maður er manns gaman

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  • IPA(key): /ˈmaːðʏr ɛːr ˈmaːnːs ˈkaːma(ː)n/


maður (man) + er (is) (third person singular of vera (to be)) + manns (man's) (genitive of maður) + gaman (joy, pleasure)

Literally "man is man's joy". (Antonymic is the sentiment of the Latin expression homō hominī lupus (man is a wolf to man).)

The proverb is from the forty-seventh verse of the Hávamál, one of the books of the Poetic Edda.[1]


maður er manns gaman

  1. Men enjoy the company of other men.
    • Icelandic Rune Poem, found in manuscript AM 461 12mo ([6], [7]):
      er manns gaman
      ok moldar auki
      ok skipa skreytir.
      homo mildingr.
      delight of man
      and augmentation of the earth
      and adorner of ships.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Icelandic Web of Science: Hvað þýðir "maður er manns gaman"? (“What does maður er manns gaman mean?”)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]; The Elder or Poetic Edda, edited and translated by Olive Bray (London: Printed for the Viking Club, 1908), pages 61-111
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ [5]