Á

Old Norse Dictionary - á

Meaning of Old Norse word "á" in English.

As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:

á Old Norse word can mean:

á
1. á, prep., often used elliptically, or even adverbially, [Goth. ana; Engl. on; Germ. an. In the Scandinavian idioms the liquid n is absorbeD. I. English the same has been supposed to happen in adverbial phrases, e. g. ‘along, away, abroad, afoot, again, agate, ahead, aloft, alone, askew, aside, astray, awry,’ etc. It is indeed true that the Ormulum in its northern dialect freq. uses o, even in common phrases, such as ‘o boke, o land, o life, o slæpe, o strande, o write, o naht, o loft,’ etc., v. the glossary; and we may compare on foot and afoot, on sleep (Engl. VerS. of Bible) and asleep; A. S. a-butan and on-butan (about); agen and ongean (again, against); on bæc, aback; on life, alive; on middan, amid. But it is more than likely that in the expressions quoted above, as well as in numberless others, as well in old as in modern English, the English a- as well as the o- of the Ormulum and the modern Scottish and north of England o- are in reality remains of this very á pronounced au or ow, which was brought by the Scandinavian settlers into the north of EnglanD. I. the struggle for supremacy between the English dialects after the Conquest, the Scandinavian form á or a won the day in many cases to the exclusion of the Anglo-Saxon on. Some of these adverbs have representatives only in the Scandinavian tongues, not in Anglo-Saxon; see below, with dat. B. II, C. VII; with acc. C. I. and VI. The prep. á denotes the surface or outside; í and ór the inside; at, til, and frá, nearness measured to or from an object: á thus answers to the Gr. επί; the Lat. in includes á and i together.]
á
With dat. and acc.: in the first case with the notion of remaining on a place, answering to Lat. in with abl.; in the last with the notion of motion to the place, = Lat. in with acc.
á
WITH dat.
á
A. loc.
á
I. generally on, upon; á gólfi, on the floor, D. I..)">Nj. 2; á hendi, on the hand (of a ring), 48, 225; á palli, 50; á steini, 108; á vegg, 115; á sjá ok á landi, on sea and land. In some instances the distinction between d and i is loose and wavering, but in most cases common sense and usage decide; thus ‘á bók’ merely denotes the letters, the penmanship, ‘í’ the contents of a book; mod. usage, however, prefers ‘í,’ lesa í bók, but stafr á bók. Old writers on the other hand; á bókum Enskum, in English books, Landn. 24, but í Aldafars bók, 23 (in the book De Mensurâ Temporum, by Bede), cp. Grág. i. 76, where á is a false reading instead of at; á bréfi, the contents of a letter: of clothing or arms, mítr á höfði, sverð á hlið, mitre on head, sword on side, FmS. i. 266, viii. 404; hafa lykil á sér, on one’s person, 655 xxvii. 22; möttull á tyglum, a mantle hanging on (i. e. fastened by) laces, FmS. vii. 201: á þingi means to be present at a meeting; í þingi, to abide within a jurisdiction; á himni, á jörðu, on (Engl. in) heaven and earth, e. g. in the Lord’s Prayer, but í helviti, in hell; á Gimli, Edda (of a heavenly abode); á báti, á skipi denote crew and cargo, ‘í’ the timber or materials of which a ship is built, D. I..)">Eg. 385; vera í stafni á skipi, 177: á skógi, to be abroad in a wood (of a hunter, robber, deer); but to be situated (a house), at work (to fell timber), í skógi, 573, FS. 5, FmS. iii. 122, viii. 31, xi. 1, Glúm. 330, Landn. 173; á mörkinni, FmS. i. 8, but í mörk, of a farm; á firðinum means lying in a firth, of ships or islands (on the surface of the water), þær eyjar liggja á Breiðafirði, D. I..)">Ld. 36; but í firði, living in a district named Firth; á landi, D. I..)">Nj. 98, FmS. xi. 386.
á
II. á is commonly used in connection with the pr. names or countries terminating in ‘land,’ Engl. in, á Englandi, Írlandi, Skotlandi, Bretlandi, Saxlandi, Vindlandi, Vínlandi, Grænalandi, Íslandi, Hálogalandi, Rogalandi, Jótlandi, Frakklandi, Hjaltlandi, Jamtalandi, Hvítramannalandi, Norðrlöndum, etc., vide Landn. and the index to FmS. xii. In old writers í is here very rare, in modern authors more frequent; taste and the context in many instances decide. An Icelander would now say, speaking of the queen or king, ‘á Englandi,’ ruling over, but to live ‘í Englandi,’ or ‘á Englandi;’ the rule in the last case not being quite fixed.
á
2. in connection with other names of countries: á Mæri, Vörs, Ögðum, Fjölum, all districts of Norway, v. Landn.; á Mýrum (in Icel.), á Finnmörk, Landn., á Fjóni (a Danish island); but í Danmörk, Svíþjóð (á Svíþjóðu is poët., GS. 13).
