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What Does Iceland's Skol Viking Clap Mean?

Grigoriy Sisoev/Sputnik via AP

Iceland made history by qualifying for the 2018 World Cup for the first time.

Iceland's team is famous for their "Skol" chant, which many believe to be a Vikings war cry. But "skol" derives from the Swedish, Danish and Noreigian word "Skål." A Skål was a bowl that was often filled with beer and shared among friends so the word became a way of saying "Cheers!"

Iceland's use of the chant first gained international attention during Euro 2016, where Iceland had an incredible win over England during the tournament.

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The team celebrated with their "Skol" chant, clapping their hands above their head and crying out "Huh!" to the beat of a drum. While this was the first time many had witnessed the battle cry, the chant was also relatively new to Iceland as well.

In 2014, Icelandic side Stjarnan played Scottish Premier League side Motherwell F.C. in a Europa League qualifying campaign. During the match at Motherwell's Fir Park, Stjarnan's fans heard the thunderclap and were so taken by it that they brought the chant home.

The chant became popular with fans of Iceland's national team by the time of Euro 2016. After Iceland was knocked out of the tournament, they celebrated their homecoming with an amazing celebration that included the chilling thunderclap.

The chant migrated to Minnesota, where the Vikings introduced it to their fans in 2016 when U.S. Bank Stadium opened. The Vikings though say "Skol" instead of "Huh" like Iceland.

Vikings fans also use the term "Skol Vikings" because it is the name of the Vikings' fight song.

“Skol has been in our lexicon since the very beginning of the franchise in 1961,” Vikings Director of Brand and Creative Erin Swartz previously said. “It was really like a Cheers! Vikings! We’ve scored, we’re celebrating, we’re winning.”

Fans are likely to hear more of the chant throughout June as Iceland celebrates during the World Cup.

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