This interface will no longer be publicly available from 1 September 2020. 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

2. Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrafnsmál, 7 [Vol. 2, 733-4]

[8] dalreyðar ‘of the valley-char’: Reyðr ‘char’ (Salvelinus alpinus), a fish of the salmon species (ModIcel. reyður, ModNorw røye). This cpd occurs in Anon (Sǫrl) l. 5VIII, which is composed in Haðarlag metre as well. See also ESk Øxfl 1III and ÞBrún Lv 4V. Reyðr is also a whale (see Note to Steinn Óldr 11/7), but it appears that the word originally denoted ‘char’, because it was borrowed into Saami (rav’do ‘char’) from Proto Scandinavian (*rauðiō) in that sense (see Nielsen 1908, 228). In LP: reyðr 2, both ‘whale’ and ‘char’ are listed as possible meanings of the word in the present kenning, while Meissner (p. 109; so also Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 96) takes it in the sense ‘char’. That interpretation is more likely, because the kenning clearly imitates such circumlocutions for ‘snake’ as attested in dalmiskunn fiska, i.e. miskunn dalfiska ‘the mercy of the valley-fish’ [SNAKE > SUMMER], Egill Lv 8/4V. In general, if reyðr is excluded from the list, fish-names are far more common than whale-names in snake-kennings (see Meissner 112-13). See also Note to Sturl Hákfl 2/1.

references

© 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 Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor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.