á
3. before Icel. farms denoting open and elevated slopes and spaces (not too high, because then ‘at’ must be used), such as ‘staðr, völlr, ból, hjalli, bakki, heimr, eyri,’ etc.; á Veggjum, Landn. 69; á Hólmlátri, id.: those ending in ‘-staðr,’ á Geirmundarstöðum, Þórisstöðum, Jarðlangsstöðum…, Landn.: ‘-völlr,’ á Möðruvöllum: á Fitjum (the farm) í Storð (the island), í Fenhring (the island) á Aski (the farm), Landn., D. I..)">Eg.: ‘-nes’ sometimes takes á, sometimes í (in mod. usage always ‘í’), á Nesi, D. I..)">Eb. 14, or í Krossnesi, 30; in the last case the notion of island, νησος, prevails: so also, ‘fjörðr,’ as, þeir börðust á Vigrafirði (of a fight o n the ice), Landn. 101, but orusta í Hafrsfirði, 122: with ‘-bær,’ á is used in the sense of a farm or estate, hón sa á e-m bæ mikit hús ok fagrt, Edda 22; ‘í bæ’ means within doors, of the buildings: with ‘Bær’ as pr. name Landn. uses ‘í,’ 71, 160, 257, 309, 332.
á
4. denoting on or just above; of the sun, when the time is fixed by regarding the sun in connection with points in the horizon, a standing phrase in Icel.; sól á gjáhamri, when the sun is on the crag of the Rift, Grág. i. 26, cp. Glúm. 387; so, brú á á, a bridge on a river, FmS. viii. 179, Hrafn. 20; taka hús á e-m, to surprise one, to take the house over his head, FmS. i. 11.
á
III. á is sometimes used in old writers where we should now expect an acc., esp. in the phrase, leggja sverði (or the like) á e-m, or á e-m miðjum, to stab, D. I..)">Eg. 216, Gísl. 106, D. I..)">Band. 14; þá stakk Starkaðr sprotanum á konungi, then Starkad stabbed the king with the wand, FaS. iii. 34; bíta á kampi (vör), to bite the lips, as a token of pain or emotion, D. I..)">Nj. 209, 68; taka á e-u, to touch a thing, lay hold of it, v. taka; fá á e-u, id. (poët.); leggja hendr á (better at) síðum, in wrestling, FmS. x. 331; koma á úvart á e-m, to come on one unawares, ix. 407 (rare).
á
B. temp. of a particular point or period of time, at, on, in:
á
I. gener. denoting during, in the course of; á nótt, degi, nætrþeli …, BS. i. 139; or spec. adding a pron. or an adject., á næsta sumri, the next summer; á því ári, þingi, misseri, hausti, vári, sumri …, during, in that year …, BS. i. 679, etc.; á þrem sumrum, in the course of three summers, Grág. i. 218; á þrem várum, FmS. ii. 114; á hálfs mánaðar fresti, within half a month’s delay, D. I..)">Nj. 99; á tvítugs, sextugs … aldri, á barns, gamals aldri, etc., at the age of …, v. aldr: á dögum e-s, in the days of, in his reign or time, Landn. 24, Hrafn. 3, FmS. ix. 229.
á
II. used of a fixed recurrent period or season; á várum, sumrum, haustum, vetrum, á kveldum, every spring, summer …, in the evenings, D. I..)">Eg. 711, FmS. i. 23, 25, vi. 394, Landn. 292: with the numeral adverbs, cp. Lat. ter in anno, um sinn á mánuði, ári, once a month, once a year, where the Engl. a is not the article but the preposition, Grág. i. 89.
á
III. of duration; á degi, during a whole day, FmS. v. 48; á sjau nóttum, Bárð. 166; á því meli, during that time, in the meantime, Grág. i. 259.
á
IV. connected with the seasons (á vetri, sumri, vári, hausti), ‘á’ denotes the next preceding season, the last winter, summer, autumn, D. I..)">Eb. 40, 238, D. I..)">Ld. 206: in such instances ‘á’ denotes the past, ‘at’ the future, ‘í’ the present; thus í vetri in old writers means this winter; á vetri, last winter; at vetri, next winter, D. I..)">Eb. 68 (in a verse), etc.
á
C. In various other relations, more or less metaphorically, on, upon, in, to, with, towards, against:
á
I. denoting object, in respect of, against, almost periphrastically; dvelja á náðum e-s, under one’s protection, FmS. i. 74; hafa metnað á e-u, to be proud of, to take pride in a thing, 127.
á
2. denoting a personal relation, in; bæta e-t á e-m, to make amends, i. e. to one personally; misgöra e-t á e-m, to inflict wrong on one; hafa elsku (hatr) á e-m, to bear love (hatred) to one, FmS. ix. 242; hefna sín á e-m, to take revenge on one’s person, on anyone; rjúfa sætt á e-m, to break truce on the person of any one, to offend against his person, D. I..)">Nj. 103; hafa sár á sér, 101; sjá á e-m, to read on or in one’s face; sér hann á hverjum manni hvárt til þín er vel eðr illa, 106; var þat brátt auðséð á hennar högum, at …, it could soon be seen in all her doings, that …, D. I..)">Ld. 22.
