This is page 61 of An Icelandic-English Dictionary by Cleasby/Vigfusson (1874)

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like beaten gold, Ísl. ii. 206; b. korn, to thresh corn, Magn. 520:

metaph. to chide, scold, b. e-n illyrðum, ávítum, Nj. 64, Hom. 35 :-- with

'á', 'at', to knock, rap, strike, b. á hurð, á dyrr (or at dyrum), to rap,

knock at a door, Th. 6; b. sér á brjóst, to smite on one's breast, in

repentance, Fms. v. 122; b. at hurðu, Sturl. iii. 153; b. til e-s, á e-m, to

give one a thrashing, Dropl. 23; er þú á konum barðir, Hbl. 38; hjartað

barði undir síðunni, to beat, of the heart, Str. 6 (but hjartsláttr, throbbing

of the heart), in mod. use reflex., hjartað berst, hjartað barðist í brjósti

heitt, Pass. 2. 12: in the phrase, b. í brestina, to cry off a bargain, the

metaphor is taken from hammering the fissure of a ring or the like, in

order to hide the fault, Nj. 32. II. reflex., berjask, [cp. Fr. se

battre; Germ, sich schlagen], to fight, Lat. pugnare, Boll. 360, Rd. 296,

Fms. x. 86, Ísl. ii. 267, Fas. i. 255, Íb. 11: of a duel, ok þat með, at vit

berimk her á þinginu, Eg. 351; b. við e-n, to fight with, Fms. xi. 86;

b. á e-t, Lat. oppugnare, á borgina, i. 103, vii. 93, Stj. (freq.), seems to

be a Latinism; b. til e-s, to fight for a thing; at b. til Englands, to

invade England, Ísl. ii. 241, v. l.; b. orrostu, Lat. pugnam pugnare,

Fms. vii. 79: of the fighting of eagles, Ísl. ii. 195. III. impers.,

with dat., it dashes against; skýja grjóti barði í augu þeim, the hailstones

dashed in their eyes, Jd. 31; honum barði við ráfit kirkjunnar, he dashed

against the roof, Bs. i. 804; þeim barði saman, they dashed against each

other, id.

BERKJA, t, to bark, bluster; with dat., b. yfir e-u, AI. 24; er oss hefir

lengi í sumar berkt, Hkr. iii. 386; hefir þú stórt berkt við oss, Fms. xi.

87, [cp. barki, digrbarkliga.]

ber-kykvendi, n. a she-beast, Fms. xi. 94.

ber-kyrtlaðr, adj. without cloak, wearing the kyrtill only, Fms. ii. 29.

ber-leggjaðr and berleggr, adj. bare-legged, Fms. vii. 63, x. 415.

ber-ligr, adj. and berliga, adv. I. [berr, nudus], open, manifest,

Hom. 134; adv. openly, Fms. iv. 234, ix. 447, Ísl. ii. 317; compar.,

Clem. 46. II. [berr, bacca] , fruitful, Stj. 15.

berlings-áss, m. [from Swed. bärling, a pole, bar] , a pole; b. þrettán

álna langr, Fms. iii. 227, GREEK, l. c., [cp. berling, in Engl. carpentry,

the cross rafter of a roof.]

ber-málugr and bermáll, adj. bare-spoken, outspoken, Fms. x. 420.

ber-mælgi, f. bare-speech, freedom of speech, Fms. vi. 178.

ber-mæli, n. pl. = bermælgi, Fms. ix. 333, Hkr. iii. 77.

ber-mæltr, part. = bermálugr, Fms. xi. 53, Hkr. iii. 97.

bernska, u, f. [barn], childhood, childishness; proverb, bráðgeð er

bernskan, Fms. vi. 220; vera í b., Nj. 30, Fms. vii. 199, Sks. 596.

COMPDS: bernsku-bragð, n. a boyish trick, Grett. 92, Sturl. iii. 124.

bernsku-maðr, m. a youth, childish person, Hkr. ii. 156.

bernskligr, adj. (-liga, adv.), childish, Fms. v. 245, Sks. 553, 153,

Magn. 434.

bernskr, adj. [Ulf. barnisks], childish, Fms. i. 22, vii. 237, ix. 249,

Hom. 50.

ber-orðr, adj. = bermáll.

BERR, adj. [A. S. bär; Engl. bare; Germ, bar; Slav. bos; Litt.

bosus; the Goth word is not on record, but was prob. sounded basus;

the radical form is b-s, not b-r, and it is consequently different from Lat.

