Asked • 05/28/19

A figure of speech combining two phrases?

I have read somewhere that it is typical of poems such as Nibelungenlied to use a figure of speech which in fact merges two phrases into one by the mean of a common word. An example could be the following: *And then I ate the apple was red as blood* A proper example of this can be found in Nibelungenlied (Adventure 20, 1184, 1-2), where we have >man sach >Ortwin von Mezze | ce Rvedgeren sprach which means >one saw >Ortwin von Metz | to Rüdiger said So, is there a name for this figure of speech? Is it a typical figure of other *archaic* poems such as Beowulf or am I confusing?

Heather S.

I believe this is called a "kenning." Essentially, it combines two words to create a more vivid image (or compound). This device was often used in Anglo-Saxon and Old English poems like Beowulf. Examples include "swan-road" for a waterway, or "he unlocked his word-hoard" (meaning that he spoke).


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