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Scholar John Mc Kinnell comments that this etymology suggests that the goddess Skaði may have once been a personification of the geographical region of Scandinavia or associated with the underworld.Pliny's descriptions of Scatinavia and surrounding areas are not always easy to decipher.The Danish, Norwegian and Swedish languages form a dialect continuum and are known as the Scandinavian languages—all of which are considered mutually intelligible with one another.Faroese and Icelandic, sometimes referred to as insular Scandinavian languages, are intelligible in continental Scandinavian languages only to a limited extent.The popular usage of the term in Sweden, Denmark and Norway as a unifying concept became established in the nineteenth century through poems such as Hans Christian Andersen's "I am a Scandinavian" of 1839.After a visit to Sweden, Andersen became a supporter of early political Scandinavism.The second segment of the name has been reconstructed as *awjō, meaning "land on the water" or "island".

Scandinavia can thus be considered a subset of the Nordic countries.The remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are usually not seen as a part of Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark. The name Scandinavia originally referred to the former Danish, now Swedish, region of Scania.Scandinavia and Scandinavian entered usage in the late 18th century, being introduced by the early linguistic and cultural Scandinavist movement.Furthermore, the term Fennoscandia refers to Scandinavia, Finland and Karelia, excluding Denmark and overseas territories, but the usage of this term is restricted to geology when speaking of the Fennoscandian Shield (Baltic Shield).In addition to the mainland Scandinavian countries of: Whereas the term "Scandinavia" is relatively straightforward as traditionally relating to the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden there exists some ambiguity as regards the ethnic aspect of the concept in the modern era.

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