Which is to say, Sorrow not, sage! I borrow the alliterative words of the worthy Beowulf to welcome Songdog and Renee to the ranks of the officially sage; congratulations to both of you on well-deserved master’s degrees. You may now be addressed as “snotor guma” on any and all occasions.


  1. I gotta say, “snotor guma” sounds vaguely derogatory to me. Something phonaesthetic, or is it just echoes of “snot” and “gum”?

  2. Steve, thanks a lot! But if you keep addressing me as “snotor guma”, even more stupid people will think I am a man 🙂 After all, guma means “man” (same word as in bridegoom > groom). I don’t think I mind…
    I want to cite you a passage from the Edda:
    Hav. 56
    scyli manna hverr,
    eva til snotr se;
    orlog sín viti
    engi maþr fyrir,
    þeim er sorgalausastr sevi.
    should every man be,
    never should he be wise;
    no one should know
    his doom beforehand;
    those who do, have the most sour* disposition”
    *-sorrowful, of course.

  3. BTW Dorothea, I remember my first Old Norse teacher asked us freshmen what do we think of the name Fafnir. Everybody except me said, “cute and fluffy”.

  4. Renee, thanks a lot for the quote (which I love) and the laugh (which I needed on this gray and sleep-deprived day — I’m sleep-deprived enough I can’t even remember the name of the rhetorical figure I just used — hypallage? zeugma? ah, screw it, I’m tired).
    Dorothea: I must admit that hint of naughtiness appealed to the fourth-grader in me and doubtless accounted for more of the appeal of the phrase than I’ll ever admit to.

  5. Renee, I saw a big smokin’ dragon, myself, but I was into myth as a kid.
    Steve, you are a naughty boy.

Speak Your Mind