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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Mgóð Lv 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Magnús inn góði Óláfsson, Lausavísur 1’ 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. 5-6.

Magnús inn góði ÓláfssonLausavísur
12

þótt ‘even though’

þótt (conj.): although

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Hvinn ‘Hvinn’

2. hvinn (noun n.): hvinn < Hvinngestr (noun m.): Thief-guest

notes

[2] Hvinngestr ‘(“Thief-guest”)’: The identity of Þórir’s father is not known, but the nickname had derogatory connotations. Hvinn was a person guilty of petty theft (NGL I, 253), which was considered a shameful crime. The unsubstantiated allegation of petty theft carried the penalty of outlawry (NGL I, 273, 311, 331) or fines (NGL II, 70, V: hvinn).

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gestr ‘gestr’

gestr (noun m.): guest, stranger < Hvinngestr (noun m.): Thief-guest

notes

[2] Hvinngestr ‘(“Thief-guest”)’: The identity of Þórir’s father is not known, but the nickname had derogatory connotations. Hvinn was a person guilty of petty theft (NGL I, 253), which was considered a shameful crime. The unsubstantiated allegation of petty theft carried the penalty of outlawry (NGL I, 273, 311, 331) or fines (NGL II, 70, V: hvinn).

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gerði ‘put’

1. gera (verb): do, make

[3] gerði eigi sá: so Mork, Flat, þá gerði hann aldri H, þá gerði hann þó aldri Hr

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eigi ‘never’

3. eigi (adv.): not

[3] gerði eigi sá: so Mork, Flat, þá gerði hann aldri H, þá gerði hann þó aldri Hr

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garð ‘a fence’

garðr (noun m.): enclosure, yard

notes

[4] garð of hestreðr ‘a fence around horse-phalli’: According to LP: garðr 6, this apparently meant ‘wrap the phallus of a horse so that it could not mate’. A more practical explanation is that it refers to the custom of separating the stallions from the mares by putting them in a separate, fenced-off pasture. Erik Noreen’s attempt to connect the phrase with a pagan phallus cult is not persuasive (Noreen 1922, 51). The l. may allude to Sigurðr sýr’s fondness for farm activities (see Flat 1860-8, II, 12; ÍF 27, 41), but the veiled insult is clearly of a sexual nature (making a fence, a ‘ring’ around horse-phalli), implying that Sigurðr sýr, in keeping with his feminised nickname, had been the passive partner in sexual intercourse with stallions (see SnH Lv 11; see also Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3). For legal punishments incurred by poetic insults, see Andersson and Gade 2000, 474.

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of ‘around’

3. of (prep.): around, from; too

notes

[4] garð of hestreðr ‘a fence around horse-phalli’: According to LP: garðr 6, this apparently meant ‘wrap the phallus of a horse so that it could not mate’. A more practical explanation is that it refers to the custom of separating the stallions from the mares by putting them in a separate, fenced-off pasture. Erik Noreen’s attempt to connect the phrase with a pagan phallus cult is not persuasive (Noreen 1922, 51). The l. may allude to Sigurðr sýr’s fondness for farm activities (see Flat 1860-8, II, 12; ÍF 27, 41), but the veiled insult is clearly of a sexual nature (making a fence, a ‘ring’ around horse-phalli), implying that Sigurðr sýr, in keeping with his feminised nickname, had been the passive partner in sexual intercourse with stallions (see SnH Lv 11; see also Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3). For legal punishments incurred by poetic insults, see Andersson and Gade 2000, 474.

