This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

8. Ǫrvar-Odds saga 71 (Ǫrvar-Oddr, Ævidrápa, 1) — Oddr [Vol. 8, 888]

[7] skæstafr skógs ‘the advancing stave of the bow [WARRIOR = I]’: The word skæstafr ‘the advancing stave’, the reading of both 471 and 173ˣ, is a hap. leg. of uncertain meaning, while 343a’s reading ‘bæstafr’ is not an Old Norse word. Skógr is used here in the uncommon sense ‘bow’ (cf. LP: 2. skógr) rather than ‘wood, forest’, its common meaning. The kenning stafr skógs ‘stave of the bow’ would make an acceptable warrior-kenning on its own, but the first element of the cpd, skæ- is difficult to assign a meaning (cf. LP: skæstafr). The horse-heiti skær ‘sprinter’ (Þul Hesta 1/8III) is not appropriate here, while there is a difficulty with the only other possible connection, with the cognate verb skæva ‘advance, rush [forward]’ (cf. LP, LT: skæva), in that the <v> of the stem skæv- is not present in the cpd under discussion. However, ‘advancing, rushing stave’ seems the most likely meaning for skæstafr, although Kock (NN §121) argues for a derivation from skæra, to which he attributes the same sense as skæva.


© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.