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Note to Hfr ErfÓl 14I

[2] læsíks ‘of the poison-whitefish [SNAKE = Ormr inn langi]’: The mention of a þíðan þrǫm ‘pliant rail’ suggests that læsíks refers to a ship, probably via a pun on the name of Ormr inn langi ‘the Long Serpent’, Óláfr’s ship (cf. Naðr in st. 10/1 and Note and, via a similar kenning to the present one, fiskr lyngs ‘fish of the heather [SNAKE]’ in Sigv ErfÓl 3/1; NN §477; Ohlmarks 1958, 451). The second element, síks, denotes a whitefish of the Salmonidae family, Coregonus lavaretus. The first element can be interpreted in various ways to produce a snake-kenning. (a) The usual meanings of are ‘malice, deceit, harm, poison’ (LP: 1, 2), and ‘poison-fish’ is plausible as a snake-kenning: cf. hrøkkviáll drekku Vǫlsunga ‘coiling eel of the drink of the Vǫlsungs [POISON > Miðgarðsormr]’ Bragi Þórr 5/3,4III, or ǫlunn eitrs ‘mackerel of poison [SNAKE]’ GunnHám Lv 6/5, 7V (Nj 10). (b) There is some evidence for meaning ‘land’, which could produce a standard snake-kenning of the type ‘fish of the land’ (cf. Meissner 112-14). Hár Lv 2/2, 3 has eikr læbaugs, which could mean ‘oak of the land-ring [SEA > SHIP]’ (see LP: læbaugr, and Note to st. 10/4 above on baugr; Simek 1982, 211 has an alternative explanation), and GunnlI Lv 7/5V (Gunnl 11) has ‘lesik’ or ‘lausik’, which could give læsík(r) ‘land-whitefish [SNAKE]’. According to Gunnlaugs saga (ÍF 3, 84) Gunnlaugr and Hallfreðr were shipmates and friends, and GunnlI Lv 7 was addressed to Hallfreðr. Textual variation of and láð ‘land’ occurs in Þhorn Gldr 8/8. (c) Skj B (following Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, II, 221) emends Hallfreðr’s kenning læsíks to láðsíks ‘land-whitefish’, and Gunnlaugr’s kenning to lautsíkr ‘dale-whitefish’, but emendation seems unnecessary. As to the syntactic role of the cpd, Kock (NN §477) takes læsíks with gram, i.e. ‘Ormr’s lord’, giving a simpler word order.

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  5. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  6. ÍF 3 = Borgfirðinga sǫgur. Ed. Sigurður Nordal and Guðni Jónsson. 1938.
  7. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  8. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  9. Simek, Rudolf. 1982. Die Schiffsnamen, Schiffsbezeichnungen und Schiffskenningar im Altnordischen. Wiener Arbeiten zur germanischen Altertumskunde und Philologie 14. Vienna: Halosar.
  10. Internal references
  11. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Þórr’s fishing 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 51.
  12. Not published: do not cite (GunnlI Lv 7V (Gunnl 11))
  13. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hárekr í Þjóttu, Lausavísur 2’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 810.
  14. Judith Jesch (ed.) 2012, ‘Sigvatr Þórðarson, Erfidrápa Óláfs helga 3’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 668.
  15. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, Glymdrápa 8’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 88.
  16. Not published: do not cite (GunnHám Lv 6V (Nj 10))

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