Onp2 tegn

’ ‘ ‹ › Ÿ « » ‘ ’ “ ” € ◃ ƒ š ¬ ° ª ⸌ ⸍ § Ž § º ¹ ² ³ ® ‡ ˆ ‰ Š ¦ ˜ ¯ Ï Ë ¨ ¸ ß â  ¼ ½ ð Ð ì Ì È Ê î Î ¥ Ñ ñ û Û © × þ Þ ã Ã Ù Ô œ Œ õ Õ ò Ò ù ¿ À ¾ µ ᴅ ž ± ¡ ¢ ´ ¤ ç Ç ß ‖ ÷ „ … — · † • ¶

ONP: Dictionary of Old Norse Prose

Help for ONP

Help for ONP

User's Guide: onp/Ordbog/RED/redaktionsregler/red_vejle.htm

Open menu

User’s Guide

Under the headings Lemma, Body, and Tail, the present guide gives a commentary on the editorial considerations and guidelines that determine the form and presentation of dictionary entries in A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose (ONP). The guide assumes a familiarity with pp. 15-16 of the introduction to the volume of indices. A notable adjustment in editorial practice since 1989 concerns the treatment of foreign words (cf. § I.D).

I. Lemma

The lemma of a standard article consists of the headword with grammatical classification, details of inflection in square brackets, any comments and/or references in round brackets, and the symbol □ if all ONP’s citations are represented in the article.

A. The order of the articles

Headwords are presented in the following alphabetical order: a/á, b, c, d/ð, e/é, f, g, h, i/í, j, k, l, m, n, o/ó, p, q, r, s, t, u/ú, v, x, y/ý, z, þ, ǽ, ø/ǿ, ǫ.

Homographs are distinguished from one another by superscript numbers (e.g. ¹banna sb. f., ²banna vb.); the poetical words registered in ONP are included in the count but none of the other secondary categories of vocabulary.

B. Orthographic normalisation

All headwords are presented in normalised spelling. ONP’s normalisation is a reconstruction of the state of the language in the first half of the thirteenth century, with a bias towards the beginning of the period. Where a choice between an Icelandic and a Norwegian norm has been necessary, the more conservative of the two, most often the Icelandic, has been selected.

The most noticeable deviation from normal practice is the selection of the graphs ǽ and ǿ (in preference to æ and œ). This was done partly with a view to the spelling of the oldest manuscripts but mainly on account of practical and pedagogical considerations.

A full description of ONP’s normalisation practice can be obtained on request.

C. The cardinal form

In principle all headwords are registered in the so-called cardinal form, e.g. for nouns, nom. sg.; for adjectives, masc. nom. sg.; adjectives and adverbs in positive form, and verbs in the infinitive; a past participle can be registered as a headword (marked adj.), but only in cases where there is no entry for the verb in question, e.g. bein·gróinn adj.

D. Two types of dictionary entry

A distinction is made between two types of entry; this is reflected in the typography: there are both standard headwords, printed in bold type, and a secondary category, printed in normal type.

Standard headwords in bold type normally introduce full dictionary articles containing a lemma, citations arranged according to sense, and the concluding sections (the tail: Comp., Gloss., and Litt.).

Entry words in normal type, on the other hand, are principally registrations of a word’s existence, with no semantic explanation, but with references to other dictionaries and glossaries (Gloss.), and occasionally to secondary literature. They may be of the following types:

● “poetical words”. These are words that are registered in poetry only. They are labelled (poet.) and presented in ONP’s normalised orthography.

● non-assimilated foreign words. These are words of foreign origin that are syntactically integrated but not phonologically or morphologically assimilated (as opposed to fully adapted loanwords); they are labelled (alien.) and presented in their native spelling, based as far as possible on the orthography of standard dictionaries of the relevant language. The more integrated loanwords, on the other hand, are treated as part of the Old Norse vocabulary.

● starred words. Words are preceded by a star * if they appear in other dictionaries of Old Norse, or in the texts referred to by ONP, but are judged to fall outside ONP’s corpus. They can be so-called ghost words (the result of an editor’s misreading or erroneous reconstruction), or they may simply be based on an interpretation with which ONP does not concur. It is more often the case, however, that earlier dictionaries have taken their citations from editions that have become obsolete (and were often based on secondary, post-medieval manuscripts), and that better editions containing superior readings have since become available; in these instances ONP gives a reference to the older edition, and, where possible, there is also a reference, introduced by cf., to the edition now used by ONP, e.g.

*aulandi adj. (ClV “Nj. 10” → íllt er þeim er aulandi er alinn Ólafur Olavius 1772 10¹; cf. illt er þeim, er á ólandi er alinn NjR 20⁶ & ed. note)
*bólamaðr sb. m. (NO ÷ ref.; ex. ikke fundet)

In this connection it should be noted that many words of uncertain status, preserved in the manuscript material but which are perhaps to be regarded as errors, are included in ONP as headwords. They are introduced by a question mark and are followed by a reference to the presumed “more correct” form, e.g. ?á·fanga·dagr sb. m. (cf. atfangadagr sb. m.).

● prefixes and suffixes registered in other dictionaries/glossaries

● references. Cross-references are kept to a minimum. There are no references from inflected forms to cardinal forms (except from comparative and superlative suppletive forms of adjectives and adverbs to the positive form), but there are always references from alternative forms and sometimes from special forms to the relevant headword (see § F below). Sometimes a number of cross-references are combined into one as in: bryllaups- → brúðhlaups-, which encompasses references from the alternative forms bryllaups·dagr, bryllaups·gerð, bryllaups·kostr.

E. One article or more?

Closely related word-forms are treated in one and the same article if the variation is purely orthographical or can be explained as the result of a standardly explicable phonetic development or variation (including dialectal variation).

