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Anon (ÓT) 3I

Kate Heslop (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta 3’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1085.

Anonymous LausavísurLausavísur from Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar in mesta
23

barðs ‘of the stem’

barð (noun n.): prow, stern (of a ship)

kennings

byrhreins barðs
‘of the breeze-reindeer of the stem, ’
   = SHIP

the breeze-reindeer of the stem, → SHIP

notes

[1-2] á borði byrhreins barðs ‘on the gunwale of the breeze-reindeer of the stem [SHIP]’: Borð, lit. ‘board’, is here a collective noun, referring to the planking of the ship’s hull, hence ‘ship’s side, hull, gunwale’ (Jesch 2001a, 140; ONP: borð 2). The kenning byrhreins barðs is pleonastic, as byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ alone signifies ‘ship’ without the additional determinant barðs ‘of the stem’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 2; cf. Fms 12), takes barðs as an adj., equivalent to barðaðs ‘stem-bearing’. An alternative arrangement is á barðs borði byrhreins. This may be construed in several ways. (a) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI) has ‘on the edge (borð) of the stem (barð) of the breeze-reindeer’, and this may lie behind Finnur Jónsson’s skibets side ‘on the ship’s side’ in Skj B, but borð in a nautical context does not usually mean ‘edge’ (cf. LP: borð 3, 4). The image of oars passing the stem, or prow, of the ship is also odd. (b) Finnur Jónsson in LP takes both borð barðs ‘board of the stem’ and byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ as ship-kennings (LP: borð 3; byrhreinn).

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á ‘on’

3. á (prep.): on, at

notes

[1-2] á borði byrhreins barðs ‘on the gunwale of the breeze-reindeer of the stem [SHIP]’: Borð, lit. ‘board’, is here a collective noun, referring to the planking of the ship’s hull, hence ‘ship’s side, hull, gunwale’ (Jesch 2001a, 140; ONP: borð 2). The kenning byrhreins barðs is pleonastic, as byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ alone signifies ‘ship’ without the additional determinant barðs ‘of the stem’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 2; cf. Fms 12), takes barðs as an adj., equivalent to barðaðs ‘stem-bearing’. An alternative arrangement is á barðs borði byrhreins. This may be construed in several ways. (a) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI) has ‘on the edge (borð) of the stem (barð) of the breeze-reindeer’, and this may lie behind Finnur Jónsson’s skibets side ‘on the ship’s side’ in Skj B, but borð in a nautical context does not usually mean ‘edge’ (cf. LP: borð 3, 4). The image of oars passing the stem, or prow, of the ship is also odd. (b) Finnur Jónsson in LP takes both borð barðs ‘board of the stem’ and byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ as ship-kennings (LP: borð 3; byrhreinn).

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borði ‘the gunwale’

borð (noun n.; °-s; -): side, plank, board; table

notes

[1-2] á borði byrhreins barðs ‘on the gunwale of the breeze-reindeer of the stem [SHIP]’: Borð, lit. ‘board’, is here a collective noun, referring to the planking of the ship’s hull, hence ‘ship’s side, hull, gunwale’ (Jesch 2001a, 140; ONP: borð 2). The kenning byrhreins barðs is pleonastic, as byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ alone signifies ‘ship’ without the additional determinant barðs ‘of the stem’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 2; cf. Fms 12), takes barðs as an adj., equivalent to barðaðs ‘stem-bearing’. An alternative arrangement is á barðs borði byrhreins. This may be construed in several ways. (a) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI) has ‘on the edge (borð) of the stem (barð) of the breeze-reindeer’, and this may lie behind Finnur Jónsson’s skibets side ‘on the ship’s side’ in Skj B, but borð in a nautical context does not usually mean ‘edge’ (cf. LP: borð 3, 4). The image of oars passing the stem, or prow, of the ship is also odd. (b) Finnur Jónsson in LP takes both borð barðs ‘board of the stem’ and byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ as ship-kennings (LP: borð 3; byrhreinn).

