Definition of berserk in English:
- After the match a section of the spectators went berserk and pandemonium raged.
- A drunken holidaymaker who went berserk on a plane during a fit of air rage was today beginning a two-year jail sentence.
- They went berserk, insane when the prices fell.
early 19th century (originally as a noun denoting an ancient Norse warrior who fought with wild or uncontrolled ferocity): from Old Norse berserkr (noun), probably from birn-, bjorn (see bear2) + serkr 'coat', but also possibly from berr 'bare' (i.e. without armour).
A berserker was an ancient Norse warrior who fought with wild, uncontrolled ferocity—he went berserk. The name came from an old Scandinavian word, berserkr, which probably meant ‘bear coat’ or ‘bearskin’, a suitably rugged garment for a terrifyingly unhinged Viking. An alternative possibility is that the first element is the equivalent of ‘bare’, referring to fighting without armour. The phrase to go berserk is first recorded in 1896.
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