In other respects there is a tendency in ONP to assign word-forms to separate articles; this applies not only where closely related forms belong to different genders (in the case of nouns) or conjugations (in the case of verbs), but also where there are smaller differences in word-formation. Separate articles, each with its own set of citations, are therefore established where variation can be explained in terms of differing etymology, or, in the case of compounds, where there is internal morphological variation (the first element in a nominal compound can, for example, be a gen. sg., or a gen. pl., or a stem form, e.g. barns·faðir sb. m., barna·faðir sb. m., barn·faðir sb. m.). There are always cross-references between articles that have been established because of divisions of this type.

In the case of morphological variation within a compound there are two exceptions to the general rule:

Disparate forms are retained within one and the same article where the first element of a nominal compound potentially ends with a genitive -s, the second element begins with an s, and spellings are recorded in both -ss- and -s- at the juncture. The first s is then placed in round brackets, e.g. aptan(s)·sǫngr sb. m.

Similarly, where the first element of a nominal compound is recorded both with final -ar and final -a (in weakly stressed endings), and the -a spellings are Norwegian, allowance is made for loss of final -r and the two forms are retained within one and the same article, e.g. at·fara(r)·þing sb. n.

F. Standard headword: main form, alternative form, special form

The first form listed for a headword is ONP’s main form. This form is supplied with dots to indicate division into constituent parts. The application of the dot is clear in the case of compounds, but it is also placed after prefixes and before the more significant suffixes, e.g. ár·tíða·skrá sb. m.; á·eggja vb.; bráð·hǽtt·ligr adj. Dots are usually not inserted in loanwords or in words where division into parts is debatable, e.g. ábóti sb. m.

Alongside the main form, an alternative form can be given, likewise printed in bold type and supplied with dots indicating constituent parts, e.g. árnun, árnan sb. f.; bað·stofa, bað·stufa sb. f.; bann·setja, band·setja vb.; dana·konungr, dana·kongr sb. m. An alternative form may be viewed as a variant that has a status close to that of the main form; it typically shows a reasonably high frequency and has a form that can readily be normalised. The oldest and etymologically most original form is usually chosen as the main form. In a number of cases a superscript circle ° is placed in front of a reconstructed form for which we have no recorded evidence; the recorded form is then registered alongside its reconstructed counterpart as an alternative form, e.g. °ár·hagr, áragr sb. m.; °dándi·maðr, dándi·mann sb. m.

A so-called special form may also be presented within round brackets in the lemma, printed in normal type and furnished with a reference to the source, e.g. akkeri sb. n. (spec.: acker LandslBorg 58b²). Forms presented in this way are often isolated occurrences, possibly unique witnesses that are not immediately susceptible to normalisation but which cannot be rejected with any certainty as errors.

G. Final elements in compounds

A semantically significant final element in a compound word that is not recorded as an independent simplex can feature as a headword in bold type introduced by a hyphen. The entry thus formed has no definition or citations, only a registration of the first elements with which compounds are formed (Comp.) and references to other dictionaries/glossaries (Gloss.), and possibly references to secondary literature (Litt.). For example:

-birningr sb. m.
   Comp.: ás-; myllu-
   Gloss.: Bin item pl.; Fr4 item pl.; NO; ÁBlM (birna); (Bl)

H. Details of inflection

In principle a designation of inflection is given for all standard headwords (including compounds) to the extent that ONP’s recorded material warrants it. These details are given in square brackets.

ONP’s data for this purpose consists of the collection of dictionary slips in Copenhagen plus the word-forms in a number of dictionaries, glossaries, and computer concordances. The user cannot necessarily expect to find all the background material quoted in the dictionary article in question.

The way in which the inflection of each word class is represented will be explained below, but the following standard features may be noted:

● forms
Within the square brackets, information concerning inflection, the existence of singular/plural forms, etc. is represented by way of specific obligatory forms. Additional information is given where there is variation or a more complicated or irregular inflection. Only the non-obligatory forms have grammatical tags (acc., dat., etc.).

● extrapolation
When an obligatory form is not recorded in the material, ONP extrapolates in a number of clear instances from a recorded form to the required standard form (see further below in connection with the treatment of the individual word classes).

● alternative inflected forms
An alternative inflected form that has an acceptable frequency or, for example, demonstrates an adaptation to a different pattern of inflection, is placed after the form that is the etymologically more correct, the more regular, or the more frequent. The two forms are separated by a slash, e.g. ¹bók sb. f. [bǿkr/bókar; bǿkr]. The material includes examples from post-medieval manuscripts, e.g. apaldr sb. m. [apaldrs, dat. apaldri; apaldar, dat. apǫldrum/apǫldum, acc. apaldra/apalda] (acc. pl. apalda is recorded in a post-medieval manuscript only).

Sometimes a reference is given immediately after an apparently rare alternative form, e.g. ¹ár sb. f. [-ar, dat. -u/-; -ar/-ir(LandslBorg 151b²¹)].

● special inflected forms
Sporadic, irregular (medieval) inflected forms are sometimes given within round brackets with a reference, ²auka vb. [-að-(aukkti MHFlat 399¹⁵)]; byskupa vb. [-að-(præt. part. bẏskupt DI AM 687 a 4° 4³²)].

● abbreviation
The various forms that are to be illustrated are represented by an ending, by a suffix, or by a form written out in full. The abbreviation hyphen in the square bracket represents (for nouns, adjectives, and adverbs) the so-called declension stem. Forms are, however, written out in full (or represented by the final element of a compound preceded by a dot) where this is the simplest and most appropriate way of demonstrating an inflection.

1. Nouns

The obligatory forms for nouns are gen. sg. and nom. pl. In addition, various supplementary forms are given, e.g. the dat. sg. of the strong declensions of masculine nouns is always represented, while the acc. and dat. sg. of the strong feminine declensions are recorded only where they deviate from the nominative.

● punctuation
A semicolon separates singular from plural. The grammatical cases are separated by commas.

● singular & plural
If, as is often the case, the only recorded plural forms are gen. -a and/or dat. -um and there is no record of the nom. or acc., the existence of a plural is demonstrated by [; gen. -a], or, in the absence of the gen., by [; dat. -um].

