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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Bjbp Jóms 24I

[8] nakkvara snertu ‘in a certain short attack’: (a) Snerta in prose means ‘a short stretch of time or place’, i.e. a short time or distance (Fritzner: snerta 1, 2); in poetry it most often means a sharp, relatively short attack, or a whole battle (LP: snerta 1, 2), and the sense ‘attack’ is appropriate here. Nakkvara snertu makes a f. acc. sg. phrase which appears to be quasi-temporal and used adverbially, cf. expressions such as fara dag ok nótt ‘to travel day and night’ (NS §98a). (b) Jvs 1879 notes that the abbreviation at the end of the word is unclear but that the reading is not ‘sinnum’. Fms 11 prints sinnum ‘at times’, dat. pl. of sinn ‘time’; so also Wisén (1870, 82). This is grammatically incompatible with the preceding word nakkvara ‘some, a certain’, which must be m. acc. pl. or f. acc. sg. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s gloss nokkrum in Fms 12 equates this with dat. pl., but this is doubtful.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  5. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  6. Jvs 1879 = Petersens, Carl af, ed. 1879. Jómsvíkinga saga (efter Cod. AM. 510, 4:to) samt Jómsvíkinga drápa. Lund: Gleerup.
  7. Wisén, Theodor, ed. 1870. Úrval af norrænum fornkvæðum handa hinum bókmennta-iðkendum. Lund: Berling.


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