Question

How many words are there in Icelandic for the devil?

Asked By

Dagný Lára

Answer

It is difficult to say how many words there are for devil in Icelandic. Most of the known examples owe their existence to the fact that it was not considered proper to name the devil, so he was referred to by nicknames or by mutation of his name. In the Icelandic thesaurus the following words are listed under fjandi (devil):
  • andskoti
  • ansakornið
  • árakornið
  • ári
  • defill
  • deli
  • défsi
  • déll
  • déskoti
  • dífill
  • djangi
  • djanki
  • djöfsi
  • sá fetótti
  • fjandakornið
  • fjári
  • freistarinn
  • Gamli í Niðurkoti
  • grefill
  • jónskoti
  • kölski
  • ólukki
  • paufi
  • paur
  • pauri
  • pokur
  • rækall
  • rækarl
  • sá í neðra
  • sá vondi
  • skolli
  • skrambi
  • skratti
  • skufsi
  • tremill
  • þremill
Click for larger version.
A picture from the 14th century showing Lucifer in Dante's Inferno. Lucifer has three heads and continuously chews three arch traitors: Judas, Brutus and Cassius. The image can be clicked for a larger version.

Under kölski (devil) one can find more names:
  • sá eineygði
  • flugnahöfðingi
  • sá gamli
  • sá gráskjótti
  • sá hrosshæfði
  • sá kolbíldótti
  • kolbíldur
  • ljótikallinn
  • myrkrahöfðingi
  • óvinur
  • satan
  • vomur

Under ári (devil) one can find in addition:
  • bölvættur
  • drýsildjöfull
  • drýsill
  • illdéfli
and under andskoti (devil):
  • ankoti
  • ansi
  • antoti
  • asskolli
  • asskoti
  • assvíti.

This is a total of 61 distinct names for the devil, but not all such words appear in writing and thus difficult to collect all the instances.

Translated by Paul Richardson.

Further answers in English:

Picture: Godphoto

Um þessa spurningu

Dagsetning

Published 5.3.2005

Category:

Answers in English

Citation

Guðrún Kvaran. „How many words are there in Icelandic for the devil?“. The Icelandic Web of Science 5.3.2005. http://why.is/svar.php?id=4793. (Skoðað 23.10.2017).

Author

Guðrún Kvaranprofessor



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