As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:
bref Old Norse word can mean:
- n. [for. word, from Lat. brĕve, like Engl. and Germ. brief; Dan. brev], in Icel. proncd. with a long e, bréf
- a letter, written deed, rescript, etc. Letter-writing is never mentioned in the true Icel. Sagas before the end of the old Saga time, about A. D. 1015. Bréf occurs for the first time as a sort of dispatch in the negotiation between Norway and Sweden A. D. 1018; lét þau fara aptr með bréfum þeim er Ingigerðr konungs dóttir ok þau Hjalti sendu jarli ok Ingibjörgu, Ó. H. ch. 71; bréf ok innsigli Engla konungs (viz. king Canute, A. D. 1024), ch. 120: a royal letter is also mentioned Bjarn. 13 (of St. Olave, A. D. 1014–1030). The earliest Icel. deeds on record are of the end of the 11th century; in the D. I., Sturl., and BS. (12th and 13th centuries) letters of every kind, public and private, are freq. mentioned, vide D. I. by Jon Sigurdsson, BS. i. 478–481, etc., FmS. vii–x, Sturl. freq. [In the Saga time, ‘orð ok jartegnir,’ words and tokens, is a standing phrase; the ‘token’ commonly was a ring; the instances are many, e. g. Ld. ch. 41, 42, Bjarn. 7, Gunnl. S.; cp. the interesting passage in the mythical Akv. verse 8, where the sister ties one hair of a wolf in the ring—hár fann ek heiðingja riðit í hring rauðan—as a warning token; cp. also the story of the coin used as a token in Gísl. ch. 8. In the old Sagas even runes are hardly mentioned as a medium of writing; but v. rune.]
- COMPDS: bréfabók, bréfabrot, bréfagörð, bréfamaðr, bréfasveinn.
Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:ᛒᚱᛁᚠ
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements
- Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
- A. D.
- Anno Domini.
- e. g.
- exempli gratia.
- et cetera.
- frequent, frequently.
Works & Authors cited:
- Atla-kviða. (A. II.)
- Bjarnar Saga. (D. II.)
- Biskupa Sögur. (D. III.)
- D. I.
- Diplomatarium Islandicum. (J. I.)
- Fornmanna Sögur. (E. I.)
- Gísla Saga. (D. II.)
- Laxdæla Saga. (D. II.)
- Ó. H.
- Ólafs Saga Helga. (E. I.)
- Sturlunga Saga. (D. I.)
Also available in related dictionaries:
This headword also appears in dictionaries of other languages descending from Old Norse.