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byr ‘of the breeze’

byrr (noun m.; °-jar/-s; -ir, acc. -i/-u(SigrVal 188¹³)): favourable wind < byrhreinn (noun m.): [breeze-reindeer]

kennings

byrhreins barðs
‘of the breeze-reindeer of the stem, ’
   = SHIP

the breeze-reindeer of the stem, → SHIP

notes

[1-2] á borði byrhreins barðs ‘on the gunwale of the breeze-reindeer of the stem [SHIP]’: Borð, lit. ‘board’, is here a collective noun, referring to the planking of the ship’s hull, hence ‘ship’s side, hull, gunwale’ (Jesch 2001a, 140; ONP: borð 2). The kenning byrhreins barðs is pleonastic, as byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ alone signifies ‘ship’ without the additional determinant barðs ‘of the stem’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 2; cf. Fms 12), takes barðs as an adj., equivalent to barðaðs ‘stem-bearing’. An alternative arrangement is á barðs borði byrhreins. This may be construed in several ways. (a) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI) has ‘on the edge (borð) of the stem (barð) of the breeze-reindeer’, and this may lie behind Finnur Jónsson’s skibets side ‘on the ship’s side’ in Skj B, but borð in a nautical context does not usually mean ‘edge’ (cf. LP: borð 3, 4). The image of oars passing the stem, or prow, of the ship is also odd. (b) Finnur Jónsson in LP takes both borð barðs ‘board of the stem’ and byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ as ship-kennings (LP: borð 3; byrhreinn).

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hreins ‘reindeer’

1. hreinn (noun m.; °; hreinar): reindeer < byrhreinn (noun m.): [breeze-reindeer]

kennings

byrhreins barðs
‘of the breeze-reindeer of the stem, ’
   = SHIP

the breeze-reindeer of the stem, → SHIP

notes

[1-2] á borði byrhreins barðs ‘on the gunwale of the breeze-reindeer of the stem [SHIP]’: Borð, lit. ‘board’, is here a collective noun, referring to the planking of the ship’s hull, hence ‘ship’s side, hull, gunwale’ (Jesch 2001a, 140; ONP: borð 2). The kenning byrhreins barðs is pleonastic, as byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ alone signifies ‘ship’ without the additional determinant barðs ‘of the stem’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson (Fms 2; cf. Fms 12), takes barðs as an adj., equivalent to barðaðs ‘stem-bearing’. An alternative arrangement is á barðs borði byrhreins. This may be construed in several ways. (a) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI) has ‘on the edge (borð) of the stem (barð) of the breeze-reindeer’, and this may lie behind Finnur Jónsson’s skibets side ‘on the ship’s side’ in Skj B, but borð in a nautical context does not usually mean ‘edge’ (cf. LP: borð 3, 4). The image of oars passing the stem, or prow, of the ship is also odd. (b) Finnur Jónsson in LP takes both borð barðs ‘board of the stem’ and byrhreinn ‘breeze-reindeer’ as ship-kennings (LP: borð 3; byrhreinn).

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mun ‘can be’

munu (verb): will, must

[3] mun: er 53, 54, Bb

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foldu ‘earth’

fold (noun f.): land

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sex ‘Six’

sex (num. cardinal): six

[4] sex tigir: so Flat, ‘.lx.’ 61, 62, sex tigum 53, sex tigi 54, Bb

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tigir ‘ty’

tigir (num. cardinal): [ty]

[4] sex tigir: so Flat, ‘.lx.’ 61, 62, sex tigum 53, sex tigi 54, Bb

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einn ‘One’

2. einn (pron.; °decl. cf. einn num.): one, alone

[5] einn: ein 53, 54, Bb

kennings

Einn ok annarr sveipr ǫldu
‘One and another sweeper of the wave ’
   = OAR

One and another sweeper of the wave → OAR
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ok ‘and’

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

kennings

Einn ok annarr sveipr ǫldu
‘One and another sweeper of the wave ’
   = OAR

One and another sweeper of the wave → OAR
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annarr ‘another’