á
3. also generally to shew signs of a thing; sýna fáleika á sér, to shew marks of displeasure, D. I..)">Nj. 14, FS. 14; taka vel, illa, lítt, á e-u, to take a thing well, ill, or indifferently, id.; finna á sér, to feel in oneself; fann lítt á honum, hvárt …, it could hardly be seen in his face, whether …, D. I..)">Eb. 42; líkindi eru á, it is likely, D. I..)">Ld. 172; göra kost á e-u, to give a choice, chance of it, 178; eiga vald á e-u, to have power over …, D. I..)">Nj. 10.
á
II. denoting encumbrance, duty, liability; er fimtardómsmál á þeim, to be subject to …, D. I..)">Nj. 231; the phrase, hafa e-t á hendi, or vera á hendi e-m, on one’s hands, of work or duty to be done; eindagi á fé, term, pay day, Grág. i. 140; ómagi (skylda, afvinna) á fé, of a burden or encumbrance, D. I. and Grág. in several passageS.
á
III. with a personal pronoun, sér, mér, honum …, denoting personal appearance, temper, character, look, or the like; vera þungr, léttr … á sér, to be heavy or light, either bodily or mentally; þungr á sér, corpulent, Sturl. i. 112; kátr ok léttr á sér, of a gay and light temper, FmS. x. 152; þat bragð hafði hann á sér, he looked as if, … the expression of his face was as though …, D. I..)">Ld., cp. the mod. phrase, hafa á sér svip, bragð, æði, sið, of one’s manner or personal appearance, to bear oneself as, or the like; skjótr (seinn) á fæti, speedy (slow) of foot, D. I..)">Nj. 258.
á
IV. as a periphrasis of the possessive pronoun connected with the limbs or parts of the body. In common Icel. such phrases as my hands, eyes, head … are hardly ever used, but höfuð, eyru, hár, nef, munnr, hendr, fætr … á mér; so ‘í’ is used of the internal parts, e. g. hjarta, bein … í mér; the eyes are regarded as inside the body, augun í honum: also without the possessive pronoun, or as a periphrasis for a genitive, brjóstið á e-m, one’s breast, D. I..)">Nj. 95, Edda 15; súrnar í augum, it smarts in my eyes, my eyes smart, D. I..)">Nj. 202; kviðinn á sér, its belly, 655 xxx. 5, FmS. vi. 350; hendr á henni, her hands, Gísl. (in a verse); í vörunum á honum, on his lips, D. I..)">Band. 14; ristin á honum, his step, FmS. viii. 141; harðr í tungu, sharp of tongue, Hallfred (FS. 114); kalt (heitt) á fingrum, höndum, fótum …, cold (warm) in the fingers, hands, feet …, i. e. with cold fingers, etc.; cp. also the phrase, verða vísa (orð) á munni, of extemporising verses or speeches, freq. in the Sagas; fastr á fótum, fast by the leg, of a bondsman, D. I..)">Nj. 27: of the whole body, díla fundu þeir á honum, 209. The perS. pron. is used only in solemn style (poetry, hymns, the Bible), and perhaps only when influenced by foreign languages, e. g. mitt hjarta hví svo hryggist þú, as a translation of ‘warumb betrübst du dich mein Herz?’ the famous hymn by Hans Sachs; instead of the popular hjartað í mér, Sl. 43, 44: hjartað mitt is only used as a term of endearment, as by a husband to his wife, parents to their child, or the like, in a metaphorical sense; the heart proper is ‘í mér,’ not ‘mitt.’
á
2. of other things, and as a periphrasis of a genitive, of a part belonging to the whole, e. g. dyrr á husi = húsdyrr, at the house-doors; turn á kirkju = kirkju turn; stafn, skutr, segl, árar … á skipi, the stem, stern, sail … of a ship, FmS. ix. 135; blöð á lauk, á tré …, leaves of a leek, of a tree …, FaS. i. 469; egg á sverði = sverðs egg; stafr á bók; kjölr á bók, and in endless other instanceS.
á
V. denoting instrumentality, by, on, or a-, by means of; afla fjár á hólmgöngum, to make money a-duelling, by means of duels, D. I..)">Eg. 498; á verkum sínum, to subsist on one’s own work, Njarð. 366: as a law term, sekjast á e-ju, to be convicted upon …, Grág. i. 123; sekst maðr þar á sínu eigini (a man is guilty in re sua), ef hann tekr af þeim manni er heimild (possessio) hefir til, ii. 191; falla á verkum sínum, to be killed flagranti delicto, v. above; fella e-n á bragði, by a sleight in wrestling; komast undan á flótta, to escape by flight, D. I..)">Eg. 11; á hlaupi, by one’s feet, by speed, Hkr. ii. 168; lifa á e-u, to feed on; bergja á e-u, to taste of a thing; svala sér á e-u, to quench the thirst on.