The presence of a semicolon within the brackets indicates the existence of plural forms; if there is no semicolon, no plural forms have been found in the material available to ONP.

A minus sign ÷ before the semicolon indicates that singular forms are not recorded in the available material, e.g. and·veðr sb. n. [÷; -]; band·vettlingr sb. m. [÷; -ar].

● u-umlaut
U-umlaut is indicated by an asterisk in the case of both preserved and lost u, e.g. bjalla sb. f. [*-u; *-ur]; bjarg sb. n. [-s; *-].

● other features
Features such as regular contraction and loss of v before u in an ending are not indicated.

● extrapolation
If an oblique sg. case of a weak subst. masc. is recorded -a, then [-a] is registered without comment.
If acc. pl. -a of a subst. masc. is recorded, then [; -ar] is registered without comment.
If acc. pl. -i of a subst. masc. is recorded, then [; -ir] is registered without comment.
If an oblique sg. case of a weak subst. fem. is recorded -u, then [-u] is registered without comment.
If acc. pl. -ar of a subst. fem. is recorded, then [; -ar] is registered without comment.
If acc. pl. -ir of a subst. fem. is recorded, then [; -ir] is registered without comment.
If acc. pl. -ur of a subst. fem. is recorded, then [; -ur] is registered without comment.
If acc. pl. - of a subst. neutr. is recorded, then [; -] is registered without comment.

● abbreviation
The abbreviation hyphen represents the declension stem. For nouns of a strong declension, the declension stem = the headword minus a masculine -r ending, where relevant. For nouns of a weak declension, the declension stem = the headword in the nom. sg. minus a masculine -i or feminine -a, where relevant. If the declension cannot be demonstrated in this way (for example, in words where there is stem-final r, feminine nouns in -r or masculines in -ll, -nn, -ss), and wherever it has proved more convenient, the declined forms (or possibly just the final element of a compound) are written out in full.


  • masculine: strong declension
    armr sb. m. [-s, dat. -i; -ar]
    dalr sb. m. [-s, dat. -/-i; -ir, acc. -i/-a]
    akr sb. m. [akrs, dat. akri; akrar]
    aptann sb. m. [aptans, dat. aptni; aptnar]
    bjǫrn sb. m. [bjarnar, dat. birni; birnir, acc. bjǫrnu]
    af·dráttr sb. m. [dat. ·drǽtti; ·drǽttir, acc. ·dráttu]

  • masculine: weak declension
    bani sb. m. [-a; -ar]
  • feminine: strong declension
    á·rás sb. f. [-ar; -ir]
    ambátt sb. f. [-ar, dat. -u/-; -ir/-ar (ambottor EiðKrA 391²²)]
    bǫng sb. f. [bangar; bengr]

  • feminine: weak declension
    ¹bára sb. f. [-u; -ur]
    al·gervi sb. f. [-]
  • neuter: strong declension
    á·fang sb. n. [-s; *-]
    brjóst sb. n. [-s; -]
  • neuter: weak declension
bjórs·nýra sb. n. [·nýra]
bjúga sb. n. [; bjúgu]

2. Adjectives

Information is given within the square brackets for adjectives to indicate: (1) special features of the declension (illustrated by presenting the masc. acc. sg., without a grammatical tag), e.g. stem-final r: bitr adj. [bitran ...], assimilation, as in: afl·lauss adj. [·lausan ...], contraction: and·málugr adj. [·málgan], the appearance of j or v before endings: and·styggr adj. [-jan], auð·tryggr adj. [-van]; (2) formation of degrees of the adjective (comparative and superlative given in masc. nom. sg.), e.g. á·kafr adj. [compar. -ari, superl. -astr].

In the case of indeclinable adjectives, the following formula is given: bar·hǫfði adj. [indecl.].

● suppletive comparison
For adjectives which have different word stems in their degrees of comparison (suppletive comparison), each stem is treated in a separate article, e.g. góðr adj., betri adj. compar. If, however, the adjective in question forms the final element of a compound word, the comparative and superlative forms are treated under the positive form of that compound. Thus, for example, ábyrgðarminni (compar.) is registered under á·byrgðar·lítill (the positive form).

● punctuation
A semicolon separates details of the standard declension from information about the degrees of comparison, e.g. bitr adj. [bitran; superl. bitrastr].

● u-umlaut
The square brackets do not contain information about regular u-umlaut in the declension (á·kǫf ‹ á·kafr).

● other features
The square brackets do not contain information about doubling of consonants in the neutr. sg. nom./acc. in adjectives with a stem-final long vowel (blátt ‹ blár).

● extrapolation
If, as in the case of and·málugr adj., only masc. nom. sg. andmálugr and masc. nom. pl. andmálgir are recorded, then [·málgan] is registered without comment.

● abbreviation
The abbreviation hyphen within the square brackets represents the declension stem = the headword minus a masc. nom. sg. -r ending, where relevant. If the declension cannot be demonstrated in this way, the forms (possibly represented only by the final element of a compound) are written out in full.


beiskr adj. [compar. -ari, superl. -astr]
afl·lauss adj. [·lausan; compar. ·lausari]

3. Adverbs

The square brackets for adverbs contain comparative and superlative forms if they are recorded in the material available to ONP.

● abbreviation
The abbreviation hyphen represents the declension stem = the headword minus the adverbial ending (-a, -r), where relevant. If the declension cannot be demonstrated in this way, the forms are written out in full.


á·kaf·liga adv. [compar. -ar, superl. -ast/-st(ÓH619 122³⁰)]
austr adv. [compar. -ar, superl. -ast]
betr adv. compar. [superl. bezt/bazt; pos. → vel adv.]

4. Verbs

● punctuation
Tenses are separated by a semicolon. Singular and plural are separated by a comma.

● abbreviation
Abbreviation hyphens within the square brackets are used (to indicate the preterite) for certain weak verbs only; the letters between the dashes indicate the final part of the stem plus the dental suffix or an assimilation of the two. In all other cases the conjugated forms are written out in full (see the examples below).

