Can You Ken? XXII

Kennings nipping at your nose…

Today’s challenge is…


What could be the lightning of a jaw?

The answer is, an insult! Yes, an insult is the lighting flash that comes from the jaw.

I’ve been teaching lately about senna, or flyting, or insult competition. The most famous example is in the poem Lokasenna, but senna can also be seen in Hárbarðsljóð and the second of the Helgi Hundingsbána poems.

It’s pretty interesting reading the senna poems to see what was used insultingly and what was not. There are many that attack the Old Norse concept of masculinity (see Carol Clover’s Regardless of Sex: Men, Women, and Power in Early Northern Europe), much centered around fighting, sex, and bravery.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s