Wends (Old English: Winedas, Old Norse: Vindr, German: Wenden, Winden, Danish: Vendere, Swedish: Vender, Polish: Wendowie) is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used. Today, it is used either in historical contexts or as a catch-all term for Lusatian Sorbs, and their descendants, like the Texas Wends. In the Middle Ages the term "Wends" often referred to Western Slavs living within the Holy Roman Empire, though not always. Mieszko I, the first historical legitimate ruler of Poland, also appeared as "Dagome, King of the Wends" (Old Norse: Vindakonungr) - which was an apparent misinterpretation as during those times emerging Polish state had no true control over Sorbian territories (which were gained for a short period of time by Boleslaw I Chrobry after Mieszko's death).
Contributions by Volunteer Marek, Termer, and Olessi.