á
VI. with subst. numerals; á þriðja tigi manna, up to thirty, i. e. from about twenty to thirty, D. I..)">Ld. 194; á öðru hundraði skipa, from one to two hundred sail strong, FmS. x. 126; á níunda tigi, between eighty and ninety years of age, D. I..)">Eg. 764, v. above: used as prep., á hendi, on one’s hand, i. e. bound to do it, v. hönd.
á
VII. in more or less adverbial phrases it may often be translated in Engl. by a participle and a- prefixed; á lopti, aloft; á floti, afloat; á lífi, alive; á verðgangi, a-begging; á brautu, away; á baki, a-back, behind, past; á milli, a-tween; á laun, alone, secretly; á launungu, id.; á móti, against; á enda, at an end, gone; á huldu, hidden; fara á hæli, to go a-heel, i. e. backwards, FmS. vii. 70;—but in many cases these phrases are transl. by the Engl. partic. with a, which is then perh. a mere prefix, not a prep., á flugi, a-flying in the air, D. I..)">Nj. 79; vera á gangi, a-going; á ferli, to be about; á leiki, a-playing, FmS. i. 78; á sundi, a-swimming, ii. 27; á verði, a-watching, x. 201; á hrakningi, a-wandering; á reiki, a-wavering; á skjálfi, a-shivering; á-hleri, a-listening; á tali, a-talking, Ísl. ii. 200; á hlaupi, a-running, Hkr. ii. 268; á verki, a-working; á veiðum, a-hunting; á fiski, a-fishing; á beit, grazing: and as a law term it even means in flagranti, n. G. l. i. 348.
á
VIII. used absolutely without a case in reference to the air or the weather, where ‘á’ is almost redundant; þoka var á mikil, a thick fog came on, D. I..)">Nj. 267; niðamyrkr var á, pitch darkness came on, D. I..)">Eg. 210; allhvast á norðan, a very strong breeze from the north, FmS. ix. 20; þá var á norðrænt, a north wind came on, 42, D. I..)">Ld. 56; hvaðan sem á er, from whatever point the wind is; var á hríð veðrs, a snow storm came on, D. I..)">Nj. 282; görði á regn, rain came on, FmS. vi. 394, xi. 35, D. I..)">Ld. 156.
á
WITH acc.
á
A. loc.
á
I. denoting simple direction towards, esp. connected with verbs of motion, going, or the like; hann gékk á bergsnös, D. I..)">Eg. 389; á hamar, FaS. ii. 517.
á
2. in phrases denoting direction; liggja á útborða, lying on the outside of the ship, D. I..)">Eg. 354; á annat borð skipinu, FmS. vii. 260; á bæði borð, on both sides of the ship, D. I..)">Nj. 124, D. I..)">Ld. 56; á tvær hliðar, on both sides, FmS. v. 73. Ísl. ii. 159; á hlið, sidewards; út á hlið, D. I..)">Nj. 262, Edda 44; á aðra hönd henni, D. I..)">Nj. 50, D. I..)">Ld. 46; höggva á tvær hendr, to hew or strike right and left, Ísl. ii. 368, FaS. i. 384, FmS. viii. 363, x. 383.
á
3. upp á, upon; hann tók augu Þjaza ok kastaði upp á himin, Edda 47: with verbs denoting to look, see, horfa, sjá, líta, etc.; hann rak skygnur á land, he cast glances towards the land, D. I..)">Ld. 154.
á
II. denoting direction with or without the idea of arriving:
á
1. with verbs denoting to aim at; of a blow or thrust, stefna á fótinn, D. I..)">Nj. 84; spjótið stefnir á hann miðjan, 205: of the wind, gékk veðrit á vestr, the wind veered to west, FmS. ix. 28; sigla á haf, to stand out to sea, Hkr. i. 146, FmS. i. 39: with ‘út’ added, D. I..)">Eg. 390, FmS. x. 349.
á
2. conveying the notion of arriving, or the intervening space being traversed; spjótið kom á miðjan skjöldinn, D. I..)">Eg. 379, D. I..)">Nj. 96, 97; langt upp á land, far up inland, Hkr. i. 146: to reach, taka ofan á belti, of the long locks of a woman, to reach down to the belt, D. I..)">Nj. 2; ofan á bringu, 48; á þa ofan, 91.
