This is page 950 of An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary by Bosworth and Toller (1898)

This online edition was created by the Germanic Lexicon Project.

Click here to go to the main page about Bosworth/Toller. (You can download the entire dictionary from that page.)
Click here to volunteer to correct a page of this dictionary.
Click here to search the dictionary.

This page was generated on 18 Jan 2020. The individual pages are regenerated once a week to reflect the previous week's worth of corrections, which are performed and uploaded by volunteers.

The copyright on this dictionary is expired. You are welcome to copy the data below, post it on other web sites, create derived works, or use the data in any other way you please. As a courtesy, please credit the Germanic Lexicon Project.


sword wielded by one of his followers in the chief's defence, 1595; B. 795. In reference to the sword given by Beowulf to the Dane who had guarded his ship, it is said that the recipient 'syððan wæs on meodobence mádme ðý weorðra, yrfeláfe,' 3810; B. 1903; another sword is called 'Hrédles láf,' and of it is said 'næs mid Geátum sincmáðþum sélra on sweordes hád,' 4389-93; B. 2191-3; and later on mention is made of 'gomel swyrd, Eánmundes láf,' 5216; B. 2611; Hrunting, the sword which is lent to Beowulf, is 'án ealdgestreóna,' 2921; B. 1458. So, too, Byrhtnoth tells the Danes who demand tribute of him, that the tribute will take the form of 'ealde swurd,' used with unpleasant effect upon the invaders. The same point may be illustrated from other than poetical sources. Thus in Alfred's will it is said that he leaves 'Æþeréde ealdormenn án sweord on hundteóntigum mancusum,' Chart. Th. 489, 32; in another will is the passage 'Freoðomunde fóe tó mínum sweorde, and ágefe ðéræt feówer ðúsenda,' 471, 23; another testator bequeathes his sword 'mid ðam sylfrenan hylte and ðone gyldenan fetels,' 558, 10; and another mentions the sword 'ðat Eádmund king mé selde on hund&dash-uncertain;tuelftian mancusas goldes and fóur pund silueres on ðan fetelse,' 505, 28. Indeed the sword is often mentioned in wills. The importance of the sword is further marked by its receiving a name. The sword with which Beowulf is armed for his attack on Grendel's mother is named Hrunting, and to the praise of this weapon the poet devotes several lines, Beo. Th. 2914-33; B. 1455-64; at a later period it is with 'Nægling . . . gomol and græ-acute;gmmæ-acute;l' that he fights, 5354; B. 2680. See, too, Wald. 4; Vald. 1, 3. And elsewhere the same point may be noted, e. g. in the Nibelungenlied. 'daz Nibelunges swert. . . Palmunc was genant;' and this weapon plays a part in the drama to the last scene. In Scandinavian story there is Hákon's sword 'kvernbítr,' which king Athelstan gave him, and Egill has his sword that he called 'Naðr.' See, too, the story of the Cid and the two swords, Colada and Tizona, which he gave to his sons-in-law, the Infantes of Carrion, and which he claimed from them after their unworthy treatment of their wives, Chronica del Cid, c. cclii. Of the value of the sword and of the decoration bestowed upon it, of the shape or colouring, of the make, many epithets and phrases speak. In the Gnomic verses it is said, 'Gold geríseþ on guman sweorde,' Exon. Th. 341, 15; Gn. Ex. 126; and 'máðm in healle, goldhilted sweord' is mentioned, 437, 27; Rä. 56, 14. See, too, the passages quoted under seolfor-hilt, -hilted. In the dragon's hoard are 'dýre swyrd,' Beo. Th. 6089; B. 3048: the sword which Beowulf seized in Grendel's retreat was golden-hilted, 3358; B. 1677, and 'wæs on ðæ-acute;m scennum scíran goldes þurh rúnstafas gesæ-acute;d, hwam ðæt sweord geworht, írena cyst, æ-acute;rest wæ-acute;re, wreoþenhilt and wyrmfáh,' 3390-3400; B. 1694-8. Beowulf lays aside his 'hyrsted sweord, írena cyst,' Beo. Th. 1349; B. 672: he gives a sword 'bunden golde,' 3805; B. 1901: his own sword is 'fáh and fæ-acute;ted,' 5395; B. 2700. Byrhtnoth's sword is 'fealohilte,' Byrht. Th. 136, 45; By. 166; and 'gerénod,' 35; By. 161. Beowulf's Nægling is 'græ-acute;gmæ-acute;l,' Beo. Th. 5357; B. 2681: the swords of the Hebrews are 'scírmæ-acute;led,' Judth. Thw. 24, 38; Jud. 230: other swords are 'hring-mæ-acute;led,' Cd. Th. 120, 10; Gen. 1992: Abraham girds himself 'græ-acute;gan sweorde,' 173, 22; Gen. 2865: the Hebrews fight 'fágum sweordum,' Judth. Thw. 24, 18; Jud. 194: 25, 17; Jud. 264. The sword is 'brád,' 26, 9; Jud. 318: Byrht. Th. 132, 12; By. 15: brád and brúnecg, 136, 38; By. 163: it is 'gód,' 138, 58; By. 237; 'heard,' Beo. Th. 5966; B. 2987: 5269; B. 2638: Exon. Th. 325, 32; Víd. 120: 'heardecg,' Beo. Th. 2581; B. 1288: 'ecgum dyhtig,' 2578; B. 1287: Cd. Th. 120, 11; Gen. 1993: 'ecgum gecost,' Judth. Thw. 34, 39; Jud. 231: stýled, Exon. Th. 42, 28; Cri. 679. For some account of old swords, see Wright's The Celt, The Roman, and the Saxon, pp. 404-6, and Worsaae's Antiquities: see also Grmm. Gesch. D. S. p. 12. [O. Sax. O. Frs. swerd: O. H. Ger. swert: Icel. sverð.] v. gúð-, mál-, máðum-, stæf-, wæ-acute;g-sweord.

