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Ordet skjura f. 'skata' i ny belysning
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2003 (Swedish)In: Svenska landsmål och svenskt folkliv, ISSN 0347-1837, Vol. 126, 41-61 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Alongside the species name skata (Dan. skade) 'magpie' (Pica pica) there is a word skjura f. (Icel. skjór). It is documented in the Icelandic sagas and has numerous variant pronunciations in Scandinavian dialects. In southern Sweden, we find sköra (schoura) and skära, in the west skera (skära), and in central Sweden skjura (East Swedish dialect skjårå). Forms occurring further north include skör(a) in western Dalarna and Jämtland, and skir in northern Dalarna, with the variants sker, skyr in the norternmost provinces. In different dialects the word is also found in the names of bird species such as the jay, Siberian jay, oystercatcher and nightjar, and in the names of bats.

The origin of this word has long puzzled philologists. Otto von Friesen, in 1901, came closest to the truth when he suggested that it was cognate with Got. skewjan 'wander'. [...]

The deeper semantic meaning of the word has until now remained unclear. A closer study of the passage in the Gothic Bible where Goth. skewjan 'walk, mander' appears, and of its counterparts in the Icelandic sagas and in Norwegian and Swedish dialects, clarifies the semantic content of this word as being ' to move to and fro, with dramatic or unpredictable movements'. I view of this, the word skjura 'magpie' can be ascribed the sense of 'one which moves hither and thither (to and fro) in the air or on the ground, in an irregular or seemingly random manner'.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Kungl. Gustav Adolfs Akademien , 2003. Vol. 126, 41-61 p.
Keyword [en]
Dialectology, bird names, semantics
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-46628OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-46628DiVA: diva2:74535
Available from: 2006-11-09 Created: 2006-11-09 Last updated: 2011-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Boström, Rut
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