Curious logo
Image depicting Walrus

What’s in a word – Walrus

Recommended for Preparatory Grades

What’s in a word – Walrus? Have you ever wondered?

We read about the history of the word ‘penguin‘ before. Today, let’s find out where the word ‘walrus’ comes from.

Do you know who a walrus is? You may have seen it on TV. It is a big, gentle marine mammal that can weigh about 2000 kg! It has flippers, whiskers and tusks.

How did ‘Walrus’ name come about?

  • The word ‘walrus’ seems to have come from the Old Norse word hrossvalr meaning ‘horse whale’. Old Norse was the language of the Vikings or Norsemen. They lived 100s of years ago in what is present-day Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
  • The word hrossvalr is thought to have then been passed in an inverted form to the Danish language hvalros or Swedish valross, which in turn became ‘walrus’ in English.



Who came upon this word’s history?

  • Its origin was discovered by J.R.R. Tolkien, the famous writer who wrote many books such as the Lord of the Rings and more.
  • Tolkien was an English professor. Before he started writing books, he also worked on the first-ever Oxford English Dictionary. The origin of the word ‘walrus’ was first given here.

Here is a lovely video to know more about walruses:


Image depicting Curious Times Logo

There are so many interesting words to know. We share interesting trivia and the words and their history. Keep coming back to Curious Times – a news website for children. We engage and educate kids through news, information and trivia. There are also a lot of exciting activities for children to engage in and express themselves. You can share your comments and views; participate in our regular quizzes and various creative challenges. We are also delighted to publish what children send to us in My Expressions. These could be art and creative projects, their thoughts in the form of drawings, paintings, photographs and write-ups. And also books, games or movie reviews. 

All the great content from the kids finds its way to our Newspaper Curious Times Weekly and The Curious Magazine. You can also reach out to us on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook. Youtube, Twitter, Linked In, Or write to us at

  (Please login to give a Curious Clap to your friend.)

Share your comment!

To post your comment Login/Signup