Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Thu Jan 15 15:33:42 UTC 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of almi
> Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 8:13 AM
> Subject: Edda
> Hello all,
> I am translating a short text dealing with the Norse mythology.
> It says, among other things, that all we know about it today
> comes down to us "mainly from the Icelandic Eddas and sagas".
> Does anybody know what "Eddas" mean and where it originates from?
> Thank you very much,
> Ruthi.

The Eddas are two collections of Icelandic poetry. The "Elder Edda" (aka
"Poetic Edda" or erroneously attributed as the "Edda of Saemund") is from
the 12th century. The "Younger Edda" (aka "Prose Edda" or "Snorre's Edda")
was written in the 13th century.

The name "Edda" is usually considered to be from the Icelandic for
"great-grandmother," after a character in the poem "Rigsthul."
Alternatively, it could be from the Old Norse "odhr," meaning poetry.

--Dave Wilton
  dave at wilton.net

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