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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 28. Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, 2. Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar, 24 [Vol. 1, 434]

[8] benkneif ‘wound-hook [SWORD]’: Kneif f. ‘hook, claw, pincer’ (?), probably related to knífr ‘knife’ (ÍOkneif), is well-attested in the modern language but rare in OIcel. It occurs as a byname in Ldn (ÍF 1, 51, 340-3), where it is spelt variously kneif and (the younger form) hneif, and as a variant reading in GSúrs Lv 27/5V (Gísl 30). Sword-kennings based on words for tools are fairly common, e.g. bengrefill ‘wound-hoe’ Egill Hfl 8/3V (Eg 41), and see Meissner 156. LP: benkneif suggests sårkniv(?), spyd ‘wound-knife(?), spear’.


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