Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Bárðr Lv 1I/3 — skozkum ‘a nimble’

Hugðak hitt, at hefðak
harðhendit þat stundum,
at skalpgrana skozkum
skyldak einn of halda.

Hugðak hitt, at hefðak harðhendit þat stundum, at skyldak einn of halda skozkum skalpgrana.

I would have thought that I’d manhandled such a thing [lit. that] at times, so that I ought to be able to hang on to a nimble sheath-mouth by myself.


[3] skozkum: skozkan 53, stundum 62, skelkinn Flat


[3] skozkum ‘nimble’: This word, which despite Kock’s objections (NN §166) is most plausibly related to skot n. ‘shot, shooting’ and skjóta ‘to shoot’ (ÍO: skoskur, skozkr 1), is otherwise unattested in ON but known in ModIcel. (Sigfús Blöndal 1920-4: skoskur 2). Although skozkr normally means ‘Scottish’ (LP: 1. skozkr) there is nothing to favour this here. The variant readings are inferior: skozkan is acc. sg. rather than dat. as would be expected with halda; 62’s stundum is repeated from the preceding line; and Flat’s skelkinn ‘mocking’ (also acc. sg.) is probably a scribal attempt to rectify a reading in its exemplar.



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