Hello E-Ching Ng and Selv!
--- In norse_course@..., Selvarv Stigard <selvarv@...> wrote:
> ah, getting caught up, but I should have read this one before
replying to
> Keth ;->
> >By the way, I don't think looking at ON sagas would really answer
> >question. I'm assuming you just dashed off that suggestion
> >thinking too hard about it.

I was particularly interested in saga usage.
I recall some Edda sections where a "wolf's hair"
tied to a ring is used as warning. The hair was so fine
that the messengers did not detect it, only the recipient
did, and thus the "warning" got through.

>For one thing, it would be perfectly
> >for a saga to use both words for wolf with not much
differentiation in
> >meaning.

They do. Both words are used in the sagas.

> The Old English had at least half a dozen words for
"horse", and
> >at least a dozen for "man". Besides, the ON sagas are not the
> >source of information about the root word in this case.

I think they are the oldest source for most "Norse" words,
unless you want to add runic inscriptions, which do
give information about some words.

Notice also that it is "ulfr" that is
used for PN's. A varg is a "niĆ¾ing".

>>But I do
> >that it would be interesting for the purposes of this course to
know which
> >meaning of the word was primary at the time of the sagas we're
> >studying. Haukur and Oskar have glossed _vargr_ as "wolf", so I
> >that's what it usually meant in 12th(?) century Old Icelandic.
The Old
> >Icelandic dictionary that my professor quoted does also give a
> >definition, though - basically "outlaw" with a lot of frills - has
> >ever cropped up in your experience, H & O?
> Hm - the OI sagas aren't a particularly old linguistic source, but
> whole oral-formulaic argument can be made that ON eddic poetry is a
> significantly old source for linguistic value, and I may be able to
> this weekend on the word used in the eddic poems on which the saga
is based.
> >E-Ching
> >being obnoxiously philological :-)

I liked you message. Please keep'm coming! ;)

> don't worry, that's a plus from my perspective...
> >PS That was an awfully truncated version of Fred Robinson's
lecture. If
> >you want the full-scale summary with quotations and everything,
let me know
> >- I already typed it up for Oskar and Haukur a couple of months
ago, so
> >it's no trouble to send it again.
> whether or not anyone else wants it, if you have it handy as a file,
> love to read it!

Same here, if you have a spare copy.

In the Edda there are 10 occurrences of vargr
(I did a quick counting) And then about 8 occurrences
in composites. (One of which is "vargynja" = a she-wolf.
This corresponds btw to Anglo-Saxon "Weargyn", also a she-wolf.
And so it isn't quite correct that "wearg" only means criminal
in Anglo-Saxon. It is probably more a matter of incompleteness
of the sources -- that is , if the book in which I found
"weargyn" is accurate. Also the time of the occurrence of the term
has to be taken into account, etc)

In Rome btw, the she-wolf was a "lupa".
Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she-wolf, as you may recall.

Oh, and a quick count also showed that "ulfr" occurs
about 14 times in the Edda. So it is about even.