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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 5. Ǫlvir hnúfa, Lausavísa, 1 [Vol. 1, 126]

[5, 6, 8] bandvaniðr golfdáinn hjǫrtr bekkjar ‘the ribbon-accustomed floor-sluggish hart of the bench [WOMAN]’: Another unusual woman-kenning, having a male animal name as base-word. In this case, however, there is a partial comparison in the nickname given to Þóra borgarhjǫrtr ‘Town-hart’ in Ragnars saga ch. 2, whose name is said to derive from the fact that she towered in beauty above all other women like the hart above other animals. This parallel is drawn by Guðmundur Finnbogason (1928, 224-5). Moreover, the epithet bandvaniðr ‘ribbon-accustomed’ refers to woven or embroidered bands or ribbons which are commonly referred to in woman-kennings (Meissner 416-7). Bekkjar is here understood as gen. sg. of bekkr ‘bench’. It could alternatively be gen. sg. of bekkr ‘beck, stream’, although the latter would not make a good connection with the adj. bandvaniðr. The hap. leg. cpd golfdáinn ‘floor-sluggish’ echoes dáin ‘torpid’ (l. 2).


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