[ANSTHRLD] Kolbrunaskald

doug bell magnus77840 at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 6 11:23:04 PST 2010

The list seems to be acting out versus both Gunnvor and myself.

Magnus said:

>Oh Gunnvör, are you out there?

I swear I
answered this this morning! If this answer does not reach the herald's
list, will you please forward it for me, as I must be having Issues!




> I am currently working with HL Svan Coldbrowskaldsson to register his name
> I can document svan
> I can document Kolbrunaskald
> Thormoderr Kolbrunaskald (the poet of the women with coal black eyebrows)
> was a poet in the employ of King Olaf who was quoted by Snorri Sturrleson
> He understands there is probably no way to document coldbrowskaldsson but
> wanted to know if Kolbrunaskaldson would be a passable name. I don't think
> it fits within normal practices as it would most likely be skaldson or
> kolbrunaskald but not both. I'd like the advice of those with more
> experience with norse/icelandic naming practices

will point out that this particular name has two unlikely things
happening at once: using a byname to form a patronymic, and the complex
three-part byname itself.

RfS II.3 (http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/rfs.html#2.3) governs the creation of this name.

noted, the byname <Kolbrúnarskáld> (note the acute accents on the
<u> and final <a>) does exist. The problem under RfS II.3
is that it's a one-off byname. The more typical sort of byname would be
EITHER <kolbrúni> OR <skáld>, and the combination of the
two to create a single byname is fairly unusual. Overall, Norse bynames
tended to be simpler. To create a pattern, as required by RfS II.3, you
have to find more than a single example that supports your pattern. I'd
tend to suggest that you want to shoot for at least three (one is an
oddity, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern).  It may be possible,
but you'll have to do some digging, probably in Lind's book on bynames
(Lind, E.H. Norsk-Isländska Personbinamn från Medeltiden. Uppsala:
1920-21). I don't have that one.

Patronymic bynames rarely even
mention the father's bynames. We do see it occasionally, for instance
we get <Freydísa dóttir Eiríks rauða>, or <Egill
Skalla-Grímsson>. To use a byname in the formation of a patronymic
under RfS II.3, you now need to find a pattern of bynames being formed
into patronymics. There are definitely a number of names that started
out as bynames and came into use as personal names. You can find some
examples in the runic inscriptions. Most are diminutive forms of names,
but there are a few that clearly began as descriptive bynames. See: 

Nordiskt runnamnslexikon (The Dictionary of Norse Runic Names), by Lena Peterson 
(or my rough translation, which is a zipped PDF, at http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/FTP_Files/NordisktRunnamnslexicon.zip)

I'm thinking you would need to produce examples of more than one
complex three-part byname, as well as examples of more than one byname
used as a patronymic, in order to make the case for passage of the
proposed name.

You do not say what period you want, nor what
country. And this matters! The Viking Age spans three centuries and a
number of countries, and most significantly, there were variations
between Old West Norse and Old East Norse that extended into naming.

Looking at the name elements:

E.H. Norsk-Isländska Dopnamn ock Fingerade Namn från Medeltiden.
Uppsala & Leipzig: 1905-1915, sup. Oslo, Uppsala and Kobenhavn:
1931. col. 985, s.n. <Svanr> does have this as a masculine name
of one of the Icelandic Landnámsmenn, and in use well into the Middle
Ages. It should the final nominative case ending <-r>, however.

<Cold Brow Skald>
existing byname <Kolbrúnarskáld> does not support the proposed
construction. <Kolbrúnarskáld> is a physical description,
"black-browed skald", while "cold-browed skald" indicates a condition
or state of being. Are we saying that his eyebrows are cold? If we mean
his eyebrows are white, then that would be <Hvítabrúnarskáld>.
Persona story doesn't matter here at all, we have to build the case
from existing examples to show a pattern. 

*IF* for argument's
sake we want to construct the name as given, it would be
<Kôldbrúnarskáld> (where the o-circumflex <ô> is used to
represent the character o-ogonek) See:

Cleasby, Richard and
Guðbrandr Vigfusson. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd ed. Oxford:
Clarendon. 1957. From
p. 329, s.v. <kaldr>, which gives us the adjectival form


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