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Dutch *slachtoffer*, Icelandic *fórnarlamb*

Dutch *slachtoffer* (cf. Afrikaans *slagoffer*) is composed of *slacht* ‘slaughter’ and *offer* ‘sacrifice’. One may expect the word to denote an animal sacrifice, but it doesn’t – the word simply means ‘victim’: *slachtoffer van fraude* ‘victim of fraud’. Paradoxically, while no blood or violence is involved in the latter context, animal sacrifice itself in Dutch is merely referred to as *offer*. Icelandic *fórnarlamb* - from *fórnar* ‘sacrifice’ and *lamb* ‘lamb' - also means 'victim', going one step further in revealing the historical origins of the word, particularly in light of the latent sacrificial nature of Latin-based *victim* itself.

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