Riddle 18 (or 16)

Ic eom wunderlicu wiht;      ne mæg word sprecan,
mældan for monnum,      þeah ic muþ hæbbe,
wide wombe
Ic wæs on ceole      ond mines cnosles ma.

 

I am a strange creature, I cannot speak words,
nor talk with men, although I have a mouth,
and a broad belly.
I was on a boat with more of my kin.

 

Highlight the box with your cursor to reveal the possible solutions: Jug, Amphora, Cask, Leather bottle, Inkhorn, Phallus

5 thoughts on “Riddle 18 (or 16)

  1. Conan

    Don’t quite know why, I misread ceol (strong m.) as ceole (weak f., ‘throat’). If one could argue that a noun could switch between those two declensions, then it creates an interesting ambiguity, and an interesting play on the anatomical metaphors presented (mouth > belly > throat).

    It’s probably far too much of a stretch, though, and since ceole never appears in verse (to my knowledge), I have no idea of the vowel quantity involved (i.e., whether the words even sounded alike to an Anglo-Saxon)

    1. mammon81

      Ceol has a long diphthong and ceole is short, but you’re right, it would work nicely with the imagery (particularly if we’re going for ‘jug’ or ‘amphora’ as the solution).

  2. Pingback: Commentary for Riddle 18 | The Riddle Ages

  3. Pingback: Commentary for Riddle 18 | Gwynned Blog

  4. Pingback: Commentary for Riddle 18 | Gwynned Blog

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