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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Arn Hardr 8II

[6] togfúsa (f. acc. sg.) ‘quick on the draw’: An adj. qualifying þjóð ‘men, people’. Togfúss is not attested elsewhere, nor is the simplex tog recorded in poetry, but in prose it usually means ‘rope, line’. Here and in related words the basic notion is of ‘pulling’ (e.g. the verb toga) or ‘drawing’ (e.g. the adjectival p. p. toginn ‘drawn’, applied to swords; see LP). The element tog also appears in the poetic compounds at eggtogi (Egill Hfl 14/8V) and at/á sverðtogi (SnSt Ht 54/6III and Útsteinn Útkv 2/6VIII) ‘at the drawing of the sword’, i.e. ‘in battle’; cf. also tognings ‘of the sword’ (Balti Sigdr 3/3 and Note). Togfúss is hence comparable with cpd adjectives in -fúss ‘eager, quick’ whose first element denotes ‘battle’, e.g. bǫðfúss, sóknfúss and vígfúss, and can fairly confidently be understood as ‘quick on the draw’ or ‘eager for battle’, perhaps with ironic intent here. Guðbrandur Vigfússon nevertheless found togfúsa unsatisfying and believed it to be a scribal substitution for a phrase meaning ‘dike by the Ouse’ (CPB II, 185). The variants taug- and tók- may well be corruptions of tog-. The abbreviated ‘t̂fusa’ in Hr is also expanded to tók- by Finnur Jónsson in Skj A, but probably represents an otherwise unknown torfúsa ‘difficult-eager (?)’, i.e. ‘not eager (?)’ (cf. abbreviated ‘n᷎dan’ for ‘nordan’). The reading torfúsa is adopted by Finnur Jónsson in Skj B (who consequently does not include togfúss in LP) but rejected by Kock in NN §2523.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj A = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15a. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. A: Tekst efter håndskrifterne. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1967. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. 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.
  6. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  7. Internal references
  8. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Bǫðvarr balti, Sigurðardrápa 3’ 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, p. 535.
  9. Not published: do not cite ([Egill Hfl 14x - for refence only])
  10. Not published: do not cite (Egill Hfl 14V (Eg 47))
  11. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal 54’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1163.
  12. Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 41 (Útsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Útsteinskviða 2)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 337.

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