which means “cheers” or “good health.” For example, there were other phrases that Vikings used for toasting, depending on the occasion. For example, they would say “Drykk hveitivín!” (drink wheat wine) when toasting to a wedding, or “Drykk öl!” (drink ale) when toasting to a battle victory.

How did the Vikings toast?

Vikings had a rich and elaborate drinking culture, and toasting was an important part of their social gatherings and feasts. The way Vikings toasted varied depending on the occasion and the setting, but some common practices were followed.

One of the most distinctive aspects of Viking toasting was the use of drinking horns or cups made from the horns of animals such as cows or goats. These horns were often decorated with intricate carvings and were considered a sign of status and wealth. Drinking horns were filled with mead, ale, or other beverages, and were passed around the group during the feast.

When it was time to toast, the person making the toast would raise their drinking horn and say “skål” or “skol,” which is a drinking salute that means “cheers” or “good health.” The others in the group would respond by raising their drinking horns and repeating the toast. The horns were then clinked together, creating a loud and celebratory sound.

In addition to the basic toast of “skål,” Vikings often added phrases or words to their toasts, depending on the occasion. For example, Vikings might say “Drykk hveitivín!” during a wedding feast, which means “drink wheat wine.” During a battle victory, they might say “Drykk öl!” which means “drink ale.

Viking Toast Skol Origin

The origin of the Viking toast, Skol, is shrouded in mystery and legend. Some historians believe that Skol comes from the Old Norse word “skáli,” which means “hall” or “house.” In this context, Skol could mean “welcome to the hall” or “let’s drink to the hall.” Others suggest that Skol has a more practical origin. Vikings used drinking horns made from the horns of cows or goats, and the word Skol could come from the sound of the horns clinking together when toasting.

Regardless of its origin, Skol has become an iconic part of Viking culture, and its meaning has evolved. In addition to its original meaning of “cheers” or “good health,” Skol has come to represent the spirit of the Vikings – their courage, strength, and sense of camaraderie.

Why Did Vikings Say Skol?

Vikings said Skol for many reasons – to celebrate life, to honor their gods, to express gratitude, or simply to enjoy each other’s company. Drinking was an important part of Viking culture, and mead or ale was often consumed in large quantities during feasts or celebrations. Toasting with Skol was a way of acknowledging the bounty of food and drink, as well as the presence of friends and family.

Skol was also used in formal settings, such as business meetings or diplomatic negotiations. In these contexts, Skol was a way of showing respect and establishing a bond of trust between the parties involved. By raising their drinking horns and saying Skol, Vikings said, “I trust you, let’s do business together.”

Why Do Viking Fans Say Skol?

Vikings fans say Skol as a way of showing their support for the team. The word has become a rallying cry for the Minnesota Vikings, an American football team based in Minneapolis. The team adopted the Viking image and traditions as part of their identity, including the Skol chant. The Skol chant is a rhythmic clapping and chanting of the word Skol, accompanied by a horn blowing. It is a way of bringing the spirit of the Vikings to the stadium and uniting the fans in support of the team.

Do Vikings Say Skol or Skål?

Both Skol and Skål are correct spellings of the Viking word. Skol is the anglicized version of the word, while Skål is the original spelling in Old Norse. The pronunciation is the same for both versions, with the “o” pronounced like the “u” in “up.” Using Skol or Skål depends on the context, the audience, and personal preference.

Is It Skol or Skoal?

Skol and Skoal are two different words with different origins and meanings. Skol is the Viking word for “cheers” or “good health,” while Skoal is a brand of smokeless tobacco. The two words have nothing in common except for the similarity in spelling and pronunciation.

Is Skol Still Used?

Skol is still used today in its traditional Viking context and modern settings. Skål is a common way of toasting in Scandinavia, especially during formal occasions such as weddings or business meetings. The word has also spread beyond Scandinavia and is used in various parts of the world, especially in places with Viking heritage or influence.

How do you use the word “Skol” (skål)?

The word “skål” (or “skol”) is typically used as a drinking salute or a toast in Nordic cultures. It is a way of wishing good health, prosperity, and happiness to those you are drinking with.

To use the word “skål,” you would typically raise your glass, cup, or drinking horn and say “skål” or “skol” before taking a sip. You can also add other words or phrases to the toast, such as “cheers,” “to your health,” or “good luck.” In a formal setting, such as a business dinner or a wedding, you may also want to add the name of the person or group you are toasting to.

Besides its use as a drinking salute, the word “skål” can also be used as a general greeting or a way of expressing gratitude. For example, you could say “skål” when you meet someone for the first time or when you want to thank someone for their hospitality.

It is worth noting that the pronunciation of “skål” can vary depending on the dialect and region. In general, the “å” sound is pronounced like the “o” in “got,” and the “l” is pronounced as a soft “l” sound.

Did Vikings yell Skol before the battle?

While Skol is a Viking toast commonly used during feasts and celebrations, there is no evidence to suggest that Vikings yelled Skol before the battle. The word Skol is typically used as a friendly greeting or a way of wishing someone good health, and it would not have been appropriate in the context of a battle.

During the battle, Vikings would have been focused on intimidating their enemies, boosting their morale, and fighting fiercely. They would have used a variety of tactics to achieve these goals, including war cries, personal or tribal names, insults and taunts, and religious or mythological phrases, as mentioned earlier. 

It is possible that Vikings may have shouted other words or phrases before the battle that have not been recorded in historical sources. However, there is no evidence to suggest that Skol was one of these phrases. The use of Skol as a toast during feasts and celebrations is well-documented in Viking literature and history, but there is no mention of its use in the context of battle.


Skol is a word with a rich history and meaning in Viking culture. It represents the spirit of the Vikings – their courage, power, and sense of camaraderie. The word has evolved and is still used today, both in its traditional Viking context and modern settings. Vikings fans say Skol as a way of showing their support for the Minnesota Vikings, while Skål is a common way of toasting in Scandinavia and beyond.

Regardless of how it is used, Skol remains an iconic part of Viking culture, a symbol of their enduring legacy and influence. As we raise our glasses and say Skol, we are honoring the spirit of the Vikings – their love of life, sense of adventure, and unwavering determination. Skol!