á
III. without reference to the space traversed, connected with verbs denoting to go, turn, come, ride, sail, throw, or the like, motion of every kind; hann kastar honum á völlinn, he flings him down, D. I..)">Nj. 91; hlaupa á skip sitt, to leap on board his ship, 43; á hest, to mount quickly, Edda 75; á lend hestinum, D. I..)">Nj. 91; hann gengr á sáðland sitt, he walks on to his fields, 82: on, upon, komast á fætr, to get upon one’s legs, 92; ganga á land, to go a-shore, FmS. i. 40; ganga á þing, vii. 242, Grág. (often); á skóg, á merkr ok skóga, into a wood, Fb. i. 134, 257, FmS. xi. 118, D. I..)">Eg. 577, D. I..)">Nj. 130; fara á Finnmörk, to go travelling in Finmark, FmS. i. 8; koma, fara á bæ, to arrive at the farm-house; koma á veginn, D. I..)">Eg. 578; stíga á bát, skip, to go on board, 158; hann gékk upp á borg, he went up to the burg (castle), 717; en er þeir komu á loptriðið, 236; hrinda skipum á vatn, to float the ships down into the water, FmS. i. 58; reka austr á haf, to drift eastwards on the sea, x. 145; ríða ofan á, to ride down or over, D. I..)">Nj. 82.
á
IV. in some cases the acc. is used where the dat. would be used, esp. with verbs denoting to see or hear, in such phrases as, þeir sá boða mikinn inn á fjörðinn, they saw great breakers away up in the bight of the firth, the acc. being due perhaps to a motion or direction of the eye or ear towards the object, D. I..)">Nj. 124; sá þeir fólkit á land, they saw the people in the direction of land, FaS. ii. 517: in phrases denoting to be placed, to sit, to be seated, the seat or bench is freq. in the acc. where the dat. would now be used; konungr var þar á land upp, the king was then up the country, the spectator or narrator is conceived as looking from the shore or sea-side, D. I..)">Nj. 46; sitja á miðjan bekk, to be seated on the middle bench, 50; skyldi konungs sæti vera á þann bekk … annat öndvegi var á hinn úæðra pall; hann setti konungs hásæti á miðjan þverpall, FmS. vi. 439, 440, cp. Fagrsk. l. c., Sturl. iii. 182; eru víða fjallbygðir upp á mörkina, in the mark or forest, D. I..)">Eg. 58; var þar mörk mikil á land upp, 229; mannsafnaðr er á land upp (viewed from the sea), D. I..)">Ld. 76; stóll var settr á mótið, FaS. i. 58; beiða fars á skip, to beg a passage, Grág. i. 90.
á
V. denoting parts of the body; bíta e-n á barka, to bite one in the throat, Ísl. ii. 447; skera á háls, to cut the throat of any one, D. I..)">Nj. 156; brjóta e-n á háls, to break any one’s neck; brjóta e-n á bak, to break any one’s back, FmS. vii. 119; kalinn á kné, frozen to the knees with cold, Hm. 3.
á
VI. denoting round; láta reipi á háls hesti, round his horse’s neck, 623. 33; leggja söðul á hest, D. I..)">Nj. 83; and ellipt., leggja á, to saddle; breiða feld á hofuð sér, to wrap a cloak over his head, 164; reyta á sik mosa, to gather moss to cover oneself with, 267; spenna hring á hönd, á fingr, D. I..)">Eg. 300.
á
VII. denoting a burden; stela mat á tvá hesta, hey á fimtán hesta, i. e. a two, a fifteen horse load, D. I..)">Nj. 74: metaph., kjósa feigð á menn, to choose death upon them, i. e. doom them to death, Edda 22.
á
B. temp.
á
I. of a period of time, at, to; á morgun, to-morrow (í morgun now means the past morning, the morning of to-day), Ísl. ii. 333.
á
II. if connected with the word day, ‘á’ is now used before a fixed or marked day, a day of the week, a feast day, or the like; á Laugardag, á Sunnudag …, on Saturday, Sunday, the Old Engl. a-Sunday, a-Monday, etc.; á Jóladaginn, Páskadaginn, on Yule and Easter-day; but in old writers more often used ellipt. Sunnudaginn, Jóladaginn …, by dropping the prep. ‘á,’ FmS. viii. 397, Grág. i. 18.
á
III. connected with ‘dagr’ with the definite article suffixed, ‘á’ denotes a fixed, recurring period or season, in; á daginn, during the day-time, every day in turn, Grett. 91 A.
á
IV. connected with ‘evening, morning, the seasons,’ with the article; á kveldit, every evening, D. I..)">Ld. 14; á sumarit, every summer, Vd. 128, where the new Ed. FS. 51 reads sumrum; á haust, every autumn, D. I..)">Eg. 741 (perh. a misprint instead of á haustin or á haustum); á vetrinn, in the winter time, 710; á várit, every spring,l. 347; the sing., however, is very rare in such cases, the old as well as mod. usage prefers the plur.; á nætrnar, by night, D. I..)">Nj. 210; á várin, D. I..)">Eg. 710; á sumrin, haustin, á morgnana, in the morning (á morgin, sing., means to-morrow); á kveldin, in the evening, only ‘dagr’ is used in sing., v. above (á daginn, not á dagana); but elliptically and by dropping the article, Icelanders say, kveld og morgna, nótt og dag, vetr sumar vor og haust, in the same sense as those above mentioned.
