As defined by the Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse to English dictionary:
- höfuð-stafr (hǫfuð-stafr)
- m., gramm. a ‘head-stave,’ head letter, capital, initial, used freq. in this sense by Thorodd: but grammarians use it specially of the letters h, q, v, þ, which can stand only at the beginnings of syllables, (see gramm. p. xv, col. 1 at the bottom; Skálda 165–171):—in prosody, the third of the alliterative letters (ljóðstafir) standing ‘ahead’ of the second verse line, the preceding two being called stuðlar; thus in ‘þá var grund groin | grænum lauki,’ the g in ‘grænum’ is a höfuðstafr, but in ‘grund’ and ‘gróin’ a stuðill, Edda 120: in mod. usage höfuðstafir in pl. is used of all the alliterative letters, skáldskapr þinn er skothent klúðr | skakk-settum höfuðstöfum með, Jón Þorl.
Orthography: The Cleasby & Vigfusson book used letter ö to represent the original Old Norse vowel ǫ. Therefore, höfuð-stafr may be more accurately written as hǫfuð-stafr.
Possible runic inscription in Younger Futhark:ᚼᚢᚠᚢᚦ-ᛋᛏᛅᚠᚱ
Younger Futhark runes were used from 8th to 12th centuries in Scandinavia and their overseas settlements
- frequent, frequently.
Works & Authors cited:
- Edda. (C. I.)
- Jón Þorl.
- Jón Þorláksson.
- Skálda. (H. I.)