About the wordlist

1. General description

The wordlist contains both the words that have been treated in print in ONP 1-3, and the words in ONP’s corpus that have not been edited. For each of these words or lemmata there is a basic grammatical classification and a specification of the number of occurrences of the word registered by ONP in its archive of citations. Access is provided to the underlying citations, often in the form of a photographic image of the handwritten slip, and there are links to a graphic image of the published text edition from which the citation is excerpted. The wordlist also provides links to articles that were published in ONP 1-3, a-em, in the alphabet. The creation of the wordlist was first undertaken in 1998-99, funded entirely by a generous grant from the Icelandic Lýðveldissjóður (see Jóhannes Bjarni Sigtryggsson & Christopher Sanders: The Copenhagen Old Norse Word-list, Orð og tunga 5, Rvk. 2001, 53-59).

2. Composition of the wordlist

The wordlist is compiled from an interactive section of ONP's editorial system (a relational database) and is under constant revision, especially in connection with the ongoing editing of articles. The user of the wordlist must therefore be prepared to encounter a number of errors and inconsistencies, but a list of resulting changes will be posted. In the case of the lemmata for which in 1998-99 no dictionary articles had yet been prepared, the wordlist was compiled on the basis of an examination of ONP’s archive of dictionary slips; this was supplemented with information from a number of dictionaries, principally the following:

  • Cleasby & Guðbrandur Vigfússon: An Icelandic-English Dictionary, Oxford 1874, 2. rev. ed. 1957.
  • Johan Fritzner: Ordbog over Det gamle norske Sprog 1-3, Kra. 1886-1896.
  • Jón Þorkelsson: Supplement til islandske Ordbøger 1, 2, 4, Rvk. 1879-1899.
  • Ebbe Hertzberg: Glossarium, Norges gamle Love indtil 1387 5, Kra. 1895.
  • Finn Hødnebø: Rettelser og Tillegg = Johan Fritzner: Ordbog over Det gamle norske Sprog 4, Oslo/Bergen/Tromsø 1972.
  • Leiv Heggstad, Finn Hødnebø & Erik Simensen: Norrøn ordbok, Oslo 1975.
  • Sveinbjörn Egilsson: Lexicon poeticum, ed. Finnur Jónsson, 2. ed., Kbh. 1931.
  • Finnur Jónsson: Ordbog til rímur, STUAGNL 51, Kbh. 1926-1928.

3. Caveats and limitations

The following comments apply principally to material from en- onwards.


It must be emphasized that none of the digitalised citations on the website in the material after ONP 3: de-em, nor the citations that were not published in connection with ONP 1-3: a-em, has been proof-read.

In connection with the publication of the volume of Indices in 1989 a revision of ONP’s sigla was undertaken: in some cases a siglum was standardised, and in other cases a replacement of an older edition with a newer entailed a change in the sigla - this means that the siglum on the handwritten slip and the siglum in the database may not be exactly similar, and in some cases a replacement by a newer edition may result in a difference in wording in the citation itself. In every case the headword itself will be unaffected, even if its orthography varies slightly.


If a word is used both in prose and in poetry only its prose usage is registered in the wordlist. Proper nouns are separate entries, which are not as yet available. Although printed dictionary articles present alternative forms (and special forms) alongside the standard headword (e.g. akkeri, afkeri, atkeri (spec.: acker)), these forms are not as yet searchable units in the Internet version of the wordlist .


Verbs are divided into homograph groups, e.g. 1klyfja, 2klyfja, if they represent two classes of declension or where the semantic analysis necessitates it. The strong declension is always placed first; thereafter within the group of weak verbs the order is as follows: on-, ja-, ia- and e- verbs. There are occasional exceptions to this. There are a number of verbs which have not had their citations separated in accordance with the homograph division.

Compound verbs which have an adverb or preposition as their first element, e.g. fyrirhalda, are treated under the simplex second element (halda) except where the compound occurs in a finite form in a main clause in which case it is allotted headword status. This distinction is being established during the next two years, but in the meanwhile there will be citations registered as compounds which may later be listed as simplex.

Comments on the functions of the wordlist are welcome: e-mail: onp@hum.ku.dk