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flyte

[flahyt] /flaɪt/
verb (used without object), flyted, flyting, noun
1.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for flyting

flyte

/flaɪt; Scottish fləɪt/
verb
1.
a variant spelling of flite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for flyting

flyte

v.

Old English flitan "to contend, struggle, quarrel;" related to German fleiß, Dutch vlijt "diligence, industry."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for flyting

(Scots: "quarreling," or "contention"), poetic competition of the Scottish makaris (poets) of the 15th and 16th centuries, in which two highly skilled rivals engaged in a contest of verbal abuse, remarkable for its fierceness and extravagance. Although contestants attacked each other spiritedly, they actually had a professional respect for their rival's vocabulary of invective. The tradition seems to have derived from the Gaelic filid (class of professional poets), who composed savage tirades against persons who slighted them. A Scandinavian counterpart is the Lokasenna ("Flyting of Loki"), a poem in the Poetic (Elder) Edda in which the trickster-god Loki bandies words with the other gods, taunting them with coarse jests. Although true flyting became obsolete in Scottish literature after the Middle Ages, the tradition itself never died out among writers of Celtic background. The style and language of Robert Burns's "To a Louse" ("Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner / Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner") parodies earlier Scots flyting, and James Joyce's poem "The Holy Office" is a bard's curse on the society that spurns him.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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