● extrapolation
If, for example, the pres. sg. 2./3. pers. of a verb is recorded as -ar, then [-að-] is registered without comment.

a) Strong verbs

For the strong verbs the following forms are written out in full if they are recorded: pres. sg. (3. pers.); pret. sg. (3. pers.), pl. (3. pers.); past part. masc. (neutr.) nom. sg., e.g.

²ausa vb. [eyss; jós, jósu/jusu; ausinn]
bíða vb. [bíðr; beið, biðu; beðit]
¹bresta vb. [brestr; brast, brustu; brostinn]

b) Weak verbs

● ô-verbs
The conjugation of ô-verbs is indicated by [-að-], e.g. anda vb. [-að-]. This indicates that the main forms are andar; andaði, ǫnduðu; andaðr.

● ja-verbs
For ja-verbs the 3. pers. sg. pret. is written out in full (or possibly just the final element of a compound), e.g.

á·kveðja vb. [·kvaddi]
af·setja vb. [·setti]
bí·leggja vb. [·lagði]

This indicates that the main forms are, for example, ·kveðr; ·kvaddi, ·kvǫddu; ·kvaddr.

● ia-verbs
To indicate the preterite of ia-verbs the dental suffix and the preceding consonant(s) (or a consonant assimilation) are given, e.g.

belgja vb. [-lgð-]
¹benda vb. [-nd-]
brynna vb. [-nnd-]
beiða vb. [-dd-]
bǿta vb. [-tt-]

● ê-verbs
For ê-verbs the following forms are given in full if they are recorded: pres. sg. (3. pers.); pret. sg. (3. pers.); past part. masc. (neutr.) nom. sg.

If the verb is recorded with adjectival declension of the past participle, the masculine forms -ðr/-dr/-tr are given; where there is intransitive usage only, the neuter form in -t is shown, e.g.

horfa vb. [horfir; horfði; horfðr]
lifa vb. [lifir; lifði; lifat]

II. Body

The body of an article consists of explanations (definitions) in Danish and English with their supporting sets of citations.

A. Structure

1. Division according to sense/usage

Where a word has more than one signification, the meaning that is regarded as primary is as far as possible given first. Concrete meanings are given before abstract ones, non-figurative before figurative. The various senses of the word are numbered 1) 2) 3) etc. No attempt is made to arrange the senses in a semantically orientated hierarchical structure.

The division of the material for polysemous words into numbered senses is to be regarded as a demonstration of identifiable nodes on the basis of which the senses and usages of the word in question can be understood. It goes without saying that ONP often has at its disposal ambiguous citations or citations which can be interpreted as representing intermediate stages between the numbered senses. In the case of words with many citations, such ambiguous ones are often omitted from the published material.

For further information on the definitions see below (§ C.1).

2. Syntactical/grammatical division

An initial division of the material is often undertaken on the basis of syntactic or grammatical criteria; this is indicated by the use of upper case Roman numerals and capital letters, sometimes in combination, as in the articles for the major prepositions, cf. á præp. and its introductory overview.

Roman numerals I. II. etc. are specifically used in the structuring of articles for nouns and adjectives used as bynames (cognomina), marked (cogn.), and where common nouns are used as proper nouns, marked (proprial.), e.g.

¹ari sb. m.
   II. (cogn.)
   III. (proprial.) (om stjernebilledet Ørnen (lat. aquila) ⫽ of the constellation Aquila)

Capital letters A. B. C. etc. are used to structure articles on nouns and adjectives where these are used adverbially in a set case and number, e.g.

ágǽti sb. n.
   B. ágǽtis (gen. sg. = adv.)
   C. ágǽta (gen. pl. = adv.)
bráðr adj.
   B. bráðan (m. acc. sg. = adv.)
   C. brátt (n. sg. = adv.)
   D. bráðum (dat. pl. = adv.)

Articles on verbs are often divided into sections introduced by capital letters representing different forms and combinations: verb plus reflexive pronoun (sik/sér), the reflexive form (-sk), or a combination of verb plus preposition/adverb, e.g.

²berja vb.
   B. berja + præp./adv.
   C. berja sér
   D. berjask
   E. berjask + præp./adv.

In divisions labelled + præp./adv., which are essentially practical rather than conceptual, the material is ordered alphabetically according to the incorporated prepositions/adverbs.

3. Syntactical/grammatical division indicated by the double bar

Within a numbered division the double bar ￾ can be used to introduce syntactical/grammatical subdivisions, e.g.

afla vb.
   A. 6)  ￾ (abs.)
    ￾ [e-s/e-rs]
    ￾ [e-t]
    ￾ [■]

(see § B below for an explanation of the abbreviations and symbols used within the square brackets).

4. Registering of phrases

Within a sense division, a phrase (or a single word, such as a neuter/adverbial use of an adjective), printed in bold type, can introduce a subdivision. Phrases are registered in accordance with a comparatively free set of criteria. The collocation in question may be a “set phrase”, an idiom of established frequency, a syntagma that casts special light on the headword, or a combination that calls for independent explanation, e.g.

²beinn adj.
   A. 1) lige, direkte ⫽ straight, direct: ...  beinn byrr gunstig vind (på havet) ⫽ favourable wind (at sea): ...
bil sb. n.
   2) tid, tidspunkt ⫽ time, moment: ...  þat bil sem idet, når ⫽ at the time that: ...

Phrases in which the sense of the headword corresponds closely to the general definition of the sense division in which it appears - and in which the other words are used in standard senses or are explained elsewhere in ONP - are not usually explicated, e.g.

dag·liga adv.
   1) dagligt, hver dag, hver eneste dag ⫽ daily, every day, every single day: ...  dagliga dags: ...

A phrase can also form its own sense division, e.g.

á·laga sb. f.
   1) álaga handar håndspålæggelse ⫽ laying on of hands: ...
   2) [við e-n] byrde (spec. økonomisk), skat, afgift ⫽ imposition (spec. economic), burden (in the form of levies), tax: ...