sweord (or sweorð) swearing. [O. H. Ger. swert, swart juramentum.] v. áþ-sweord.

sweord-bealu (-o), wes; n. Bale or hurt caused by the sword, Beo. Th. 2298; B. 1147.

sweord-berende; adj. (ptcp.) Sword-bearing:?-Æðelingas sweord&dash-uncertain;berende, Cd. Th. 65, 2; Gen. 1060.

sweord-bite, es; m. The bite of a sword, wounding with a sword:?-Áswebban purh sweordbite to kill with the sword, Exon. Th. 278, 26; Jul. 603.

sweord-bora, an; m. I. one who bears a sword for his own use, a swordsman:?-Sweord spata vel pugio, swyrdbora spatarius, Wrt. Voc. i. 35, 8. Swurdbora, 84, 13. Swurdboran (gladiatorem) hine gewordene gesihþ if (in a dream) he sees himself become a gladiator, Lchdm. iii. 204, 25. Sweordboran pugiles, Wrt. Voc. ii. 76, 46. II. one who bears his lord's sward, a swordbearer:?-Swá swá Eádmundes sweordbora hit reahte Æþelstáne cyninge, Swt. A. S. Prim. 83, 7. Totila ásende his swurdboran, Riggo geháten, gescrýdne mid his cynelícum gyrelum, Homl. Th. ii. 168, 12. [Cf. Icel. sverð-berari (translating lictor).]

sweord-fetels, -fætels, es; m. A sword-belt:?-Se cásere heora æ-acute;lces sweordfætelsas hét forceorfan the emperor ordered the sword-belts of each of them to be cut, Homl. Skt. i. 23, 178. Cf. Ðat swerd on hundtwelftian mancusas and fóur pund silueres on þan fetelse, Chart. Th. 505, 32. Ðæs swurdes mid ðam sylfrenan hylte ðe Wulfríc worhte and ðone gyldenan fetels, 558, 12. [Cf. O. H. Ger. swert-fezzil faidilus, vagidilus: Icel. sverð-fetill a sword-belt.] v. fetel.

sweord-freca, an; m. A warrior who uses a sword:?-Hé ðæs wæ-acute;pnes (the sword Hrunting) onláh sélran sweordfrecan, Beo. Th. 2940; B. 1468.

sweord-geníðla, an; m. A foe armed with a sword:?-Ðonne fyrd&dash-uncertain;hwate on twá healfe tohtan sécaþ sweordgeníðlan, Elen. Kmbl. 2359; El. 1181.

sweord-geswing, es; n. Striking with swords, an attack with swords:?-Swyrdgeswing swíþlíc eówan to make a fierce attack, Judth. Thw. 25, 3; Jud. 240.

sweord-gifu, e; f. Gift of a sword:?-Sceal sincþego and sweordgifu eówrum cynne álicgean taking of treasure and gift of sword shall fail for your race, Beo. Th. 5761; B. 2884.

sweord-gripe, es; m. Sword-grasp, seizing of swords:?-Ðæt hí in wínsele þurh sweordgripe sáwle forlétan so that in the banquet hall through seizing their swords they lost their lives, Exon. Th. 271, 26; Jul. 488.

sweord-hwíta, an; m. One who polishes a sword:?-Gif sweordhwíta óðres mannes wæ-acute;pn tó feormunge onfó (cf. Si quelibet arma politori vel emundatori commissa sunt, L. H. I. 87, 3; Th. i. 593, 15), L. Alf. pol. 19; Th. i. 74, 8. Ic geann mínon swurdhwítan ðæs sceardan málswurdes, Chart. Th. 561, 22.

sweord-leóma, an; m. The glitter of swords:?-Swurdleóma stód swylce eal Finnsburuh fýrenu wæ-acute;re there was flashing of swords, as if all Finnsburg were on fire, Fins. Th. 71; Fin. 35.

