Berserker, a Scandinavian mythological hero, was the grandson of the fabled eight-handed Starkader and Alfhilde. He slew in battle King Swafurlam, by whose daughter he had twelve sons who inherited his name. He went into battle without armour, hence the name Berserker, popularly derived from ber, bare, and serlter, shirt of mail. More probably, however, it means "bear-shirt," and is either connected with Totemism (q.v.), or affords a parallel to the werewolf (q.v.) myth.