Old Norse Dictionary - vé-fang

Meaning of Old Norse word "vé-fang" in English.

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

n. [from vé-, a prefixed negative particle answering to Goth. waia- = ill, in waia-mêrjan, to ‘ill-praise’ = βλασφημειν, and waja-merei = blasphemy; this waia- is not to be confounded with the interjection wai = vei, but is related to vá- = woe, evil, cp. Goth. wai-dedja = an evil-doer; vé-fang therefore stands for vá-fang, prop. meaning ‘misfetching,’ miscarriage, but is only used in a specific sense as a law term]:—division or disagreement in court. In the old Icel. courts of law the whole court was composed of thirty-six members, the quorum being six; and in case of disagreement the court was held to be divided if the minority could muster at least six votes; in this case, each side delivered a separate judgment, which was called véfang and véfengja, whereby the suit was stopped or quashed, the one judgment neutralising the other; in the earliest Saga times if a case thus broke down, it could only be taken up again by an appeal to wager of battle (hólmganga), but after the introduction of the fifth court (the court of appeal), it was brought before that court. The véfang is described in an especial chapter of Þ.Þ. (Kb.), … um véföng, … skolut þeir færi til véfangs ganga en sex, … ok skolu þeir sitja allir saman er saman eru at véfangi, … bera til véfangs, … ok kveða á þat með hvárum hann mun vera at véfangi, … mæla véfangs-málum … síðan skolu þeir vinna véfangs-eiô er saman eru at vefangi … ok kveða á hvat hann berr til véfangs ok kveða á af því hann berr þat til véfangs, … þeir skolu gjalda samkvæði sitt á er at véfangi vóru með honum, … þat berum vér til véfangs ok þann dóm dæmum vér, at …, Grág. l. c.; þær sakir skulu koma í fimtar-dóm, ljúgkviðir …, enda véföng þau er hér verða, Kb. i. 78; hér skolu ok í koma véfangs-mál öll þau er menn véfengja í fjórðungs-dómi, ok skal þeim stefna til fimtar-dóms, Nj. 150. A véfang in passing laws in the Lögrétta is mentioned, ef þeir eru jam-margir Lögréttu-menn hvárir-tveggju er sitt kalla lög hvárir vera … ok skolu hvárir-tveggju vinna véfangs-eið at sínu máli, Kb. i. 214; cp. Konrad Maurer in his Beiträge.

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

Abbreviations used:

Iceland, Icelander, Icelanders, Icelandic.
l. c.
loco citato.
proper, properly.

Works & Authors cited:

Grágás. (B. I.)
Konungs-bók. (B. I, C. I, etc.)
Njála. (D. II.)
➞ See all works cited in the dictionary