á
V. denoting duration, the article is dropped in the negative phrase, aldri á sinn dag, never during one’s life; aldri á mína daga, never in my life, Bjarn. 8, where a possesS. pron. is put between noun and prep., but this phrase is very rare. Such phrases as, á þann dag, that day, and á þenna dag, Stj. 12, 655 xxx. 2. 20, are unclassical.
á
VI. á dag without article can only be used in a distributive sense, e. g. tvisvar á dag, twice a-day; this use is at present freq. in Icel., yet instances from old writers are not on recoRd.
á
VII. denoting a movement onward in time, such as, liðið á nótt, dag, kveld, morgun, sumar, vetr, vár, haust (or nóttina, daginn …), jól, páska, föstu, or the like, far on in the night, day …, Edda 33; er á leið vetrinn, when the winter was well on, as the winter wore on, D. I..)">Nj. 126; cp. áliðinn: also in the phrase, hniginn á inn efra aldr, well stricken in years, D. I..)">Ld. 68.
á
C. metaph. and in various relations:
á
I. somewhat metaphorically, denoting an act only (not the place); fara á fund, á vit e-s, to call for one, D. I..)">Eg. 140; koma á ræðu við e-n, to come to a parley with, to speak, 173; ganga á tal, D. I..)">Nj. 103; skora á hólm, to challenge to a duel on an island; koma á grið, to enter into a service, to be domiciled, Grág. i. 151; fara á veiðar, to go a-hunting, FmS. i. 8.
á
β. generally denoting on, upon, in, to; bjóða vöxtu á féit, to offer interest on the money, Grág. i. 198; ganga á berhögg, to come to blows, v. berhögg; fá á e-n, to make an impression upon one, D. I..)">Nj. 79; ganga á vápn e-s, to throw oneself on an enemy’s weapon, meet him face to face, Rd. 310; ganga á lagið, to press on up the spear-shaft after it has passed through one so as to get near one’s foe, i. e. to avail oneself of the last chance; bera fé á e-n, to bribe, D. I..)">Nj. 62; bera öl á e-n, to make drunk, FaS. i. 13; snúinn á e-t, inclined to, FmS. x. 142; sammælast á e-t, to agree upon, D. I..)">Nj. 86; sættast, verða sáttr á e-t, in the same sense, to come to an agreement, settlement, or atonement, 78, Edda 15, D. I..)">Eb. 288, D. I..)">Ld. 50, FmS. i. 279; ganga á mála, to serve for pay as a soldier, D. I..)">Nj. 121; ganga á vald e-s, to put oneself in his power, 267; ganga á sætt, to break an agreement; vega á veittar trygðir, to break truce, Grág. ii. 169.
á
II. denoting in regard to, in respect to:
á
1. of colour, complexion, the hue of the hair, or the like; hvítr, jarpr, dökkr … á hár, having white, brown, or dark … hair, Ísl. ii. 190, D. I..)">Nj. 39; svartr á brún ok brá, dark of brow and eyebrow; dökkr á hörund, id., etc.
á
2. denoting skill, dexterity; hagr á tré, a good carpenter; hagr á járn, málm, smíðar …, an expert worker in iron, metals …, D. I..)">Eg. 4; fimr á boga, good at the bow: also used of mastership in science or arts, meistari á hörpuslátt, a master in striking the harp, FaS. iii. 220; fræðimaðr á kvæði, knowing many poems by heart, FmS. vi. 391; fræðimaðr á landnámssögur ok forna fræði, a learned scholar in histories and antiquities (of Are Frode), Ísl. ii. 189; mikill á íþrótt, skilful in an art, Edda (pref.) 148; but dat. in the phrase, kunna (vel) á skíðum, to be a cunning skater, FmS. i. 9, vii. 120.
á
3. denoting dimensions; á hæð, lengd, breidd, dýpt …, in the heighth, length, breadth, depth …, D. I..)">Eg. 277; á hvern veg, on each side, Edda 41 (square miles); á annan veg, on the one side, Grág. i. 89.
á
β. the phrase, á sik, in regard to oneself, vel (illa) á sik kominn, of a fine (ugly) appearance, D. I..)">Ld. 100, FaS. iii. 74.
á
III. denoting instrumentality; bjargast á sínar hendr, to live on the work of one’s own hands, (á sínar spýtur is a mod. phrase in the same sense); (vega) á skálir, pundara, to weigh in scales, Grág. ii. 370; at hann hefði tvá pundara, ok hefði á hinn meira keypt en á hinn minna selt, of a man using two scales, a big one for buying and a little one for selling, Sturl. i. 91; á sinn kostnað, at one’s own expense; nefna e-n á nafn, by name, Grág. i. 17, etc. The Icel. also say, spinna á rokk, snældu, to spin on or with a rock or distaff; mala á kvern, to grind in a ‘querne,’ where Edda 73 uses dat.; esp. of musical instruments, syngja, leika á hljóðfæri, hörpu, gígju …; in the old usage, leika hörpu …, Stj. 458.
