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

Menu Search

Note to Þul Skipa 2III

[1] byrðingr, búza (m., f.) ‘freighter, merchant-ship’: Both terms denote large merchant-ships. While the first is an indigenous Old Norse word (cf. borð and byrði ‘ship’s side’), the second is a loanword (< MLG būtze, būse < MLat. buza, bucia ‘ship for transporting cargo’; AEW: búza, bússa). Neither ship-heiti occurs in skaldic verse, but both terms are found in the rímur (Finnur Jónsson 1926-8: byrðingr; búza). See Falk (1912, 110-12). It is possible that Skuldelev 3, a fourteen-metre long coastal trader with a carrying capacity of 4-5 tons, was a byrðingr (Crumlin-Pedersen 2010, 110).


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  3. Falk, Hjalmar. 1912. Altnordisches Seewesen. Wörter und Sachen 4. Heidelberg: Winter.
  4. Finnur Jónsson. 1926-8. Ordbog til de af samfund til udg. af gml. nord. litteratur udgivne Rímur samt til de af Dr. O. Jiriczek udgivne Bósarímur. SUGNL 51. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  5. Crumlin-Pedersen, Ole. 2010. Archaeology and the Sea in Scandinavia and Britain: A Personal Account. Maritime Culture of the North 3. Roskilde: Viking Ship Museum.


Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.