Where there is more than one phrase within a division, they are arranged alphabetically according to the word judged to be semantically the most significant after the headword itself.

B. Syntagma brackets

A headword’s syntactical environment or combination pattern is often demonstrated within so-called syntagma brackets. Combination patterns are principally registered for verbs but can also be demonstrated for nouns (often verbal nouns), and occasionally for adjectives.

Syntagma brackets enclose the syntactic units that (typically) appear in combination with the headword (not just the combinations that are essential for the word to function, as described in terms of valence theory).

Syntagma brackets are placed immediately before the definition. Each pair of square brackets contains the various possible manifestations of one syntactic unit. Nominal elements are represented by short forms of the pronoun einnhverr in its various cases, e.g. [e-t / e-u], sometimes in combination with a preposition, e.g. [við e-n]. A distinction is made between a human and a non-human predicate, e.g. [til e-rs/e-s]. In the case of different manifestations of the same semantic unit, there is spacing on either side of the slash that indicates variation; there is no spacing where the variation is purely between a human and a non-human predicate.


af·greiða vb.
   A. 1) [e-t/e-n] [e-m]
afla vb.
   A. 3) [e-s / at e-u / til e-s]
af·brot sb. n.
   [e-s] [við e-n]
and·streymr adj.
   1) [e-m] [um e-t]

Where the variety of syntactic possibilities is complex, combinations may be presented in groups, separated by semicolons, e.g.

²blanda vb.
   A. 1) [e-t] [e-u / með e-u / í e-t] ; [e-u/e-m] [við e-t/e-n]

If a syntactic unit cannot be represented by a short form of einnhverr, the relation is expressed by a black square or by an exclamation mark.

The square ■ represents the presence of a predicate in the form of a nominal clause, an infinitive, a relative conjunction (er, sem), or an adverbial (e.g. þar), e.g.

af·eggja vb.
   [e-n] [■]
binda vb.
   G. bindask undir [■]
borganar·maðr, borgunar·maðr sb. m.
   [■ / fyrir e-t] [fyrir sik]

An exclamation mark ! is used to show that a preposition is used absolutely or adverbially (i.e. that it has no predicate), e.g.

aka vb.
   E. akask á [!]
al·virki adj.
   [af !]

Where it appears to be essential or helpful, the combination patterns are translated in the Danish and English definitions (in round brackets), but the renderings cannot always correspond completely to one another in the different languages, especially in regard to the order of the elements.

C. Definitions

1. Type of definition

The definitions given in Danish and English are usually of the type known as translation equivalents. The more ponderous "dictionary definitions", typical of monolingual dictionaries, are only resorted to where a word or phrase cannot be rendered satisfactorily by direct translation alone.

In principle there are cross-references from one definition to the definition of another headword only where it has been deemed essential for an understanding of the explanation in question, see, for example, the definition of the headword bónda·nafn sb. n., which includes a reference to bóndi sb. m. def. 2.

Definitions are presented in numbered divisions.

Occasionally a special use of a word (as distinct from a special sense) forms its own numbered division within an article. In these cases the translation equivalent is usually replaced by an explanation of usage in round brackets, as in definition 2 in the following example:

¹ari sb. m.
   I. 1) ørn ⫽ eagle: ...
   2) (om afbildning/statue ⫽ of a depiction/statue): ...

The different possible translation equivalents within a single sense are separated by commas. Commas are therefore not placed between two or more ancillary adjectives relating to a single noun, e.g. á·fiskr sb. m., which is translated: river-fish.

2. The relationship of the English to the Danish definition

The Danish and English sets of translation equivalents are both construed on the basis of the citations in Old Norse, and some dissimilarity between the renderings in the two metalanguages must be allowed for. In some respects the English definition is secondary in relation to its Danish counterpart; thus, for example, certain details such as bibliographical references are to be found in the Danish version only.

3. Introductory remarks

A definition can be introduced by a demarcation of sense within round brackets. Exceptionally, these are formalised indications of the area of meaning or manner in which a word is used, e.g. (gramm.), (jur.), (fig.), (relig.), but these labels have only been supplied where the mode of expression in the definition would otherwise have been ambiguous, e.g.

á·skeyti sb. n.
   (fig.) beskydning, angreb ⫽ (fig.) shooting, attack: ...

The label (pl.) indicates that the definition in question is based on plural usage only in Old Norse, e.g.

á·lit sb. n.
   6) (pl.) forstand, fornuft ⫽ (pl.) understanding, reason: ...

4. Bynames & common nouns as proper nouns

Bynames are not given separate definitions. They are only scantily exemplified, and the user is referred to interpretations in the relevant handbooks, principally Bin (in Gloss.).

In the case of common nouns used as proper nouns, there is an editorial comment indicating of whom or what (a weapon, a ship, a constellation, etc.) the headword is being used, e.g.

¹ari sb. m.
   I. 1) ørn ⫽ eagle: ...
   II. (cogn.)
   III. (proprial.) (om stjernebilledet Ørnen (lat. aquila) ⫽ of the constellation Aquila): ...

On rare occasions there is, nonetheless, an explanation of meaning, particularly if the headword in question is only used in this special onomastic way, e.g.

akkeris·frakkr adj.
   (proprial.) “ankerdygtig” ɔ: dygtig til at finde og hale anker op ⫽ skilled in finding and retrieving an anchor: ...

5. Division introduced by a star

A division within an article can be introduced by a star *), instead of by a number, in a manner similar to the procedure adopted for the "starred words" (cf. § I.D above). This indicates either a so-called ghost definition, i.e. a sense postulated in an older dictionary for which there appears to be no basis, or a phrase or an individual citation which is given considerable weight in an earlier dictionary but appears to fall outside ONP’s corpus, e.g.

