Danz

Old Norse Dictionary - danz

Meaning of Old Norse word "danz" in English.

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

danz Old Norse word can mean:

danz
mod. dans, n. a word of for. origin; [cp. mid. Lat. dansare; Fr. danser; Ital. danzare; Engl. dance; Germ. tanz, tanzen.] This word is certainly not Teutonic, but of Roman or perhaps Breton origin: the Icel. or Scandin. have no genuine word for dancing,—leika means ‘to play’ in general: the word itself (danza, danz, etc.) never occurs in the old Sagas or poetry, though popular amusements of every kind are described there; but about the end of the 11th century, when the Sagas of the bishops (BS.) begin, we find dance in full use, accompanied by songs which are described as loose and amorous: the classical passage is Jóns S. (A. D. 1106–1121), ch. 13. BS. i. 165, 166, and cp. Júns S. by Gunnlaug, ch. 24. BS. i. 237—Leikr sá var kær mönnum áðr en hinn heilagi Jón varð biskup, at kveða skyldi karlmaðr til konu í danz blautlig kvæði ok rægilig; ok kona til karlmanns mansöngs vísur; þenna leik lét hann af taka ok bannaði styrkliga; mansöngs kvæði vildi hann eigi heyra né kveða láta, en þó fékk hann því eigi af komið með öllu. Some have thought that this refers to mythical (Eddic) poetry, but without reason and against the literal sense of the passage; the heathen heroic poems were certainly never used to accompany a dance; their flow and metre are a sufficient proof of that. In the Sturl. (Hist. of the 12th and 13th century) dancing is mentioned over and over again; and danz is used of popular ballads or songs of a satirical character (as those in Percy’s ballads): flimt (loose song) and danz are synonymous words; the Sturl. has by chance preserved two ditties (one of A. D. 1221, running thus—Loptr liggr í Eyjum, bítr lunda bein | Sæmundr er á heiðum, etr berin ein. Sturl. ii. 62, and one referring to the year 1264—Mínar eru sorgirnar þungar sem blý, Sturl. iii. 317) sufficient to shew the flow and metre, which are exactly the same as those of the mod. ballads, collected in the west of Icel. (Ögr) in the 17th century under the name of Fornkvæði, Old Songs, and now edited by Jon Sigurdsson and Svend Grundtvig. Danz and Fornkvæði are both of the same kind, and also identical with Engl. ballads, Dan. kæmpeviser. There are passages in Sturl. and B.S. referring to this subject — færðu Breiðbælingar Lopt í flimtun ok görðu um hann danza marga, ok margskonar spott annat, Sturl. ii. 57, cp. 62; Danza-Bergr, the nickname of a man (Stud, ii), prob. for composing comic songs; danza-görð, composing comic songs; fylgðar-menn Kolbeins fóru með danza-görð, … en er Brandr varð varr við flimtan þeirra, iii. 80; þá hrökti Þórðr hestinn undir sér, ok kvað danz þenna við raust, 317.
danz
β. a wake, Arna S. ch. 2; in Sturl. i. 23; at the banquet in Reykhólar, 1119, the guests amused themselves by dancing, wrestling, and story-telling; þá var sleginn danz í stofu, ii. 117; í Viðvík var gleði mikil ok gott at vera; þat var einn Drottins dag at þar var danz mikill; kom þar til fjöldi manna; ok ríðr hann í Viðvík til danz, ok var þar at leik; ok dáðu menn mjök danz hans, iii. 258, 259; honum var kostr á boðinn hvat til gamans skyldi hafa, sögur eða danz um kveldit, 281;—the last reference refers to the 21st of January, 1258, which fell on a Sunday (or wake-day): in ballads and tales of the Middle Ages the word is freq.:—note the allit. phrase, dansinn dunar, Ísl. ÞóðS. ii. 8: the phrases, stiga danz; ganga í danz; brúðir í danz, dansinn