shieldmaiden

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

shield +‎ maiden

Noun[edit]

shieldmaiden (plural shieldmaidens)

  1. (Norse mythology) A virgin who had chosen to fight as a warrior in battle.
    • 1845, J. H. Turner, The History of the Swedes, translation of original by Erik Gustaf Geijer, page 33:
      The shield-maiden (skölde-mö) was dedicated to Odin, and forbidden to wed; her love brought calamity.
    • 1849, John Mitchell Kemble, The Saxons in England:
      The Anglosaxon belief in the Shieldmaidens comes to us indeed in a darkened form, yet we can hardly doubt that it survived.
    • 1890, Paul Belloni Du Chaillu, The Viking Age: The Early History, Manners, and Customs of the Ancestors of the English-speaking Nations, volume 2:
      Störkud rushed through the ranks with a drawn sword and killed one after another; he cut down Hjört; whereupon Visma, shieldmaiden, who carried the standard of Harald, met him.
    • 1955, J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, ISBN 0345339738, page 262:
      There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North!

Translations[edit]