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Re: What does it mean?

Poster: "Thomas H. Harbold" <tharbold@ns1.wmdc.edu>

At 10:23 AM -0500 3/9/99, Michael Surbrook wrote:

>Poster: Michael Surbrook <susano@dedaana.otd.com>
>I have read that the name 'Grendel' from the poem "Beowulf" roughly
>translates to 'grinder'.  Does anyone here know if that is true, or
>if there is an established meaning for the name?
>Thank you.
>Michael Limner, esq.

OK, who the heck let this guy onto the list...???  ;-)  Howdy, Michael!  :-)

Checking my handy-dandy copy of _A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary_ (J.R.
Clark Hall, Cambridge University Press, 1960), I don't find that reference,
but I do find:

	grennian:  to "grin," gnash the teeth

There seems a certain logic in that being the derivation, but beyond that I
cannot say! On the other hand, we also find:

	grindan:  to rub together, grate, scrape; gnash; grind


	grinian:  to ensnare

Any of these seem perfectly plausible. It's even possible that the name was
chosen to bring in the suggestion of all of these references... So, you
pays yer money an' you takes yer pick! Unless someone else knows, as you
say, an "established" meaning for the name. Can't say I've ever heard one!

Y'rs most humbly,


  "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."
                                    -- Proverbs 22:28 (KJV)
 Thomas H. Harbold                                   P.O. Box 1537
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 St. Bede's Scriptorium: Medieval, Celtic, and Theological Studies

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