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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þul Á 1III

[2] valskjalf (f.): A hap. leg., but Valaskjǫlf (or Válaskjálf), is the name of Óðinn’s hall (Grí 6/4). As a river-name, the cpd is probably formed from valr m. ‘the slain’ (val- may have a more general sense, ‘war-’, here) and skjálf f. ‘shelf’, hence lit. ‘slain/war-shelf’, or, according to AEW: skjalf, skjálf ‘peak’. Alternatively, the second element might be a nomen actionis from the strong verb skjálfa ‘tremble, shake’ (hence ‘slain-shiver’). Cf. also Hliðskjálf, the elevated place where Óðinn and Frigg sit when they look out over all worlds (see Grí prose, NK 56).


  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. Internal references
  5. Not published: do not cite ()


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