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hest ‘horse’

hestr (noun m.; °-s, dat. -i; -ar): horse, stallion < hestreðr (noun n.)

notes

[4] garð of hestreðr ‘a fence around horse-phalli’: According to LP: garðr 6, this apparently meant ‘wrap the phallus of a horse so that it could not mate’. A more practical explanation is that it refers to the custom of separating the stallions from the mares by putting them in a separate, fenced-off pasture. Erik Noreen’s attempt to connect the phrase with a pagan phallus cult is not persuasive (Noreen 1922, 51). The l. may allude to Sigurðr sýr’s fondness for farm activities (see Flat 1860-8, II, 12; ÍF 27, 41), but the veiled insult is clearly of a sexual nature (making a fence, a ‘ring’ around horse-phalli), implying that Sigurðr sýr, in keeping with his feminised nickname, had been the passive partner in sexual intercourse with stallions (see SnH Lv 11; see also Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3). For legal punishments incurred by poetic insults, see Andersson and Gade 2000, 474.

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reðr ‘phalli’

2. reðr (noun n.): prick, phallus, penis < hestreðr (noun n.)

notes

[4] garð of hestreðr ‘a fence around horse-phalli’: According to LP: garðr 6, this apparently meant ‘wrap the phallus of a horse so that it could not mate’. A more practical explanation is that it refers to the custom of separating the stallions from the mares by putting them in a separate, fenced-off pasture. Erik Noreen’s attempt to connect the phrase with a pagan phallus cult is not persuasive (Noreen 1922, 51). The l. may allude to Sigurðr sýr’s fondness for farm activities (see Flat 1860-8, II, 12; ÍF 27, 41), but the veiled insult is clearly of a sexual nature (making a fence, a ‘ring’ around horse-phalli), implying that Sigurðr sýr, in keeping with his feminised nickname, had been the passive partner in sexual intercourse with stallions (see SnH Lv 11; see also Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3). For legal punishments incurred by poetic insults, see Andersson and Gade 2000, 474.

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sem ‘like’

sem (conj.): as, which

notes

[5] sem Sigurðr sýr ‘like Sigurðr sýr (“Sow”)’: The l. is unmetrical, and Magnús may have used the older form of the name Sigurðr (Sigvǫrðr), which would give a regular fornyrðislag l.

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Sigurðr ‘Sigurðr’

Sigurðr (noun m.): Sigurðr

notes

[5] sem Sigurðr sýr ‘like Sigurðr sýr (“Sow”)’: The l. is unmetrical, and Magnús may have used the older form of the name Sigurðr (Sigvǫrðr), which would give a regular fornyrðislag l.

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sýr ‘sýr’

2. sýr (noun f.; °sýr/sýrar/sýrs(i cogn.), acc. sú): sow, Sýr

[5] sýr: so Mork, Flat, sýrr H, Hr

notes

[5] sýr (f. nom. sg.) ‘(‘‘Sow’’)’: The noun is f., but when used as a male nickname it could occur as a m. (cf. sýrr m. nom. sg.; so H, Hr) (see LP: sýrr). — [5] sem Sigurðr sýr ‘like Sigurðr sýr (“Sow”)’: The l. is unmetrical, and Magnús may have used the older form of the name Sigurðr (Sigvǫrðr), which would give a regular fornyrðislag l.

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sýr ‘sýr’

2. sýr (noun f.; °sýr/sýrar/sýrs(i cogn.), acc. sú): sow, Sýr

[5] sýr: so Mork, Flat, sýrr H, Hr

notes

[5] sýr (f. nom. sg.) ‘(‘‘Sow’’)’: The noun is f., but when used as a male nickname it could occur as a m. (cf. sýrr m. nom. sg.; so H, Hr) (see LP: sýrr). — [5] sem Sigurðr sýr ‘like Sigurðr sýr (“Sow”)’: The l. is unmetrical, and Magnús may have used the older form of the name Sigurðr (Sigvǫrðr), which would give a regular fornyrðislag l.

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The st. was composed by Magnús and recited by his half-brother, Þórir, in response to a taunting lv. by Haraldr harðráði (Hharð Lv 3).

[3]: The H, Hr variants are hypermetrical. Skj B and Skald emend to gerði hann aldri lit. ‘did he never’. — [4] hestreðr ‘horse-phalli’: This n. noun could be either acc. pl. or sg.

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