á·sjón sb. f.
   *) (ClV def. ‘eye’s view’ beror på “Vm. 135” → asionar DI IV (*1397›AM 260ˣ) 201²⁰n.; fejl i teksten for á sumar, cf. ed. emend.)
bryggju·ker sb. n.
   *) (Fr def. 2 “Bryggerkar, Kar som anvendes ved Brygning: bryggiækar DN. XI. 224¹²” → Unger & Huitfeldt-Kaas 1884 [DN 11] 195⁶; y. no. 1469)
²búa vb.
   A. *) (bio (ms. hio 34r¹³) Mork 424¹) → hǫggva vb.

D. Citations

1. Selection of citations

The definition in each section of an entry is followed by the supporting quotations, in each of which the headword is underlined. The quotations are selected so as to present the various semantic and syntactic usages within each signification and to illustrate the headword’s occurrence in a variety of genres and cultural settings. ONP’s earliest example of each headword (in terms of the age of the manuscript in which it is found) is always included in the article, and its siglum is preceded by a bullet . This principle is, however, waived when a word is attested solely in post-medieval manuscripts. Quotations to which there are foreign parallels have a special status in the selection process; within each entry an attempt is made to give one example for each representation of a foreign word by the Old Norse headword in question.

It is not specifically stated that a headword is occasionally recorded only in Icelandic or only in Norwegian texts. The manuscripts’ provenance is either clear from the sigla themselves or can be traced through the index of sigla and index of manuscripts (Registre ⫽ Indices, pp. 20-429; 431-494).

2. Rendering of the citations

The citations are printed in normal type in the spelling of their source, usually an edition, with certain modifications. Thus round brackets and italic type, which in the edition indicate that abbreviated spellings have been expanded, are not reproduced in the dictionary, and certain palaeographic features are ignored, such as variation between two types of letter to represent the same grapheme. ONP prints, for example, only r, s, v, even though some editions also reproduce r rotunda, tall s, and insular v. Diacritic symbols are reproduced as in the editions, with the following exceptions: the grave accent is replaced by an acute (in normalised editions from the nineteenth century), i and j are always supplied with a superposed dot, and the nasal stroke, as well as other gemination symbols, are expanded.

Two words that are written as one in an edition are often separated in ONP, e.g. í landi instead of the edition’s ílandi.

Where an editor has pointed out an anomaly in the text, this is rendered by (!); where ONP itself wishes to draw attention to an abnormality in the text, this is done by the insertion of (sic). On rare occasions ONP corrects a self-evident printer’s error in an edition; in these cases the uncorrected text is given in round brackets preceded by ed. Where an editor has pointed out an error by way of an inserted correction sheet or in a list of corrigenda elsewhere in the edition, the correction is cited, followed by ed. corr. in round brackets, and where possible the page and line reference is supplied.

When ONP cites directly from a manuscript, all abbreviations are expanded, unmarked, in accordance with a simple set of rules. The manuscript’s use of small and capital letters is normalised somewhat, but in other respects the manuscript’s reading is reproduced as accurately as possible, including its punctuation. A manuscript citation is immediately recognisable by the inclusion of a full manuscript designation in the siglum and a precise reference to folio and line in the manuscript.

In cases where a printed edition is available but ONP chooses to quote directly from the manuscript, there is usually a reference to the corresponding passage in that edition. (See § E.3 below concerning supplementary/corrective manuscript readings.)

3. Individual translations

Where the general definition of the sense division in which it is found is not considered sufficient to render a headword comprehensible in a particular citation, an individual translation of part of the quotation may be given in round brackets; this type of editorial intervention can also be used to indicate that an individual citation may contain the headword in a somewhat deviant sense without the difference being large enough to justify the setting up of a new sense division.

4. Editorial comments

In addition to individual translations, a citation can be equipped with various types of parenthetical editorial comment, often relating to the headword’s area of usage or to its form. Comments that bear on meaning are given both in Danish and in English, whereas remarks concerning orthography, grammar, syntax, and the nature of the text are given in Danish only. Editorial comments can be of the following types:

● explanatory addition of word(s) in Old Norse, e.g.

þat (skip) skal hlaða ỏngu nema af gulli ok silfri Mág¹A 33⁶⁵
En ef hon (ɔ: áin) brytr meir þa ... Landsl 134¹³

● modifying or specifying comments on meaning or usage (usually at the start of the quotation), e.g.

¹al·þýða sb. f. 2) almindelige mennesker ... ⫽ common people ...: ...; (om de almindelige deltagere i altinget ⫽ of the general public at the althing:) ...
aðal·akkeri sb. n. hovedanker ... ⫽ main anchor ...: (fig.:) ...
á·lag sb. n. 1) stød, hug ⫽ thrust, blow: ...; (evt. def. 2:) ...

● formalised information concerning the headword in the citation (at the start of the quotation), e.g.

¹brenna sb. f. II. (cogn.) ...; (i propr.comp.:) lýk ek þar Brennu-Njáls sǫgu NjM 464²
(the headword forms a compound with a proper noun)
dagr sb. m. 1) ...; (proverb.; cf. FJOrdspr 74:) ad kuelldi er dagur lofanndi og margt kann audrvvijs til ad bera enn menn hÿggia Mǫtt179ˣ 47¹³
(the headword is incorporated in a proverb or proverb-like statement)

● comments on the headword’s orthography, grammar, syntax, etc. (usually at the start of the quotation), e.g.

afl·skortr sb. m. ...; (med metatese:) ...
aldr sb. m. 1) ...; (med s-bortfald ved gruppegenitiv:) ...
?bjag·leitr adj. ... (men læsning usikker, cf. ms. 1ra³¹)

● comments on the nature of the text (at the start of the quotation), e.g.

brjóta vb. A. 3) ...; (lectio?) Sem stormrinn var ⸢brotínn [var. ȷ́ brott ÍvB 16²⁴]. þá ...

5. Sigla

After each citation there is a siglum, in italics, that refers to the relevant source with details of page/folio, column and line. Sigla which refer to texts in paper manuscripts end with a raised letter ˣ. The sigla are explained in Registre ⫽ Indices, pp. 20-429.