á
IV. denoting the manner or way of doing:
á
1. á þessa lund, in this wise, Grág. ii. 22; á marga vega, á alla, ymsa vega, in many, all, respects, FmS. i. 114; á sitt hóf, in its turn, respectively, D. I..)">Ld. 136, where the context shews that the expression answers to the Lat. mutatis mutandis; á Þýðersku, after German fashion, SkS. 288.
á
2. esp. of language; mæla, rita á e-a tungu, to speak, write in a tongue; á Írsku, in Irish, D. I..)">Ld. 76; Norrænu, in Norse, D. I..)">Eb. 330, Vm. 35; a Danska tungu, in Danish, i. e. Scandinavian, Norse, or Icelandic, Grág. i. 18; á Vára tungu, i. e. in Icelandic, 181; rita á Norræna tungu, to write in Norse, Hkr. (pref.), BS. i. 59:—at present, dat. is sometimes used.
á
3. in some phrases the acc. is used instead of the dat.; hann sýndi á sik mikit gaman, FmS. x. 329; hann lét ekki á sik finna, he shewed no sign of motion, D. I..)">Nj. 111; skaltú önga fáleika á þik gera (Cod. Kalf.), 14.
á
V. used in a distributive sense; skal mörk kaupa gæzlu á kú, eðr oxa fim vetra gamlan, a mark for every cow, Grág. i. 147; alin á hvert hross, 442; á mann, per man (now freq.): cp. also á dag above, lit. B.
á
VI. connected with nouns,
á
1. prepositional; á hendr (with dat.), against; á hæla, at heel, close behind; á bak, at back, i. e. past, after; á vit (with gen.), towards.
á
2. adverbially; á braut, away, abroad; á víxl, in turns; á mis, amiss; á víð ok dreif, a-wide and a-drift, i. e. dispersedly.
á
3. used almost redundantly before the following prep.; á eptir, after, behind; á undan, in front of; á meðal, á milli, among; á mót, against; á við, about, alike; á frá (cp. Swed. ifrån), from (rare); á fyrir = fyrir, Haustl. 1; á hjá, beside (rare); á fram, a-head, forwards; á samt, together; ávalt = of allt, always: following a prep., upp á, upon; niðr á, down upon; ofan á, eptir á, post eventum, (temp.) á eptir is loc., id., etc.
á
VII. connected with many transitive verbs, answering to the Lat. ad- or in-, in composition, in many cases periphrastically for an objective case. The prep. generally follows after the verb, instead of being prefixed to it as in Lat., and answers to the Engl. on, to; heita kalla, hrópa á, to call on; heyra, hlusta, hlyða á, to hearken to, listen to; hyggja, hugsa á, to think on; minna á, to remind; sjá, líta, horfa, stara, mæna, glápa, koma auga … á, to look on; girnast á, to wish for; trúa á, to believe on; skora á, to call on any one to come out, challenge; kæra á, to accuse; heilsa á, to greet; herja, ganga, ríða, hlaupa, ráða … á, to fall on, attack, cp. ágangr, áreið, áhlaup; ljúga á, to tell lies of, to slander; telja á, to carp at; ausa, tala, hella, kasta, verpa … á, to pour, throw on; ríða, bera, dreifa á, to sprinkle on; vanta, skorta á, to fall short of; ala á, to plead, beg; leggja á, to throw a spell on, lay a saddle on; hætta á, to venture on; gizka á, to guess at; kveða á, to fix on, etc.: in a reciprocal sense, haldast á, of mutual strife; sendast á, to exchange presents; skrifast á, to correspond (mod.); kallast á, to shout mutually; standast á, to coincide, so as to be just opposite one another, etc.
á
2. f. [Lat. aqua; Goth. ahva; Hel. aha; A. S. eâ; O. H. G. aha, owa; cp. Germ. ach and aue; Fr. eau, eaux; Engl. Ax-, Ex-, etc., in names of places; Swed.-Dan. å; the Scandinavians absorb the hu, so that only a single vowel or diphthong remains of the whole word]:—a river. The old form in nom. dat. acc. sing. is , v. the introduction to A, page 1, BS. i. 333 sq., where ́n, ́ (acc.), and ́na; so also GrD. I..)">Eg. 677; the old fragm. of Grág. ii. 222, 223, new ED. I. the Kb. of the Edda the old form occurs twice, viz. page 75, ́na (acc.), (but two lines below, ána), í ́nni (dat.) The old form also repeatedly occurs in the Kb. and Sb. of the Grág., e. g. ii. 266, 267: gen. sing. ár; nom. pl. ár, gen. á contracted, dat. ám, obsolete form ́m; Edda 43, D. I..)">Eg. 80, 99, 133, 185: proverbs, at ósi skal á stemma, answering to the Lat. principiis obsta, Edda 60; hér kemr á til sæfar, here the river runs into the sea, metaph. = this is the very end, seems to have been a favourite ending of old poems; it is recorded in the Húsdrápa and the Norðsetadrápa, v. Edda 96, Skálda 198; cp. the common saying, oil vötn renna til sævar, ‘all waters run into the sea.’ Rivers with glacier water are in Icel. called Hvítá, White river, or Jökulsá: Hitá, Hot river, from a hot spring, opp. to Kaldá, v. Landn.: others take a name from the fish in them, as Laxá, Lax or Salmon river (freq.); Örriða á, etc.: a tributary river is þverá, etc.: ár in the Njála often means the great rivers Ölfusá and Þjórsá in the south of Iceland. Áin helga, a river in Sweden, Hkr. ii: á is also suffixed to the names of foreign rivers, Tempsá = Thames; Dóná, Danube (Germ. Don-au), (mod.), etc. Vide Edda (gl.) 116, 117, containing the names of over a hundred North-English and Scottish riverS.
