What Does the Expression “Pillage and Plunder” Mean and Where Did the Word “Ransack” Come From?

The Vikings were good at “ransacking” during raids on Britain and other countries.

They gave us the word ransack, which started out meaning to search a house, legally or otherwise, for goods, stolen or otherwise.

Pillage and plunder are almost interchangeable, with pillage strictly referring to searching a home for booty, while plunder denotes removing what you find.

Whether your home has been searched by the police or a burglar, or a Viking, it’s bound to be a mess because it’s been ransacked.