- a conventional poetic phrase used for or in addition to the usual name of a person or thing, especially in Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon verse, as “a wave traveler” for “a boat.”
Origin of kenning
- knowledge, understanding, or cognizance; mental perception: an idea beyond one's ken.
- range of sight or vision.
- Chiefly Scot.
- to know, have knowledge of or about, or be acquainted with (a person or thing).
- to understand or perceive (an idea or situation).
- Scots Law. to acknowledge as heir; recognize by a judicial act.
- Archaic. to see; descry; recognize.
- British Dialect Archaic.
- to declare, acknowledge, or confess (something).
- to teach, direct, or guide (someone).
- British Dialect.
- to have knowledge of something.
- to understand.
Origin of ken
Examples from the Web for kenning
He was the first to recognize the significance of kenning, metaphor, and compound.The Translations of Beowulf
Chauncey Brewster Tinker
The mariners of Dartmouth accompt this to be about a kenning from Plimmouth.Chronicles (1 of 6): The Description of Britaine
To think of me telling ye about the leddy, and you kenning a the time wha the bairn was.Merkland
There's things it's best to put off kenning as long as we can.
The offing at sea has been called the kenning; and see Kenning in Halliwell.Chaucer's Works, Volume 3 (of 7)
- a conventional metaphoric name for something, esp in Old Norse and Old English poetry, such as Old English bānhūs (bone house) for "body"
- range of knowledge or perception (esp in the phrases beyond or in one's ken)
- Scot and Northern English dialect to know
- Scot and Northern English dialect to understand; perceive
- (tr) archaic to see
Word Origin and History for kenning
Old English cenning "procreation; declaration in court," present participle of ken (v.). From early 14c. in senses "sign, token; teaching, instruction;" c.1400 as "mental cognition." From 1883 as "periphrastic expression in early Germanic poetry;" in this sense it probably is from Old Norse cognate verb kenna "to know, to recognize, to feel or perceive; to call, to name (in a formal poetic metaphor)."
"to know," Scottish dialect, from Old English cennan "make known, declare, acknowledge" (in late Old English also "to know"), originally "make to know," causative of cunnan "to become acquainted with, to know" (see can (v.)). Cognate with German kennen, Danish kjende, Swedish känna. Related: Kenned; kenning.
"house where thieves meet," 1560s, vagabonds' slang, probably a shortening of kennel.
"range of sight," 1580s, a nautical abbreviation of kenning.