American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A figurative, usually compound expression used in place of a name or noun, especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry; for example, storm of swords is a kenning for battle.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Sight; view; especially, a distant view at sea.
- n. Range or extent of vision, especially at sea; hence, a marine measure of about twenty miles.
- n. As little as one can recognize or discriminate; a small portion; a little: as, put in a kenning of salt.
- n. The cicatricula or tread of an egg. Also kinning.
- n. In Old Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and other old Teutonic poetry, a distinctive poetical name, usually periphrastic in form, used in addition to, or substituted for, the usual name of a thing or person. Such terms form a usual ornament of Anglo-Saxon verse, as in ‘Beowulf,’ ‘Exodus,’ etc. Examples are ‘whale-road,’ and ‘gannet's bath’ for ‘the sea,’ ‘ward of the bone-house’ (that is ‘keeper of the breast’), for ‘heart’ or ‘mind.’
- n. A metaphorical phrase used in Germanic poetry (especially Old English or Old Norse) whereby a simple thing is described in an allusive way, such as ‘whale road’ for ‘sea’, or ‘enemy of the mast’ for ‘wind’.
- n. The tread of an egg; cicatricula.
- n. obsolete Sight; view; a distant view at sea.
- n. obsolete Range or extent of vision, especially at sea; (by extension) a marine measure of approximately twenty miles.
- n. As little as one can recognise or discriminate; a small portion; a little.
- v. present participle of ken.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete Range of sight.
- n. The limit of vision at sea, being a distance of about twenty miles.
- n. conventional metaphoric name for something, used especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry
- From Middle English, derivative of Middle English kennen ("to know, perceive"). Compare Danish kjending ("acquaintance"). More at ken. (Wiktionary)
- Old Norse, from kenna, to know, to name with a kenning; see gnō- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A kenning is actually instead of a name, rather than in addition to (as I just discovered by looking it up with excessive help from Catzilla): "a figurative, usually compound expression used in place of a name or noun, especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry; for example, storm of swords is a kenning for battle.”
“The word kenning is derived from the Old Norse phrase kenna ett vid, which means “to express a thing in terms of another”, and is found throughout Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic literature.”
“In literature, a kenning is a magic poetic phrase, a figure of speech, substituted for the usual name of a person or thing.”
“I think I'd go with Kevin Crossley-Holland's view that a kenning is a condensed riddle, though that's really saying much the same thing as a riddle being an extended kenning.”
“I find myself curiously reluctant to construct a kenning for myself, actually.”
“I like 'Mighty-sinewed chemist's daughter' myself, though I suspect that's not a kenning because it's, y'know.”
“The kenning, a metaphorical compound-word or phrase, is a descriptive stand-in for a noun.”
“These "clues" in turn suggest the Anglo-Saxon/Old Norse kenning, reminding us that Morgan was a fine translator of Beowulf.”
“I missed Stella, missed her there beside me, missed the comfort of our kenning conversations.”
“I tried listening for the critter in the kenning way, tried to feel him down through all the decks.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘kenning’.
Sigility: avatars and representative figures. Types of symbols: academic, religious, abstract.
words on words. yyep.
List of most of the words I've learned
Words I've come across while reading and looked up in the dictionary.
Hecko, words! I’m so happy I’ve found you. I want to keep you all and never want to lose you again. I hope you like it here.
a list of words from the indo european root ar- and variations : to fit together
A general collection of the sort of words that make me happy when I hear or read them in everyday conversation and writing.
The use of unnecessarily wordy or indirect language.
Reading, writing, text, etc.
Looking for tweets for kenning.