Insulting a Viking

Insulting a Viking is comparable to taunting a teenage boy, but with greater consequences.

The greatest insult was to suggest that a man was sansorðinn — “used in the position of a female (blauðr) by another man.”

The consequence of this could be fullrettirsorð “full penalty,” in which the insulted man could kill the insulter without recourse.  The authorities would turn a blind eye to this.

Indirect insults, which nonetheless have the same connotations, include calling a man a “mare,” or a “woman,” or argr (generally meaning “cowardly” but in a sexual context meaning “emasculated, unmanned, womanish”).  This could also result in fullrettirsorð.

Argr is frequently used in norse literature.


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