kenning
Definition - A compound expression that creates a metaphorical synonym for another more mundane noun.

Example -

(1) oar-steed (a ship)
(2) storm of swords (a battle)
(3) whale road (the sea)
Note: Kennings were common in Norse oral literature. For example, the name Beowulf was coined from the kenning beo wulf, bee wolf (i.e. a bear because bears like honey).

Etymology -
The term — which first appeared a mediæval-Icelandic work on poetics — derives from the Old Norse phrase kenna eitt við, express one thing in terms of another.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1883:
"The extreme development of the ‘kenning’ in Northern Poetry."
(Vigfusson & Powell Corpus Poet. Bor. II. 448)



Please comment

Email: