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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Arn Magndr 18II

[7] ert ‘spirited’: (a) The spelling ert occurs again in the text of Arn Hardr 15/5 in mss Mork, H and Hr (with the variant ‘aurtt’, normalised ǫrt, in Flat), but not in any of the very numerous citations listed under ǫrr in LP. The prose lexicons, too, completely lack any record of an adj. err, although the similar forms ern and errinn are known, both meaning ‘brisk, bold’. Err could perhaps be an independent form which, like them, has a different etymology to ǫrr (see AEW on these words), but which has escaped the lexicographers’ notice because it has been ‘normalised’ to ǫrr. (b) The variant ‘avrt’ is n. sg. nom./acc. of the familiar adj. ǫrr ‘ready, bold, generous’, and the collocation with ‘heart’ is matched in Þorm Lv 23a/1V = Lv 23b/1I Ǫrt vas leifs hjarta ‘Bold was Óláfr’s heart’. Ert could simply be a graphic variant of this since <e/ø> and <ø/ǫ> are common doublets, and noun err occurs as a variant of ørr ‘scar’ (Fritzner IV: err).


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  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 IV = Hødnebø, Finn. 1972. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog af Dr. Johan Fritzner: Rettelser og tillegg. Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø: Universitetsforlaget.
  5. Internal references
  6. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Haraldsdrápa 15’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 276-8.
  7. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld, Lausavísur 23’ 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. 838.


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