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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Útsteinn Útkv 3VIII (Hálf 43)

Hubert Seelow (ed.) 2017, ‘Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka 43 (Útsteinn Gunnlaðarson, Útsteinskviða 3)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 338.

Útsteinn GunnlaðarsonÚtsteinskviða
234

Mundi ‘It would’

munu (verb): will, must

notes

[1, 2] mundi ekki þykkja ‘it would not seem’: I.e. ‘if they were alive’. Both Innsteinn (the Steinn intended here) and Stari had died in the fight with Ásmundr and his men.

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ekki ‘not’

2. ekki (adv.): not

notes

[1, 2] mundi ekki þykkja ‘it would not seem’: I.e. ‘if they were alive’. Both Innsteinn (the Steinn intended here) and Stari had died in the fight with Ásmundr and his men.

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Steini ‘to Steinn’

Steinn (noun m.): Steinn

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með ‘together with’

með (prep.): with

notes

[2] með ‘together with’: Lit. ‘with’. Bugge (Hálf 1864), following a suggestion of Guðbrandur Vigfússon, proposed an emendation to ‘nor’ (as in l. 2 of the following stanza), and this emendation is adopted by Skj B and Skald.

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Stara ‘Stari’

Stari (noun m.)

notes

[2] Stara ‘Stari’: Name of one of the Hálfsrekkar (see Hálf 1981, 177). It means ‘starling’ and is, like some of the other personal names of this warrior band (e.g. Haukr ‘Hawk’, Hrókr ‘Rook’), a bird name.

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þykkja ‘seem’

2. þykkja (verb): seem, think

notes

[1, 2] mundi ekki þykkja ‘it would not seem’: I.e. ‘if they were alive’. Both Innsteinn (the Steinn intended here) and Stari had died in the fight with Ásmundr and his men.

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Úlfs ‘Úlfr’s’

3. Ulfr (noun m.): Úlfr

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órum ‘of our’

várr (pron.; °f. ór/vár; pl. órir/várir): our

[6] órum: várum 2845

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drit ‘a shit’

drit (noun n.): [shit, dirt] < dritmenni (noun n.)

notes

[7] dritmenni þitt ‘a shit like you’: The invective dritmenni is a hap. leg., as is ragmenni ‘cowardly wretches’ in l. 4 of the following stanza (Hálf 44). However, drit ‘shit, excrement’ is attested as a simplex (ONP: drit) and the cpd dritskegg ‘muck-beard’ expresses a similarly pejorative sense. The use of poss. þitt instead of the pers. pron. after a noun of abuse in direct address is idiomatic in Old Norse (cf. Fritzner: þinn; CVC: þinn, sense B). Þitt is extrametrical here, and is probably a later addition to the line.

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menni ‘’

menni (noun n.): -men < dritmenni (noun n.)

notes

[7] dritmenni þitt ‘a shit like you’: The invective dritmenni is a hap. leg., as is ragmenni ‘cowardly wretches’ in l. 4 of the following stanza (Hálf 44). However, drit ‘shit, excrement’ is attested as a simplex (ONP: drit) and the cpd dritskegg ‘muck-beard’ expresses a similarly pejorative sense. The use of poss. þitt instead of the pers. pron. after a noun of abuse in direct address is idiomatic in Old Norse (cf. Fritzner: þinn; CVC: þinn, sense B). Þitt is extrametrical here, and is probably a later addition to the line.

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þitt ‘like you’

þinn (pron.; °f. þín, n. þitt): your

notes

[7] dritmenni þitt ‘a shit like you’: The invective dritmenni is a hap. leg., as is ragmenni ‘cowardly wretches’ in l. 4 of the following stanza (Hálf 44). However, drit ‘shit, excrement’ is attested as a simplex (ONP: drit) and the cpd dritskegg ‘muck-beard’ expresses a similarly pejorative sense. The use of poss. þitt instead of the pers. pron. after a noun of abuse in direct address is idiomatic in Old Norse (cf. Fritzner: þinn; CVC: þinn, sense B). Þitt is extrametrical here, and is probably a later addition to the line.

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Interactive view: tap on words in the text for notes and glosses

Although the usual introductory phrase is missing, it is clear from the context that this stanza as well as the following three (Hálf 44-46) are spoken by Útsteinn.

[5-6]: As they stand (with alliteration on v-), l. 5 is unmetrical. That can be remedied by using the older variant form órum for várum ‘our’ in l. 6 (as adopted in Edd. Min. and Skald; cf. ANG §467.2) which gives vowel alliteration and two metrical lines (Types C and A2). — [7-8]: There has been some discussion as to the exact meaning of the phrase at setja dramb við, here translated as ‘subdue the arrogance of’; see Hollander (1911, 59), and Kock (NN §§2382 and 3197G).

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