Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Brúðkaupsvísur, 9 [Vol. 7, 535-6]

[1] lyngbjóð ‘the heather-giver’: This seems to be a defective or half-kenning, with the determinant of the enclosing kenning missing, lyng-bjóðr [orms] ‘heather-giver of the snake (lit. giver of the heather of the snake) [GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’, where lyng ‘heather’ does duty for the concept ‘lair’, ‘resting place’, the lair of the snake signifying gold. Jón Helgason suggested the emendation lung ‘ship’ for the mss’ reading lyng. This would produce lungbjóðr ‘ship-commander’, cf. Meissner, 330, who gives bjóðr as a base-word in the man-kenning elgsbjóðr stafna ‘the commander of the elk of the stems (lit. ‘the elk-commander of the stems’) [SEAFARER]’. The base-word bjóðr m. from the verb bjóða ‘to offer, command’ can be understood either way here, as ‘commander’ if Jón Helgason’s emendation is chosen, or as ‘giver, offerer’ if the reading of 721 is chosen, as is done here, as a determinant in a half-kenning.


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