þegja þunnu hljóði

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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".

The proverb is a reference to (quotation of) the seventh verse of the Hávamál, one of the books of the Poetic Edda.[1]


þegja þunnu hljóði

  1. 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)

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 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?”)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 “Hávamál”, in (please provide the title of the work)[1], accessed 4 October 2008, archived from the original on 2008-10-17
  3. ^ HOVAMOL- The Ballad of the High One an English translation of Hávamál

Further reading[edit]