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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Einarr Skúlason, 11. Lausavísur, 6 [Vol. 2, 573-4]

[7, 8] breiðr barmr ‘the broad rim’: I.e. the upper strakes in the ship-side, but cf. ModIcel. barmur ‘bosom’, ModNorw. barm ‘breast’ (see AEW: barmr 1). It is tempting to take this wording as an intended pun on the physical attributes of the ‘precious burden’ of the ship. See such fem. nicknames as knarrarbringaknǫrr-breasted’, i.e. ‘with breasts like the prow of a ship’ (Finnur Jónsson 1907, 214-15). However, barmr is not attested in the meaning ‘bosom, breast’ until after the Reformation (see Jesch 2001a, 141 n. 43). See also Note to Bǫlv Hardr 2/8.


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