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kenning

[ken-ing] /ˈkɛn ɪŋ/
noun
1.
a conventional poetic phrase used for or in addition to the usual name of a person or thing, especially in Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon verse, as “a wave traveler” for “a boat.”.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85; < Old Norse; see ken, -ing1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for kennings

kenning

/ˈkɛnɪŋ/
noun
1.
a conventional metaphoric name for something, esp in Old Norse and Old English poetry, such as Old English bānhūs (bone house) for "body"
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse, from kenna; see ken
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 kennings

kenning

n.

Old English cenning "procreation; declaration in court," present participle of ken (v.). From early 14c. in senses "sign, token; teaching, instruction;" c.1400 as "mental cognition." From 1883 as "periphrastic expression in early Germanic poetry;" in this sense it probably is from Old Norse cognate verb kenna "to know, to recognize, to feel or perceive; to call, to name (in a formal poetic metaphor)."

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

kenning

concise compound or figurative phrase replacing a common noun, especially in Old Germanic, Old Norse, and Old English poetry. A kenning is commonly a simple stock compound such as "whale-path" or "swan road" for "sea," "God's beacon" for "sun," or "ring-giver" for "king."

Learn more about kenning with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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