-sweordod. v. ge-swurdod.

Sweordoras (?); pl. m. A people of Mercia occupying a district of three hundred hides:?-Sweordora þryú hund hýda (the name occurs in a list of districts in the land of the Mercians), Cod. Dip. B. i. 414, 21. [Mr. Birch suggests a connection with Swerford in Oxfordshire, and with the river Swere. Could the word contain as its second part the Celtic dwr = water, seen in many river names, v. Taylor's Names and Places, p. 133, and mean the dwellers by the river Swere?]

sweord-plega; an, m. Sword-play, battle:?-Æt ðam sweordplegan wíg forbúgan, Wald. 22; Vald. 1, 13.

sweord-ræ-acute;s, es; m. A sword-rush, an attack with swords:?-Sweord&dash-uncertain;ræ-acute;s fornam, ðæ-acute;r se hálga gecrang wund for weorudum, Apstls. Kmbl. 118; Ap. 59.

sweord-slege, es; m. A sword-stroke, stroke with a sword:?-Hyre sáwl wearð álæ-acute;ded of líce þurh sweordslege, Exon. Th. 282, 30; Jul. 671.

sweord-wegende sword-bearing:?-Swurdwege[n]de anbidian gehende saca mæ-acute;ste getácnaþ (in a dream) to await men carrying swords betokens strifes at hand and very great ones, Lchdm. iii. 204, 28.

sweord-weras; pl. The name of a people (cf. the Suardones of Tacitus. v. Grmm. Gesch. D. S. 329):--Mid Seaxum ic wæs and mid Sweord&dash-uncertain;werum, Exon. Th. 322, 13; Víd. 62.

sweord-wígend, -wígende one who fights with a sword:?-Sweord&dash-uncertain;wígendra síde hergas, Cd. Th. 194, 13; Exod. 260.

sweord-wund; adj. Wounded with the sword:?-Oft æt hilde gedreás swátfág and sweordwund sec[g] æfter óðrum, Wald. 7; Vald. 1, 5.

sweord-wyrhta, an; m. A sword-wright, maker of swords, armourer:?-Móna se án and twentigoða unnytlíce tó wyrcenne bútan swurdwyrhtan (but the word glosses gladiatoribus), Lchdm. iii. 194, 10.

-sweorf in ge-sweort rasura ferri, ferrugo, Wrt. Voc. ii. 147, 65: 35, 32. [Cf. Icel. svarf filings.] v. ge-sweorf.

sweorfan; p. swearf, pl. swurfon; pp. sworfen To rub, scour, file:?-Swyrfþ limat, Germ. 394, 274. Corfen sworfen cut and scoured (of the preparation of a wine-vat), Exon. Th. 410, 24; Rä. 29, 4. Mín heáfod is homere geþuren sworfen feóle, 497, 18; Rä. 87, 2. Cpds. with for, omitted in their place, are added here:?-Forsweorfeþ elimat, i. mundat, Wrt. Voc. ii. 143, 1. Biþ forsworfen vel forgniden demolitur, exterminatur, 138, 63. [In later English the verb has the sense of swerve = to turn (aside):--Swerve to no side, Gow. 3, 92. Þe dint swarf, Arth. and Merl. 9369. Heo swarf to Criste migravit ad Christum, Kath. 2181. Cf. Du. zwerven to wander, rove: O. Frs. swerva to move, go. For the old English verb, cf. Goth. af-swairban to wipe out; delere; bi-swairban to wipe: O. Sax. swer&b-bar;an to wipe: O. H. Ger. swerban tergere, extergere, siccare: Icel. sverfa to file.] v. á-, ge-sweorfan.

sweor-hnitu, e; f. A neck-nit, a nit that breeds at the back of the neck:?-Sweorhnitu ursie, Wrt. Voc. i. 287, 48. Suernit ( = sweorhnitu?) usia (cf. swínes lús usia, 122, 26), Wülck. Gl. 54, 34.

Sweó-ríce, es; n. Sweden:?-Ðone sélestan sæ-acute;cyninga ðara ðe in Swió&dash-uncertain;ríce sinc brytnade, Beo. Th. 4755; B. 2383: 4983; B. 2495. [Icel. Svía-rïki: Swed. Sverige.]

sweor-racentteáh; g. -teáge; f. A chain for the neck:?-Swurracentéh catelle, Wrt. Voc. i. 16, 64.

sweor-ród, e; f. A cross suspended from the neck:?-Hé becwæð Wulfstáne ærcebiscope áne sweorróde (the Latin version has philacterium; cf. the use of this word for chains and medals worn by gladiators round