6. Additions to the siglum

There are sometimes additional comments to a citation in round brackets after the siglum. Additions may encompass a characterisation of the citation (e.g. (cap.), which indicates that the cited text is a chapter heading), a comparison with an informative passage elsewhere in the same text (introduced by cf.), the indication of a parallel text in Old Norse (introduced by ~), the presentation of the text of a foreign source or close analogue (introduced by ~), or, when quoting directly from a manuscript, a reference to the corresponding passage in a printed edition (introduced by ~).

7. Bare references

The selected quotations are often followed by so-called bare references (sigla without their corresponding quotations) introduced by item: (i.e. additionally:).

E. Variants, emendations & (supplementary/corrective) manuscript readings

Various qualifications can be made to a citation. Square brackets contain variant text, or, in the case of an emendation, the original, uncorrected text. Readings taken directly from a manuscript (usually of a corrective nature) are given in round brackets.

1. Variants

a) Variant that is not the headword in a citation

A variant is given in square brackets immediately after the word or words to which it corresponds; the raised right-angled bracket ⸢ marks the start of the word or passage to which the variant applies. The term variant is used in a very broad sense in ONP, thus variants may derive:

  • from the edition’s variant apparatus, e.g.
    a [var. j AM 589 b 4° “B”] Brettlandi Sams 7¹²
  • from a parallel text in another printed edition, e.g.
    ... uer blavndum saman latínu ok ⸢danskrí tunghu [var. norrꝍnu HómHauksb³ 172²²] Hóm114 260⁸
  • from another work (with a different siglum; provided the surrounding passages in both texts are in other respects closely similar), e.g.
    Ver ⸢bỏnnuðum [var. firirbuðum PP 288¹⁶] yðr fram at føra kenning þessa Pétr²Aˣ 167¹³
  • from the variant apparatus of another printed edition, e.g.
    ... fóru þeir til Fljótshlíðar ok ⸢buðu [var. boþuðu var. Njála 534³: GKS 2870 4° “I”] þar trú NjM 260⁹
  • from a manuscript, e.g.
    Var þetta mál auðsótt með flutningi Ásmundar ok ⸢atfylgiu [var. fylgi HG AM 152 fol 159ra²⁵] Hrólfs konungs HG 75²³

b) Variant used as the headword in a citation

ONP sometimes selects a variant as the headword in a citation, and this gives rise to a more complicated siglum. Also in these cases the variant can derive:

  • from the same edition, e.g.
    þa skal ec ⸢af hoɢva [var. afhøfda] hœfuð þins sonaʀ var. ÞiðrII 28²¹: AM 177 folˣ “B”
    where the siglum should be read as follows: the citation’s headword is a variant to ÞiðrII 28²¹, derived from the paper manuscript AM 177 fol, which in the edition’s variant apparatus is referred to as "B".
  • from a parallel version which is the main text in another printed edition, e.g.
    var þat rét. at sa være fra meyio ⸢natvs [var. borinn] var. Mth²Cod645 114¹² → Mth⁴ 838³
    where the siglum should be read: the headword in the citation is a variant to Mth²Cod645 114¹² taken from Mth⁴ 838³, a parallel version in another edition.
  • from another edition’s variant apparatus, e.g.
    Ásgrímr tók í ⸢taumana [var. beisltaumana] var. NjR1908 269²³ → var. Njála 602⁷: AM 309 4° “D”
    where the siglum should be read: the citation’s headword is a variant to NjR1908 269²³ taken from the old Njála edition of 1875; it is itself a variant (to "Njála" 602⁷), and it derives from AM 309 4°, referred to as "D" in that edition.
  • from a manuscript, e.g.
    at ec mæga þæðan af læsa ⸢allar ritningar [var. adalrítníngar] monvitz yðars var. Kgs 3¹⁵ → Kgs AM 243 a fol 1vb²¹
    where the siglum should be read: the citation’s headword is a variant to Kgs 3¹⁵ taken from the manuscript AM 243 a fol (fol. 1v, column b, line 21). Note the complete manuscript designation and precise reference to folio, column, and line.

2. Emendations

An emendation is an editor’s correction. The superior or corrective text is usually taken from a variant manuscript, and the source of the emendation is usually documented in the edition. In principle ONP does not itself undertake independent emendations.

a) An emendation that has no influence on the citation’s headword

Emendations that do not directly affect the headword cited from an edition are usually marked by an asterisk * without further comment. The asterisk is placed immediately before the corrected word.

If the correction covers more than one word, the passage starts with an asterisk and ends with the raised right-angled bracket ⸣, e.g.

tok einn þeirra nidr i sinn *sekk ok ętladi⸣ eykinum aaifodr Stj 214¹⁶

An asterisk in mid-quotation with spacing around it indicates that the emendation takes the form of an omission, e.g.

Hvernig erv nofn gvðaɴa? Þav heita * bavnd ... Ok havpt SnE 165¹⁷

If an emendation takes the form of an addition to the main text (a so-called supplementary emendation), the additional text is placed in angle brackets < >.

b) The citation’s headword is an emendation

ONP sometimes selects an emendation as a headword, in which case more detail is required. The corrected word or passage is introduced by a raised right-angled bracket and an asterisk, i.e. ⸢*. Provided the edition clearly states where the emendation is taken from, the subsequent square brackets start with the full manuscript designation and the edition’s abbreviation for that manuscript in quotation marks; thereafter the square brackets contain the main text’s uncorrected reading, introduced by non emend., e.g.

⸢*Við þetta ákall [AM 53 fol “B”; non emend. Þessum orðum] varð Haralldr konungr reidr miỏk emend. ÓTI 89⁴: AM 53 fol “B”

where the siglum should be read as follows: the citation’s headword is an emendation to ÓTI 89⁴, taken from AM 53 fol, referred to as "B" in the edition’s variant apparatus.

If the emendation takes the form of an addition to the main text (a so-called supplementary emendation), it is given in angle brackets, e.g.

