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The Routes of English - BBC Radio 4
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In 793 AD, the destruction of Lindisfarne on the northeast coast of England signalled the start of the Norse raids and a mass migration of Scandinavians, which continued until 1050 AD.

What started as expeditions to plunder the possessions of the native British ended in conquest and settlement. These raiders became known as Vikings, possibly from the Norse 'vik', meaning a bay and thus one who frequents bays, or from the Old English 'wic' - a camp, from the Viking habit of setting up temporary encampments.

By the middle of the ninth century, almost half the country was in the hands of the Norse-speaking Vikings. It was only the uprising of Alfred, King of Wessex, who used English as a political tool to weld his forces and kingdom together, that saved the language.
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