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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þul Á 6III

[1, 2] Nyt ... Nǫt: The same pair of alliterating names is found in Gylf (SnE 2005, 33) and Grí 28/4 (NK 63) Nyt oc Nǫt lit. ‘profit and wet one’. Finnur Jónsson (1933-4, 263) argues that the river-name Nyt is the same as ON nyt f. ‘use, enjoyment, produce’, and hence the implied meaning of this heiti might be ‘one rich in fish’. Such river-names as ModSwed. Nytteström may, according to Hale (1983, 177-8), support this interpretation. ON nyt f. also means ‘milk’, however, and it is possible that the river-name Nyt could refer to the colour of the water (Hale loc. cit. mentions Mjølkeelven lit. ‘milk river’ in Norway). For Nǫt, cf. ModSwed. Naten, a lake in Södermanland, and OS nat, OHG naz ‘wet’, Goth. ganatjan ‘to wet’, Sanskrit nadi ‘river’ (AEW: nǫt 2). According to Finnur Jónsson (1933-4, 263), Nǫt might mean ‘shaking one’. Sijmons and Gering (S-G I, 199) connect it with the spear-heiti nǫt (see Þul Spjóts l. 1) and interpret this river-name as ‘stinging or burning one’ (see also Hale 1983, 178). These and other mythical names recorded in ll. 1-2 are names of rivers flowing from the spring Hvergelmir.


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  3. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  4. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  5. S-G = Gering, Hugo. 1927-31. Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda. Nach dem Tode des Verfassers herausgegeben von B. Sijmons. I: Götterlieder. II: Heldenlieder. Halle: Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses.
  6. Finnur Jónsson. 1933-4. ‘Þulur’. APS 8, 262-72.
  7. Hale, Christopher. 1983. ‘The River Names in Grímnismál 27-29’. In Glendinning et al. 1983, 165-86.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)
  10. Not published: do not cite ()
  11. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Spjóts heiti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 816.


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