-perio (in aperio), or bera, ferre, v. Grimm s. v.]; :-- Lat. nudus, bare,

naked; albrynjaðr svá at ekki var bert nema augun, Fms. vii. 45; beran

vápnastað, Nj. 9; undir berum himni, under the bare sky, in open air,

sub dio, Karl. 544; á beru svæði, in open field; ber sverð, naked swords,

Fms. i. 266; UNCERTAINða berum hestum = berbakt, Dl. ii. 2. metaph.

naked, unprotected, Grág. ii. 8; berr er hverr á baki nema sér bróður eigi

(a proverb), Nj. 265. β. uncovered, open, clear, manifest; segja með

berum orðum, in clear words, Stj. 447; verða berr at e-u, to be convicted

of a thing, 656 A, 25; berar jartegnir, Fms. ii. 221; góran sik beran at

e-u, to shew openly, mostly in a bad sense, xi. 55; vóru berastir í því

Þrændir, the Th. were most undisguised in it, Hkr. ii. 57; göra bert,

to make known, lay bare, Fms. i. 32, vii. 195.

ber-serkr, s, m., pl. ir: [the etymology of this word has been much

contested; some -- upon the authority of Snorri, hans menn fóru 'bryn&dash-uncertain;julausir,'

Hkr. i. 11 -- derive it from 'berr' (bare) and 'serkr' [cp. sark,

Scot, for shirt]; but this etymology is inadmissible, because 'serkr' is a

subst. not an adj.: others derive it from 'berr' (Germ, bär = ursus),

which is greatly to be preferred, for in olden ages athletes and champions

used to wear hides of bears, wolves, and reindeer (as skins of lions in

the south), hence the names Bjálfi, Bjarnhéðinn, Úlfhéðinn, (héðinn,

pellis,) -- 'pellibus aut parvis rhenonum tegimentis utuntur, 'Caes. Bell.

Gall. vi. 22: even the old poets understood the name so, as may be

seen in the poem of Hornklofi (beginning of 10th century), a dialogue

between a Valkyrja and a raven, where the Valkyrja says, at berserkja

reiðu vil ek þik spyrja, to which the raven replies, Úlfhéðnar heita, they

are called Wolfcoats, cp. the Vd. ch. 9; þeir berserkir er Úlfhéðnar vóru

kallaðir, þeir höfðu vargstakka (coats of wild beasts) fyrir brynjur, Fs.

17 :-- a 'bear-sark,' 'bear-coat,' i. e. a wild warrior or champion of the

heathen age; twelve berserkers are mentioned as the chief followers of

several kings of antiquity, e. g. of the Dan. king Rolf Krake, Edda 82;

a Swed. king, Gautr. S. Fas. iii. 36; king Adils, Hrólf. Kr. S. ch. 16 sqq.;

Harald Hárfagri, Eg. ch. 9, Grett. ch. 2, Vd. l. c. (Hornklofi, v. above);

the twelve sons of Arngrim, Hervar. S. ch. 3-5, Hdl. 22, 23; the two

berserkers sent as a present by king Eric at Upsala to earl Hakon of

Norway, and by him presented to an Icel. nobleman, Eb. ch. 25. In

battle the berserkers were subject to fits of frenzy, called berserksgangr

(furor bersercicus, cp. the phrase, ganga berserksgang), when they

howled like wild beasts, foamed at the mouth and gnawed the iron rim

of their shields; during these fits they were, according to popular belief,

proof against steel and fire, and made great havoc in the ranks of the

enemy; but when the fever abated they were weak and tame. A

graphical description of the 'furor bersercicus' is found in the Sagas,

Yngl. S. ch. 6, Hervar. S. l. c., Eg. ch. 27, 67, Grett. ch. 42, Eb. ch. 25, Nj.

ch. 104, Kristni S. ch. 2, 8 (Vd. ch. 46); cp. also a passage in the poem

of Hornklofi | grenjuðu berserkir, | guðr var þeim á sinnum, | emjaðu

Úlfhéðnar | ok ísarn gniiðu -- which lines recall to the mind Roman

descriptions of the Cimbric war-cry. In the Icel. Jus Eccles. the berserksgangr,

as connected with the heathen age, is liable to the lesser

outlawry, K. Þ. K. 78; it is mentioned as a sort of possession in Vd. ch.

