1844, from berserk (n.) "Norse warrior," by 1835, an alternative form of berserker (1822), a word which was introduced by Sir Walter Scott, from O.N. berserkr (n.) "raging warrior of superhuman strength;" probably from *ber- "bear" + serkr "shirt," thus lit. "a warrior clothed in bearskin." Illustration: Adam R. Garcia
Designer Adam R. Garcia started this nifty project called Illustrated Etymology, where he invited artists to illustrate the history of words and their origins in graphical form.