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Old Norse[edit]


From Proto-Germanic *mannz, whence also Old Saxon mann, Old English mann, Old High German man, Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐌽𐌽𐌰 (manna). Probably ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European root *man-. The change *-nnz > -ðr in the nominative singular is a regular feature of Old Norse; compare with aðrir ( of annarr), guðr and saðr.


maðr m (genitive manns, plural menn)

  1. human, man, person
    • verse 47 of the Hávamál
      Maðr er manns gaman.
      Man is man's joy.
    • verse 48 of the Hávamál
      Mildir, frœknir menn bazt lifa.
      Generous, bold men live best.
    • verse 52 of the Hávamál
      Mikit eitt skala manni gefa.
      One should not give a man a single large gift.
    með mǫnnum
    among men
    karlmenn ok kvennmenn
    Male and female persons
  2. degree (of kinship)

Usage notes[edit]

  • Medieval scribes sometimes abbreviated maðr to (m).
  • Although being gramatically masculine, and being cognate of Modern English man, this noun usually refers to a person irrespective of gender. Confer with karlmaðr and kvennmaðr.


Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  • maðr in A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, G. T. Zoëga, Clarendon Press, 1910, at Internet Archive.