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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 6. Fragments, 2 [Vol. 2, 160-1]

[2] optherðir ‘frequent hardener’: (a) The adverbial opt is occasionally found prefixed to the base-word of a kenning, when this is a nomen agentis (agent noun), e.g. optþverrir Hfr ErfÓl 25/2I (seen as mulig ‘possible’ in LP) and optveitandi Skarp Lv 3/4V (LP and Meissner 63). Kock advocates this interpretation in NN §2032. (b) The adv. could be construed with the verb lætr ‘causes’ (l. 1) and hence with the whole cl., as it is in Skj B and SnE 1998, I, 208, but this assumes a jolting interruption to the kenning and a very marked emphasis would have been required in performance to avert the natural assumption that optherðir is a unit.


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