Weregild, literally meaning "man-gold", was money paid as a penalty for killing a man among the Norse, Anglo-Saxons and others. Literally, it was blood-money paid to the kin of the dead man to compensate them for the loss of a loved one.
Weregild often provided an honorable excuse to lay down any feud resulting from a killing (either accidental or deliberate); without weregild, the kin of a dead Norseman were required by honor and custom to take revenge against his slayer if at all possible.
In Anglo-Saxon England, there was an elaborate hierarchy of weregild payments, dependent on the victim's social standing, ranging from 1500 shillings for a prince to far compensation to a thrall's owner (as his property had been destroyed).
Similar to weregild was a Celtic practice; the Celts calling it ericfine or galanas.