37, and as healed by a vow to God. In the Dropl. S. Major (in MS.)

it is medically described as a disease (v. the whole extract in the essay

'De furore Bersercico,' Kristni S. old Ed. in cake); but this Saga is

modern, probably of the first part of the 17th century. The description

of these champions has a rather mythical character. A somewhat different

sort of berserker is also recorded in Norway as existing in gangs

of professional bullies, roaming about from house to house, challenging

husbandmen to 'holmgang' (duel), extorting ransom (leysa sik af hólmi),

and, in case of victory, carrying off wives, sisters, or daughters; but in

most cases the damsel is happily rescued by some travelling Icelander,

who fights and kills the berserker. The most curious passages are Glúm,

ch. 4, 6, Gísl. ch. 1 (cp. Sir Edm. Head's and Mr. Dasent's remarks in

the prefaces), Grett. ch. 21, 42, Eg. ch. 67, Flóam. S. ch. 15, 17; according

to Grett. ch. 21, these banditti were made outlaws by earl Eric,

A. D. 1012. It is worth noticing that no berserker is described as a

native of Icel.; the historians are anxious to state that those who appeared

in Icel. (Nj., Eb., Kr. S. l. c.) were born Norse (or Swedes), and they

were looked upon with fear and execration. That men of the heathen age

were taken with fits of the 'furor athleticus' is recorded in the case of

Thorir in the Vd., the old Kveldulf in Eg., and proved by the fact that the

law set a penalty upon it. Berserkr now and then occurs as a nickname,

Glúm. 378. The author of the Yngl. S. attributes the berserksgangr to

Odin and his followers, but this is a sheer misinterpretation, or perhaps the

whole passage is a rude paraphrase of Hm. 149 sqq. In the old Hbl. 37

berserkr and giant are used synonymously. The berserkers are the representatives

of mere brute force, and it therefore sounds almost blasphemous,

when the Norse Barl. S. speaks of Guðs berserkr (a'bear-coat' or champion

of God), (Jesus Kristr gleymdi eigi hólmgöngu sins berserks), 54,

197. With the introduction of Christianity this championship disappeared


bersi, a, m. a bear, Grett. 101 A, Fas. ii. 517, Sd. 165, Finnb. 246: the

phrase, at taka sér bersa-leyfi, to take bear's leave, i. e. to ask nobody (cp.

'to take French leave'): freq. as a nom. pr., and hence in Icel. local


ber-skjaldaðr, adj. bare of shield, i. e. without a shield, Nj. 97.

ber-svæði, n. an open field.

ber-syndugr, adj. (theol.), a sinner, publicans and 'sinners,' Greg. 33,

Post. 656, H. E. i. 585.

ber-sögli, f. [bersogull, adj.], a free, frank speech; hence ber&dash-uncertain;söglis-vísur,

f. pl., name of a poem by Sighvat, Fms. vi. 38 sq.

ber-yrði, n. pl. plain-speaking, Fms. vii. 161.

BETR, adv., compar. to vel; and BEZT, elder form bazt, superl.,

better, best: 1. compar., er betr er, luckily, happily, Fms. ix. 409,

Ld. 22; b. þætti mér, I would rather, Nj. 17; vánu betr, Lat. spe

melius, Fms. ii. 101; b. úgört, better not to do, Ld. 59; hafa b., to get

the better of it, Fb. i. 174: adding gen., þess b., er ..., so much the better

..., Sks. 426: denoting quantity, more, leggit fram b. hit mikla skipit,

advance it farther, better on, Fms. ii. 307; engi maðr tók b. en í öxl honum,

v. 67; b. en tuttugu menn, ix. 339; þrjú hundruð ok þrír tigir ok sex

b., to boot, Rb. 88; ekki máttu sumir menn b. en fá staðist, i. e. they

could do no more, were just able to keep up against him, Fms. xi. 136; ef

hann orkar b., if he can do more, Grág. (Kb.) ch. 128; nú má hann

b., but if he is able to do more..., id. 2. superl., bazt búið, best

equipped, Fas. ii. 523; with a gen., bezt allra manna, Eg. 34; manna

bezt, Nj. 147; kvenna bezt hærð, Landn. 151; bazt at báðir væri, cp.

Germ, am besten, am liebsten, soonest, Eg. 256.

betra, að, to better, improve, Ld. 106; betrask, to become better, Fms.

iii. 160: impers., ef eigi betraðist um, Rd. 277; þeir sögðu, at konungi

betraðist mjök, that the king was much better, Fms. ix. 215.

betran, f. a bettering, improving, esp. in theol., Fms. vi. 217, Stj. 158:

alliter., böt ok betran.

betr-feðrungr, m. a man better than his father, Fms. vi. 286.

BETRI, betra, compar., and BEZTB, baztr, batztr, the superl.