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See also: Thurs

Old Norse

Alternative forms


From Proto-Germanic *þursaz, *þurisaz ("giant, name of the Þ-rune"). Cognate with Old English þyrs, Old Saxon thuris, Old High German durs, duris. See also Finnish turisas, Tursas, turso. Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *tur-, *twer- ("to rotate, twirl, swirl, move").


  • (9th century West Norse) IPA(key): /'?urs/
  • (12th century Icelandic) IPA(key): /'?urs/


þurs m (genitive þurs, plural þursar)

  1. (Norse mythology) a giant, ogre, monster
    • V?luspá, verse 8, lines 5-6, in 1860, T. Möbius, Edda Sæmundar hins fróða: mit einem Anhang zum Theil bisher ungedruckter Gedichte. Leipzig, page 2:
      [...] unz þrjár kvámu / þursa meyjar [...]
      [...] until three came / giant-maidens [...]
  2. a dunce, numskull
    • Heilræðavísur, in 1933, H. Pétursson, Heilræði Hallgríms Péturssonar:
      [...] en þursinn heimskr þegja hlýtr, [...]
      [...] but a stupid dunce must remain silent, [...]
  3. the name of the Þ-rune


Derived terms



  • þurs in An Icelandic-English Dictionary, R. Cleasby and G. Vigfússon, Clarendon Press, 1874, at Internet Archive.
  • þurs in A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, G. T. Zoëga, Clarendon Press, 1910, at Internet Archive.

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