Monday, August 30, 2010

Oooh, Sinfjotli Burned Granmar! That's Just Cold.

One of my favorite scenes in The Saga of the Volsungs is one in which Sinfjotli and Granmar are exchanging insults, in a custom similar to "the dozens" in American culture. What I like best about it is that the insults aren't exactly insulting to us outside medieval Norse culture; they're just odd.

For example, Sinfjotli finally gets the best of Granmar with this beauty:
Do you remember when you were a mare, with the stallion Grani and I rode
you at full speed on Bravoll? Afterward you were the goatherd of the giant

I'm not sure how I would react if someone used this on me. I'd probably looked stunned for a moment, then say, "What? Your granny is a stallion and you rode her on the Bravo channel?"

As for saying I was a goatherd of the giant Golnir, I'd punch him in the face. I may be a goatherd, but I'm no goatherd for Golnir!

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