Herodes var ... <audnarmadr eiginna felaga, hervikingr heimamanna> emend. JBapt²A 902³²: AM 239 fol “C”

where the siglum should be read as follows: the citation’s headword is part of a supplementary emendation to JBapt²A 902³², supplied from the manuscript AM 239 fol, referred to as "C" in the edition.

c) The citation’s headword is the non-emended reading

If ONP cites the main text’s original, non-emended reading which has been relegated to the edition’s footnotes or apparatus, an n. (for "note") is appended to the siglum, e.g.

þo at hann (ɔ: lausnarinn) þoli nu með miukri ⸢*biðlund [AM 233 a fol “B”; non emend. bliðlynd] var ill verk  JBapt²A 877⁷n.

where the citation should be read as follows: biðlund is an emendation taken from the manuscript AM 233 a fol, abbreviated in the edition "B"; the non-emended reading bliðlynd belongs to the main text JBapt²A, but it is to be found in the footnote to page 877 line 7.

Where the edition does not contain details as to where the emended text derives from, the following model is used:

þá er þér ⸢*buðuð [non emend. bíföludud] at drepa hana Trist¹ˣ 102¹⁸n.

3. (Supplementary/corrective) manuscript readings

Where ONP has found it necessary to refer to a manuscript reading rather than to the printed text, the manuscript reading is presented in round brackets preceded by ms.; when the corrective manuscript reading concerns the headword, the siglum ends, after → ms., with a precise reference to folio and line in the manuscript, e.g.

hversu sem síþan hefir skipazt atferð hans eða hættir i biskupssýslunni, því at þat (ms. hann) hefir í mörgum óöldum (ms. olldvm) verit GBpB 565¹⁹ → ms. 32r¹⁹

Attention is sometimes drawn to the fact that an edition’s reading is inaccurate or imprecise by marking the incorrect form with a raised superscript circle °, e.g.

Þeir °búa (ms. buna) nú ferð sína  EgÁsm 17¹ → ms. 15v²
... at hveʀ madr kunni frædi sin. credo in deum. pater noster ok aue maria. ok °barnskirn ord (ms. barn skirnar ord) ok atferli StatEi² 520¹⁰ → ms. 134ra¹⁴

III. Tail

The tail of an article potentially consists of three sections: a list of first elements in registered compounds, a list of selected dictionaries and glossaries, and a selective list of secondary literature.

A. Compounds (Comp.)

In the section headed Comp. there is a list of the first elements to which the headword is added (as the final element) to form compounds. The registration covers ONP’s corpus only; this in turn implies that all the compounds mentioned are to be included as headwords in the completed dictionary.

If the first element is in itself a compound, and if there are various possible analyses of the compound as a whole, a dot may be introduced between elements, as in jóla·messu- under the headword bók sb. f.

Where a compound registered in the Comp. section also functions as the final element in further compounds, the relevant first element is repeated, introduced by a hyphen, e.g.

band sb. n.
   Comp.: ...; sam- & -sam-; ...

which indicates that the compound sam·band sb. n. is registered as the final element in further compounds (ástar·samband, hjóna·samband, etc.). It may be noted that compounds formed with and without the negative prefix are registered separately, e.g. reyk- and ó·reyk- under the headword blindr adj.

When a compound registered in the Comp. section is only recorded as the first element in another compound, the last part of the word is enclosed in round brackets, e.g.

barn sb. n.
   Comp.: ... blaut-(barns·bein); ...

The intention here, in connection with the headword barn sb. n., is to point out that a word blaut·barn is a conceivable formation in its own right.

B. Glossaries (Gloss.)

In the section headed Gloss. there is a chronologically presented list of the dictionaries and glossaries that have previously treated the headword in question (EJ and LLFrämm have, however, only been referred to as of ONP 2). Finally, where relevant, there is a reference in round brackets to Sigfús Blöndal’s dictionary of Modern Icelandic. The dictionaries and glossaries encompass:

EJ; ClV; ClVErr; ClVAdd; Suppl1; Suppl2; Finsen; Fr; FrErr1; FrErr2; LL; LLFrämm; Hertzb; HertzbLat; HertzbTill; FrErr3; Suppl4; Fischer; Anm; Bin; Rím; LP; Med; WN; AH; AJ; ClVSuppl; deVr; Fr4; NO; Walter; ÁBlM; WPA; (Bl).

The abbreviations are explained in the bibliography at the end of this booklet. Occasionally, typically when dealing with words for which there are few citations, dictionaries for other modern languages are referred to as additional support for ONP’s findings, e.g.

barmi sb. m.
   Gloss.: ClV; Rím; LP; AJ; deVr; Fr4; NO; ÁBlM; (Bl). Cf. NorskOrdb barme

If ONP’s headword is treated in the earlier works in a (significantly) different form (for example, in another grammatical form or with a different gender or number), the nature of the variance is noted, e.g.

arz sb. m.
   Gloss.: ClV ars; Fr ars; LP; deVr ars; NO ars; ÁBlM ars; (Bl ars)
austr·eyingr sb. m.
   Gloss.: Fr4 pl.; NO pl.
birgð sb. f.
   Gloss.: EJ pl.; ClV pl.; Fr; Rím pl.; AJ pl.; deVr; Fr4; NO; ÁBlM (birgr) pl.; (Bl pl.)
auð·heyrðr adj.
   Gloss.: ClV n.; FrErr3 n.; NO n.; (Bl)

If ONP’s headword is treated under a different word in one of the works referred to, this headword is registered in round brackets, e.g.

austr·vegs·maðr sb. m.
   Gloss.: ClV (austrvegr); Fr; NO

C. Secondary literature (Litt.)

Under the heading Litt. there is a list of secondary works that have had a significant influence on the writing of the entry; occasionally a work may also be mentioned with a view to general further reference, but no attempt is made to give a complete bibliography of all relevant comments in the scholarly literature. If a work is significant to one section of the dictionary article only, it may be mentioned there and there only.


Revideret 18.02.2003(jek) - baseret på vejle.tex (2000)


Dictionary of Old Norse Prose