1. annarr (pron.; °f. ǫnnur, n. annat; pl. aðrir): (an)other, second

[5] annarr: ǫnnur 53, 54, Bb

kennings

Einn ok annarr sveipr ǫldu
‘One and another sweeper of the wave ’
   = OAR

One and another sweeper of the wave → OAR
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ǫldu ‘of the wave’

alda (noun f.; °; *-ur): wave

[6] ǫldu: ǫldur 53

kennings

Einn ok annarr sveipr ǫldu
‘One and another sweeper of the wave ’
   = OAR

One and another sweeper of the wave → OAR
Close

sveipr ‘sweeper’

sveipr (noun m.): [sweeper, a swerve]

kennings

Einn ok annarr sveipr ǫldu
‘One and another sweeper of the wave ’
   = OAR

One and another sweeper of the wave → OAR
Close

borðs ‘of the gunwale’

borð (noun n.; °-s; -): side, plank, board; table

kennings

barða borðs;
‘the whale of the gunwale; ’
   = SHIP

the whale of the gunwale; → SHIP

notes

[7] barða borðs ‘the whale of the gunwale [SHIP]’: (a) While not entirely satisfactory, this kenning, first proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI; see also NN §2108), is the best resolution of the difficulties these words present. There is no other extant ship-kenning based on a word for ‘whale’. Barði m. ‘whale’ is moreover rather rare. It occurs once in the skaldic corpus, in a snake-kenning (barði lyngs ‘whale of the heather’, ESkál Vell 30/5-6), but not in ON prose, though it does exist in ModIcel.; cf. also ON barðhvalr m. ‘baleen whale’, possibly ‘sperm whale’ (ONP). The repetition of words from the first helmingr must be deliberate, and this may strengthen the case for a recherché kenning. Line 7’s sveipr ǫldu ‘sweeper of the wave [OAR]’ also lacks certain parallels, though cf. Ótt Hfl 4/6 sundvarpaði, apparently ‘sea-thrower [OAR]’. (b) Finnur Jónsson takes barði borðs as a circumlocution for ‘ship’, made up of barði ‘ship’ plus borðs ‘of planking’ (LP: 2. barði, see also borð 3). It cannot be a kenning on this basis, however, as barði means ‘ship’ by itself (Meissner 222), and ‘ship of planking’ is not a very convincing circumlocution. (c) Kock (Skald; NN §514) takes borðs á barði with the rest of ll. 7-8, which is a possible alternative.

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barða ‘the whale’

barði (noun m.; °-a): whale

kennings

barða borðs;
‘the whale of the gunwale; ’
   = SHIP

the whale of the gunwale; → SHIP

notes

[7] barða borðs ‘the whale of the gunwale [SHIP]’: (a) While not entirely satisfactory, this kenning, first proposed by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SHI; see also NN §2108), is the best resolution of the difficulties these words present. There is no other extant ship-kenning based on a word for ‘whale’. Barði m. ‘whale’ is moreover rather rare. It occurs once in the skaldic corpus, in a snake-kenning (barði lyngs ‘whale of the heather’, ESkál Vell 30/5-6), but not in ON prose, though it does exist in ModIcel.; cf. also ON barðhvalr m. ‘baleen whale’, possibly ‘sperm whale’ (ONP). The repetition of words from the first helmingr must be deliberate, and this may strengthen the case for a recherché kenning. Line 7’s sveipr ǫldu ‘sweeper of the wave [OAR]’ also lacks certain parallels, though cf. Ótt Hfl 4/6 sundvarpaði, apparently ‘sea-thrower [OAR]’. (b) Finnur Jónsson takes barði borðs as a circumlocution for ‘ship’, made up of barði ‘ship’ plus borðs ‘of planking’ (LP: 2. barði, see also borð 3). It cannot be a kenning on this basis, however, as barði means ‘ship’ by itself (Meissner 222), and ‘ship of planking’ is not a very convincing circumlocution. (c) Kock (Skald; NN §514) takes borðs á barði with the rest of ll. 7-8, which is a possible alternative.

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bæginn ‘combative’

bæginn (adj.): [combative]

[8] bæginn: ‘bęgni’ 62

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þér ‘you’

þú (pron.; °gen. þín, dat. þér, acc. þik): you

[8] þér: so 53, 54, Bb, om. 61, 62, Flat

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[3] mun á: This syllabic structure in a metrical dip is normally found in later skaldic poetry.

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