Old Norse Sayings: 75 Old Norse Vikings Proverbs from the Hávamál.
Old Norse Sayings: The Hávamál (Sayings of the High One) is part of the Poetic Edda, a series of poems from Old Norse that survive in a manuscript from the 13th century. The numerous verses found in the Hávamál were collected from different sources, with some date back to the 10th century.
The verses are written in the original Old Norse in the meter called Ljóðaháttr which was associated with the poetry of wisdom in the Viking Era.
Viking quotes, sayings, and phrases are important to learn as they contain the wisdom of a legendary, wise people who conjure dreams of war, adventure, and conquest for most of us. Below are the best 75 ancient quotes from Viking to help you work with Viking guidance in your own life.
65 Old Norse Sayings
Wake early if you want another man’s life or land. No lamb for the lazy wolf. No battle is won in bed.
Never walk away from home ahead of your axe and sword. You can’t feel a battle in your bones or foresee a fight.
Great deeds and ill deeds often fall within each other’s shadow.
Many hands make light work.
A wounded coward lies low. ( Old Norse Sayings ).
Den hund som bieffer meget, han bider ikkun lidet. – Barking dogs seldom bite.
Det är som mörkast innan gryningen. – It is darkest before dawn.
There is more honor in accumulating little by little than in reaching for the sky and ending up flat on your face.
A person should tend to the oak if they want to live under it.
Bra vind i ryggen er best. – A fair wind at our back is best.
Lidet er om den mans vrede, som ingen vurder. – If you cannot bite, never show your teeth.
A man without wisdom is lacking in much.
Ill is the result of letting fear rule thine actions.
It is an old custom for the wisest to give way.
A person should not agree today to what they’ll regret tomorrow.
Gammel kjærleik rustar ikkje. – Old love does not corrode.
Let no man glory in the greatness of his mind, but rather keep watch o’er his wits. Cautious and silent let him enter a dwelling; to the heedful comes seldom harm, for none can find a more faithful friend than the wealth of mother wit.
It is fortunate to be favored with praise and popularity. It is dire luck to be dependent on the feelings of your fellow man.
Enn skal lytte, når en gammel hund gjø. – One should listen when an old dog barks.
The unwise man is awake all night worries over and again. When morning rises he is restless still, his burden as before.
Better to die with honor than live with shame.
Let not thy mind be overmuch crossed by unwise men at thronged meetings of folk; for oft these speak worse than they wot of; lest thou be called a dastard, and art minded to think that thou art even as is said; slay such an one on another day, and so reward his ugly talk.
Sjaldan er ein báran stök. – There seldom is a single wave. ( Old Norse Sayings ).
Det som göms i snö, kommer fram vid tö. – What is hidden in snow, is revealed at thaw.
Be your friend’s true friend. Return gift for gift. Repay laughter with laughter again, but betrayal with treachery.
Gold is little comfort for the kinsman dead.
Altfor reint har ingen smak. – Too clean has no taste.
Trust not him whose father, brother or other kin you have slain no matter how young he be, for often grows the wolf in the child.
Stand by your own trial and not by what others say.
Du skal kravle, før du kan gå. – You have to learn to crawl before you can walk.
Moderately wise a man should be, not too crafty or clever. A learned man’s heart whose learning is deep seldom sings with joy.
A person’s actions are often worse than their intentions.
Brennt barn forðast eldinn. – A burnt child keeps away from fire.
Never a whit should one blame another for a folly which many befalls; the might of love makes sons of men into fools who once were wise.
To take up great resolutions, and then to lay them aside, only ends in dishonor.
Even in the sheath the sword must be sharp – so too must the mind and the spirit be within the body.
Kinsmen to kinsmen should be true.
Båtlaus mann er bunden til land. – Boatless man is tied to the land.
Nothing good can happen to people who break their solemn vows.
Too much ale and a man’s heart is laid open for all to see.