Ţórsdrápa - KENNINGS and HEITI
A classification of circumlocutions and mythological references.

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Below, I have attempted to classify all kennings found in the poem. Such a classification is difficult, as many kennings belong to more than one class. I have tried to simplify the classification as much as I can. (For a more detailed classification, Meissner should be consulted. For detailed explanations, my Commentaries should be consulted)

I have included all HEITI, and all mythological references, which form parts of kennings. For example, there is no kenning for Óđinn in the poem, but his name (and various by-names) occur as parts of other kennings, and have therefore been included in the classification.

The majority of the poem's kennings are those of ŢÓRR, GIANTS, and GIANTESSES. The GIANT-kennings are frequently imbedded in the ŢÓRR-kennings, while rock/mountain/cave kennings are frequently imbedded in GIANT-kennings. ŢÓRR-kennings of the type "killer of the dweller in the mountains" are among the most common.

My citations follow a strict pattern. The NOMINATIVE STEM (or CARRIER) is always the first word, followed by the QUALIFYING GENITIVES in a strictly logical order. For example, the ŢÓRR-kenning:

stökkvir ţrjóts urđar

is to be read as "scatterer of the villain of the scree". I feel this must be mentioned, because such a kenning may be quoted in another source as:

stökkvir urđar ţrjóts

i.e. "scatterer of the scree of the villain" - not because it is interpreted differently, but because the author ignores the fact that not all readers understand Icelandic grammar, and word-order, as well as he himself.

Another aspect of my classification must be mentioned. The above example will be found under ŢÓRR-kennings, and be interpreted simply as "scatterer of a giant". In this particular case, ţrjótr urđar is an imbedded kenning for "giant", and will be found under GIANT-kennings. The reader will soon realize that it is impossible to interpret all details of multiple kennings within such a classification. An extreme example would be:

frumseyrir [fljóđa [vargs [Fríđar himintörgu]]]

The complete kenning will be found under ŢÓRR-kennings, "diminisher of giantesses".
Fljóđ [vargs [Fríđar himintörgu]] will be found under GIANTESS-kennings, "maidens of the wolf/enemy".
Vargr [Fríđar himintörgu] will be found under WOLF-kennings, "enemy of the Sun".
Finally, Fríđr himintörgu will be found under SUN-kennings, "goddess of the heaven-shield".

BASIC CLASSIFICATION:
Click a Class!

Note: RED WORDS can be clicked in order to view similar or related kennings from the corpus.

LIVING CREATURES:
ŢÓRR
GIANTS & GIANTESSES
ŢJÁLFI, LOKI, ÓĐINN & OTHERS
ANIMALS
PARTS OF THE BODY
PLACES & OBJECTS:
ÁSGARĐR & JÖTUNHEIMR
(GEIRRÖĐR'S) CAVE
WATER: OCEAN & WAVE
EARTH: ROCK, CLIFF, & MOUNTAIN
SKY: AIR
BATTLE & ARMS
OTHER