ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote in 1word1day,
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1word1day

Monday word: kenning

kenning (knng) noun.
A metaphor - usually a compound expression - used in place of a name or noun, especially in Old Norse and Old English poetry.

The kenning 'battle-sweat' (blood) comes from Beowulf.
Wikipedia has a list of kennings.
Modern kennings include 'ankle biter', 'joy juice', and 'couch potato'...can anyone think of a modern kenning that's even half as cool as the ones in Norse poetry?

Etymology:  late 1800s, from Old Norse kenna, to know, to perceive, to name.
Tags: k, noun, old norse, wordsmith: ersatz_read
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