Word Origin & History
in O.E., this meant the Bristol Channel. The application to the body of water presently so named is from Du. It lies to the north of Holland, where it and was contrasted with the inland Zuider Zee (lit. "Southern Sea"). To the Danes, it sometimes was Vesterhavet "West Sea." In Eng., this had been typically
called the "German Sea" or "German Ocean," which follows the Roman name for it, Oceanus Germanicus. First transf. use of North Sea from Du. is from late 13c., though "German" persisted on some maps at least into the 1830s.