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1771, by some identified with the name of the old woman in the Old Norse poem "Rigsþul," by others derived from Old Norse oðr "spirit, mind, passion, song, poetry" (cognate with Old Irish faith "poet," Welsh gwawd "poem," Old English woþ "sound, melody, song," Latin vates "seer, soothsayer;" see wood (adj.)).
It is the name given to two Icelandic books, the first a miscellany of poetry, mythology, and grammar by Snorri Sturluson (d.1241), since 1642 called the Younger or Prose Edda; and a c.1200 collection of ancient Germanic poetry and religious tales, called the Elder or Poetic Edda.