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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Sneglu-Halli, Lausavísur, 11 [Vol. 2, 331-2]

[1] sýr es ávallt ‘there is always a sow’: The l. is difficult to interpret. Flat has dýr ‘animal’, which leaves the l. without alliteration and must be a scribal error. If the 563aˣ variant is kept, the l. implies ‘there is always a sow (i.e. a female beast) at hand’, suggesting that Þjóðólfr had been used as a female by his stallion. Sýr could also be a pun on the nickname of Haraldr’s father, Sigurðr sýr ‘Sow’ (cf. a similar allusion in Mgóði Lv 1 above; see also Hjǫrtr Lv 1-3), and then, indirectly, a reference to Haraldr himself (see Note to l. 4 below). Skj B emends to saurr ‘filth, semen’, and Kock (NN §2528) proposes the adj. súrr ‘sour, bitter, unfriendly’, which he translates as blöt, rinnande ‘soft, runny’ (a meaning which is unattested).


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