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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Liðs 2I

[8] skreiðask ‘creep’: Scholars have suggested that underlying this word may be an Anglo-Saxonism that confused the copyists. Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB II, 107 n.) tentatively restored skrýðaz and Hofmann (1955, 64-70, apparently independently) refined this to *skréðask ‘clothe, adorn oneself’ representing a conjectured OE dialectal *scrēdan for West Saxon scrȳdan ‘to issue with clothing’. The normal OWN adaptation of OE scrȳdan is skrýða. The related ON skrúð ‘ornament, equipment’ is also thought to be a loan word from OE (AEW: skrúð). ODan. *skréðask could have been ‘restored’ to a diphthongised form skreiðask by OWN speakers (cf. Brøndum-Nielsen 1928, 315-16) under the influence of the verb skreiðask ‘to slide, creep’ (Poole 1987, 284).


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  3. 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.
  4. Hofmann, Dietrich. 1955. Nordisch-englische Lehnbeziehungen der Wikingerzeit. BA 14. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  5. Poole, Russell. 1987. ‘Skaldic Verse and Anglo-Saxon History: Some Aspects of the Period 1009-1016’. Speculum 62, 265-98.
  6. Brøndum-Nielsen, Johannes. 1928. Gammeldansk grammatik i sproghistorisk fremstilling. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.


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