þegja þunnu hljóði
From þegja (“to be quiet, to be silent, to say nothing”) + þunnu (“with thin”) the tækisþágufall (“dative of instrument”) of þunnur (“thin”) + hljóði (“archaic meaning; with hearing”) the tækisþágufall (“dative of instrument”) of hljóð (“archaic meaning; hearing”). Literally meaning "to be silent with a thin hearing" meaning "to be silent with an ear so thin that one can listen well".
- Hávamál verse 7 in updated (Icelandic) spelling
- Inn vari gestur,
- er til verðar kemur,
- þunnu hljóði þegir,
- eyrum hlýðir,
- en augum skoðar;
- svo nýsist fróðra hver fyrir.
- Let the wary stranger who seeks refreshment
- keep silent with sharpened hearing;
- with his ears let him listen, and look with his eyes;
- thus each wise man spies out the way.
- A guest should be courteous
- When he comes to the table
- And sit in wary silence,
- His ears attentive, his eyes alert:
- So he protects himself.
- The knowing guest
- who goes to the feast,
- In silent attention sits;
- With his ears he hears,
- with his eyes he watches,
- Thus wary are wise men all.
- to hold one’s tongue, to say nothing even though one is divided or not happy about something; to be silent even though one is unreconciled, but be still unreconciled; to keep a watchful silence; to listen in breathless stillness (confer the English open one’s big mouth and bend the truth)
- Icelandic Web of Science: Hvað þýðir að þegja þunnu hljóði og hvaðan er þetta orðatiltæki komið? (“What does þegja þunnu hljóði mean and whence does it originate?”)
- ^ HOVAMOL- The Ballad of the High One an English translation of Hávamál
- þegja þunnu hljóði at Málfarsbankinn