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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Bragi Frag 4III

[2] váfaðar ‘of the swinger’: Váfuðr (or vafǫðr, so Vsp 1/5 in Hb, NK 1 n.), from váfa ‘move, swing [to and fro]’ is a name for Óðinn (see Note to Þul Óðins 5/7); cf. Eskál Lv 1ab/1, 4I, V veig Váfaðar ‘the drink of Váfuðr [POETRY]’, elsewhere a name for the wind (Alv 20/2, same verse cited in Skm, SnE 1998, I, 90, and 146 n.). Here, however, the kenning becomes awkward if Váfuðr is regarded as a proper name, as it has to form a base-word with a second proper name, Gungnir, as determinant; rather, it appears to be used in its etymological sense but with reference to Óðinn, as the owner of Gungnir.


  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  4. Internal references
  5. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  6. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Óðins nǫfn 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 743.
  7. Not published: do not cite ()
  8. Not published: do not cite ()
  9. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2012, ‘Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Lausavísur 1a’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 331.


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