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Runic Dictionary

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Bragi Rdr 9III l. 8

algífris — of the complete monster


algífri (noun n.): [complete monster]



[7-8] at sinna með lifru algífris ulfs ‘to accompany the sister of the complete monster of a wolf [Fenrir] [= Hel]’: The general sense of the lines is that Hildr incited the princes (Hǫgni and Heðinn) to join the company of Hel, guardian of the dead and the underworld, that is, she egged them on to their deaths. Hel was one of three monstrous offspring of the god Loki, another of whom was the wolf, Fenrir, referred to here. The status of the word algífris ‘completely monstrous’ (l. 8) is debated. It is here understood as a descriptive gen. of algífri ‘complete monster’ (so SnE 1998, II, 233), taken with ulfs (l. 7), so ‘of the complete monster of a wolf’. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) takes ulfs with lifru ‘sister’ (l. 8) and construes til at rejse til det fuldkomne uhyre, ulvens søster ‘to travel to the complete monster, the wolf’s sister’. Kock (NN §193, though not in Skald) takes algífris with lifru to form a cpd, construing ulfs algífrislifru ‘the wolf’s very monstrous sister’.



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