á
COMPDS: áráll, árbakki, árbrot, ardjúp, árfarvegr, árfors, árgljúfr, árhlutr, ármegin, árminni, ármót, áróss, árreki, árstraumr, árströnd, árvað, árvegr, árvöxtr.

Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements

Abbreviations used:

acc.
accusative.
A. S.
Anglo-Saxon.
dat.
dative.
e. g.
exempli gratia.
Engl.
English.
etc.
et cetera.
freq.
frequent, frequently.
Germ.
German.
gl.
glossary.
Goth.
Gothic.
Gr.
Greek.
id.
idem, referring to the passage quoted or to the translation
l.
line.
Lat.
Latin.
m.
masculine.
n.
neuter.
S.
Saga.
v.
vide.
cp.
compare.
i. e.
id est.
mod.
modern.
pr.
proper, properly.
Icel.
Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
poët.
poetically.
esp.
especially.
gener.
generally.
pron.
pronoun.
spec.
specially.
s. v.
sub voce.
pers.
person.
subst.
substantive.
L.
Linnæus.
partic.
particularly.
perh.
perhaps.
transl.
translation.
l. c.
loco citato.
ellipt.
elliptical, elliptically.
metaph.
metaphorical, metaphorically.
plur.
plural.
sing.
singular.
f.
feminine.
pref.
preface.
Cod.
Codex.
lit.
literally.
gen.
genitive.
loc.
local, locally.
Swed.
Swedish.
temp.
temporal.
Dan.
Danish.
Fr.
French in etymologies.
Hel.
Heliand.
nom.
nominative.
O. H. G.
Old High German.
opp.
opposed.
pl.
plural.
viz.
namely.

Works & Authors cited:

Edda
Edda. (C. I.)
Eg.
Egils Saga. (D. II.)
Fms.
Fornmanna Sögur. (E. I.)
Fs.
Forn-sögur. (D. II.)
Glúm.
Víga-Glúms Saga. (D. II.)
Grág.
Grágás. (B. I.)
Landn.
Landnáma. (D. I.)
Ld.
Laxdæla Saga. (D. II.)
Nj.
Njála. (D. II.)
Gs.
Grótta-söngr. (A. II.)
Eb.
Eyrbyggja Saga. (D. II.)
Hrafn.
Hrafnkels Saga. (D. II.)
Band.
Banda-manna Saga. (D. II.)
Fas.
Fornaldar Sögur. (C. II.)
Gísl.
Gísla Saga. (D. II.)
Bs.
Biskupa Sögur. (D. III.)
Bárð.
Bárðar Saga. (D. V.)
D. I.
Diplomatarium Islandicum. (J. I.)
Sturl.
Sturlunga Saga. (D. I.)
Sl.
Sólarljóð. (A. III.)
Hkr.
Heimskringla. (E. I.)
Njarð.
Njarðvíkinga Saga. (D. II.)
N. G. L.
Norges Gamle Love. (B. II.)
Fb.
Flateyjar-bók (E. I.)
Fagrsk.
Fagrskinna. (K. I.)
Hm.
Hává-mál. (A. I.)
Grett.
Grettis Saga. (D. II.)
Gþl.
Gulaþings-lög. (B. II.)
Vd.
Vatnsdæla Saga. (D. II.)
Bjarn.
Bjarnar Saga. (D. II.)
Stj.
Stjórn. (F. I.)
Rd.
Reykdæla Saga. (D. II.)
Sks.
Konungs Skugg-sjá. (H. II.)
Vm.
Vilkins-máldagi. (J. I.)
Haustl.
Haustlöng. (A. I.)
Fr.
Fritzner’s Dictionary, 1867.
Greg.
Gregory. (F. II.)
Kb.
Konungs-bók. (B. I, C. I, etc.)
Sb.
Staðarhóls-bók. (B. I.)
Skálda
Skálda. (H. I.)
➞ See all works cited in the dictionary
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