heyra; dans vill hun heyra, Fkv. ii. 7. Many of the burdens to the mod. Icel. ballads are of great beauty, and no doubt many centuries older than the ballads to which they are affixed; they refer to lost love, melancholy, merriment, etc., e. g. Blítt lætur veröldin, fölnar fögr fold | langt er síðan mitt var yndið lagt í mold, i. 74; Út ert þú við æginn blá, eg er hér á Dröngum, | kalla eg löngum, kalla eg til þin löngum; Skín á skildi Sól og sumarið fríða, | dynur í velli er drengir í burtu riða, 110; Ungan leit eg hofmann í fögrum runni, | skal eg í hljóði dilla þeim mér unm; Austan blakar laufið á þann linda, 129; Fagrar heyrða eg raddirnar við Niflunga heim; Fagrt syngr svanrinn um sumarlanga tíð, | þá mun list að leika sér mín liljan fríð, ii. 52: Einum unna eg manninum, á meðan það var, | þó hlaut eg minn harm að bera í leyndum stað, 94; Svanrinn víða. svanurinn syngr viða, 22; Utan eptir firðinum, sigla fagrar fleyr | sá er enginn glaður eptir annan þreyr, 110; Svo er mér illt og angrsamt því veldur þú, | mig langar ekki í lundinn með þá jungfrú, Espol. Ann. 1549. The earliest ballads seem to have been devoted to these subjects only; of the two earliest specimens quoted in the Sturl. (above), one is satirical, the other melancholy; the historical ballads seem to be of later growth: the bishops discountenanced the wakes and dancing (BS. l. c., Sturl. iii), but in vain: and no more telling proof can be given of the drooping spirits of Icel. in the last century, than that dancing and wakes ceased, after having been a popular amusement for seven hundred yearS. Eggert Olafsson in his poems still speaks of wakes, as an eyewitness; in the west of Icel. (Vestfirðir) they lasted longer, but even there they died out about the time that Percy’s ballads were published in England. The Fornkvæði or songs are the only Icel. poetry which often dispenses with the law of alliteration, which in other cases is the light and life of Icel. poetry; vide also hofmaðr, viki-vakar, etc. In the 15th century the rímur (metrical paraphrases of romances) were used as an accompaniment to the danz, höldar danza harla snart, ef heyrist vísan mín; hence originates the name man-söngr (maid-song), minne-sang, which forms the introduction to every ríma or rhapsody; the metre and time of the rímur are exactly those of ballads and well suited for dancing. An Icel. MS. of the 17th century, containing about seventy Icel. Fornkvæði, is in the Brit. MuS. no. 11,177; and another MS., containing about twenty such songs, is in the Bodl. Libr. no. 130.

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

Abbreviations used:

A. D.
Anno Domini.
ch.
chapter.
cp.
compare.
Dan.
Danish.
Engl.
English.
etc.
et cetera.
for.
foreign.
Fr.
French in etymologies.
Germ.
German.
gl.
glossary.
Icel.
Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
id.
idem, referring to the passage quoted or to the translation
Ital.
Italian.
l.
line.
Lat.
Latin.
m.
masculine.
mid. Lat.
middle Latin.
mod.
modern.
n.
neuter.
prob.
probably.
S.
Saga.
Scandin.
Scandinavia, Scandinavian.
allit.
alliteration, alliterative.
Bodl.
Bodleian.
Brit. Mus.
British Museum.
e. g.
exempli gratia.
freq.
frequent, frequently.
l. c.
loco citato.
lit.
literally.
no.
number.
v.
vide.

Works & Authors cited:

Bs.
Biskupa Sögur. (D. III.)
Fr.
Fritzner’s Dictionary, 1867.
Jóns S.
Jóns Saga. (D. III.)
Sturl.
Sturlunga Saga. (D. I.)
Ann.
Íslenzkir Annálar. (D. IV.)
Fkv.
Forn-kvæði.
➞ See all works cited in the dictionary
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