from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A member of the bodyguard or household troops of a Danish or Anglo-Saxon king or noble.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In early Danish and early English history, a member of the body-guard of a noble, chieftain, or king.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Eng. Archæol.) A household servant; also, one of the bodyguard of King Canute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical A member of the Scandinavian royal household troops.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old Norse huskarl


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word housecarl.


  • How could a mere housecarl get past my guardian novices and intricate locks?

    Conqueror's Moon May, Julian 2003

  • Sitting here on my shaded porch above the languid tropical river, with only indifferent birds and my grouchy housecarl Borve to take note of my labors, I shall write it all down.

    Conqueror's Moon May, Julian 2003

  • The sergeant of the housecarl platoon that had brought the prisoner up from Catawrayannis Port said in his brassiest voice, "Don't address traitors by titles they've forfeited."

    The Rebel Worlds Anderson, Poul, 1926- 1972

  • He ordered that each native soldier and housecarl should be presented in the winter season with three marks of silver, a common or hired soldier with two, a private soldier who had finished his service with only one.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Grammaticus Saxo

  • Presently Erling came alongside me, leaving the housecarl to mind his comrade.

    A King's Comrade A Story of Old Hereford 1884

  • But it did not seem right to me that an atheling of Wessex should be alone, without so much as a housecarl to tend him and stand at his back at need.

    A King's Comrade A Story of Old Hereford 1884

  • So said Dudda, the rough housecarl; and it is in my mind that the kindly remembrance would have wiped out many a thought of wrong, had there been any.

    King Alfred's Viking A Story of the First English Fleet 1884

  • So we went to the quarter of the fair where such things as we needed were to be had, and there we took pleasure in fitting my new follower out in all decent housecarl attire, not by any means sparing for good leather jerkin and Norwich-cloth hose and hood, for I would not have him looked down on by our Frankish servants.

    A King's Comrade A Story of Old Hereford 1884

  • The housecarl started toward it, but as he passed one of the helpless horses, he turned to that and brought me a horn from the saddlebags.

    A King's Comrade A Story of Old Hereford 1884

  • "Our horses; and I have tended them, lord," said the rough housecarl, with a bit of a shake in his voice.

    A King's Comrade A Story of Old Hereford 1884


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.