my contribution to Ed Luce’s amazing ‘Wuvable Oaf’ comic published through fantagraphics.
“ The name berserker derives from the Old Norse berserkr (plural berserkir). This expression most likely arose from their reputed habit of wearing a kind of shirt or coat (serkr) made from the pelt of a bear (ber-) during battle. The bear was one of the animals representing Odin, and by wearing such a pelt the warriors sought to gain the strength of a bear and the favor of Odin.
The element ber- was sometimes interpreted as berr-, meaning "bare”, which Snorri Sturluson understood to mean that the warriors went into battle bare-chested, or “without armor” as men of Odin “