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Contributor Contrib.FireChildSlytherin5 on 1/27/2009
Used by Sir Walter Scott for a character in his novel 'The Pirate' (1821). Apparently he based it on Old Norse norn, the name for one of the fate goddesses of Norse mythology, which is related to the Swedish dialect verb norna "to warn, to communicate secretly" (and may ultimately be echoic in origin, i.e., imitative of low murmuring). Swedish botanist Göran Wahlenberg gave the name to a type of orchid in 1826. Its earliest documented usage in Sweden is 1863.