WARRIOR KENNINGS OF SKALDIC POETRY (2) (Meissner: 88)
"Nomen Agentis" Kennings

Based on Meissner's "Die Kenningar der Skalden" (1921), pp. 283-350.

COMPLETE ALPHABETICAL LISTING (AGENT)
COMPLETE ALPHABETICAL LISTING (FEEDER)

Nomen Agentis: This is a Latin term. As far as I know, there is no English translation available. A "Nomen Agentis" is a noun formed from a verb expressing an action. Example: herša/heršir (harden/hardener). For lack of anything better, "agent-noun" seems to cover the meaning as well as can be desired.

The agent-noun is frequently used, as evidenced by the 789 WARRIOR-kennings presented here. Unfortunately the various agent-nouns are difficult to classify. Their meanings are often ambiguous, and sometimes obscure. Various methods of classification are possible: increaser/decreaser, enhancer/destroyer, and many others. I have, however, decided not to STEM-classify the majority of these kennings. A presentation of the complete un-classified list is far more useful than an attempted classification, which could only be based on guesswork.

Only one class of Warrior-Kennings of agent-nouns can easily be separated from the rest - the class of "FEEDER of CARRION-EATERS" (see below).

In these pages I will use the noun "AGENT" as a general word meaning "a person that acts or exerts power". Within the domain of Warrior-Kennings, AGENT can, of course, mean "killer".

The listings of these "agent-noun" kennings is slightly different from the listings of other classes. Firstly, I have not created a combined listing of the AGENT class and the FEEDER class. This wouldn't be of any useful interest. Instead, I have done three different listings of either class. Firstly, the usual one, classified and indexed by Qualifier; secondly, a slightly different one, classified by Qualifier, but indexed by Stem, i.e. the agent-noun. And thirdly, a non-classified listing, indexed by Stem. These three types seem to me to be the ones most useful in studying the structure and function of these kennings.

CLICK STEM TYPE FOR COMPLETE LISTING

A.1AGENT: Classified: Qualifier-indexed668
A.2AGENT: Classified: Stem-indexed668
A.3AGENT: Non-classified: Stem-indexed668
B.1FEEDER: Classified: Qualifier-indexed121
B.2FEEDER: Classified: Stem-indexed121
B.3FEEDER: Non-classified: Stem-indexed121
 TOTAL789

Any classification of the above STEMS will always be problematic and open to criticism. However, the classification of QUALIFIERS is much simpler. I have settled upon the following:

1.dVALKYRIES23
2.ABATTLE275
3.aWEAPONS (general)2
3.bWEAPONS (general): METALS12
3.cWEAPONS (general): POINTS7
3.dWEAPONS (general): SHAFTS13
3.eWEAPONS (general): SPIKES4
4.aWEAPONS: ARROWS7
4.bWEAPONS: AXES8
4.cWEAPONS: BOWS11
4.dWEAPONS: BOWSTRINGS3
4.fWEAPONS: SPEARS11
4.gWEAPONS: SWORDS172
4.hWEAPONS: SWORD-PARTS4
5.aARMOUR: BYRNIES16
5.bARMOUR: HELMETS10
5.cARMOUR: SHIELDS77
6.aBLOOD1
6.cTHE SLAIN4
6.dRAVENS70
6.eWOLVES41
6.fEAGLES10
7.bBATTLEFIELD1
8.aMEN (general)4
8.bMEN: WARRIORS1
99.eBURIAL-MOUNDS2