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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þul Fiska 4III

Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Fiska heiti 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 856.

Anonymous ÞulurFiska heiti
34

Þyrsklingr ‘Codling’

þyrsklingr (noun m.)

[1] Þyrsklingr: so Tˣ, A, ‘þyrslingr’ R, ‘þysklingr’ C, ‘þ[…]sklingr’ B, ‘Þýsklinngr’ 744ˣ

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ufsi ‘coalfish’

ufsi (noun m.)

[1] ufsi: ‘[…]’ B, ‘ufse’ 744ˣ

notes

[1] ufsi (m.) ‘coalfish’: Ufsi is a large coalfish (see Note to seiðr, st. 2/1 above).

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vartarivartari

vartari (noun m.): °(om beklædningsgenstand) ?bælte; (Fr def. 1 er kun belagt i poesi); (om rem)

[2] vartari: ‘[…]ari’ B, ‘uartari’ 744ˣ

notes

[2] vartari (m.): Lit. ‘warty one’. The referent of this heiti has not been identified. Nordgaard (1912, 62) suggests that vartari may be the term for a kind of vortefisk ‘wart-fish’, possibly ‘sculpin’. Vartari is also the name of the thong that was used to stitch up Loki’s mouth in Old Norse myth (Skm, SnE 1998, I, 43). As a fish-heiti the word is not found elsewhere, unless it is the same word as -vartarir in holtvartarir (Anon (Ldn) 4b/7V (Bárð 6)), a kenning for ‘serpent’, which can be translated either as ‘forest-fish’ or as ‘forest-thong’ (both meanings are suitable as a base-word in this kenning). Based on this kenning-type, Kristensen (1917, 112) argues that vartari might have been included in the list of heiti for ‘fish’ by mistake, i.e. owing to misinterpretation of a base-word that was normally represented both by terms for ‘thong’ (e.g. þvengr) and for ‘fish’.

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grunnungr ‘shallows-dweller’

grunnungr (noun m.; °dat. -i): °(om fisk som lever på lavt vand) lille torsk

[3] grunnungr gedda: ‘g[…]nnungr g[…]dda’ B, ‘grunnungr gedda’ 744ˣ

notes

[3] grunnungr (m.) ‘shallows-dweller’: The name refers to a fish that lives in shallow waters, perhaps a small cod (from grunn ‘shallows’ or grunnr ‘bottom of the sea’, hence lit. ‘groundling’, ModNorw. taretorsk). See Nordgaard (1912, 62). ModIcel. grunnungur is ‘tench’ (Tinca tinca), a freshwater fish of the carp family.

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gedda ‘pike’

gedda (noun f.; °-u; -ur): °gedde

[3] grunnungr gedda: ‘g[…]nnungr g[…]dda’ B, ‘grunnungr gedda’ 744ˣ

notes

[3] gedda (f.) ‘pike’: Esox lucius, a large carnivorous freshwater fish.

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gjǫlnir ‘gilled one’

gjǫlnir (noun m.)

[4] gjǫlnir: so Tˣ, A, ‘giolnir’ R, C, ‘gíol[…]’ B, ‘gíolner’ 744ˣ

notes

[4] gjǫlnir (m.) ‘gilled one’: A hap. leg. The name is derived from gjǫlnar f. pl. ‘gills of a fish’. According to Bjarni Sæmundsson (1926, 398), ModIcel. gjölnir is a kind of fish, Alepocephalus giardi, i.e. Baird’s smooth-head.

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keila ‘tusk’

keila (noun f.): tusk, Keila

notes

[4] keila (f.) ‘tusk’: See Note to st. 1/2 above. Keila is also a heiti for ‘hen’ (see Note to Þul Hana l. 7).

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ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[5] ok: om.

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karfi ‘carp’

2. karfi (noun m.; °-a): °rødfisk

[5] karfi: krabbi C

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krabbi ‘crab’

krabbi (noun m.; °-a; -ar): °krabbe, krebs; (om stjernebilledet Krebsen, lat. Cancer)

[6] krabbi: ‘karbi ok’ C, corrected from ‘krapbi’ A

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geirsíl ‘garfish’

geirsíl (noun n.)

notes

[6] geirsíl (n.) ‘garfish’: See Note to st. 3/4 above.

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hár ‘shark’

hár (noun m.): shark

notes

[7] hár (m.) ‘shark’: Squalus acanthias, also known as spurdog or piked dogfish.

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ok ‘and’

3. ok (conj.): and, but; also

[7] ok: om.

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goðlax ‘moonfish’

goðlax (noun m.)

notes

[7] goðlax (m.) ‘moonfish’: Lit. ‘God-salmon’. Probably the opah, a saltwater fish of the Lampridae family.

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hornsíl ‘stickleback’

hornsíl (noun n.)

notes

[8] hornsíl (n.) ‘stickleback’: Gasterosteus aculeatus, a small fish that lives in freshwater, brackish water and saltwater.

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ígull ‘sea-urchin’

ígull (noun m.): ígull

notes

[8] ígull ‘sea-urchin’: Echinus esculentus, ModIcel. ígull. The quantity of the initial vowel ([i:] or [i]) cannot be determined by metre in this line (pace Finnur Jónsson, LP: igull), since a long vowel would result in a line of Type A2l and a short would give a line of Type A2k, both of which are metrical.

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Of the sixteen heiti for ‘fish’ listed in this stanza, only five occur in poetry, namely þorskr m.  ‘cod’ (l. 2), vartari m. (l. 2), grunnungr m. ‘shallows-dweller’ (l. 3), gedda f. ‘pike’ (l. 3) and áll m. ‘eel’ (l. 5).

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