Skotakollr

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Published Jan 1, 1970
Hans Bekker-Nielsen

Abstract

A by-name skotakollr is found in Hungrvaka and a few other places in Old Norse literature. It has apparently been dífficult to explain; the translations Scothead, Coll o'Scots and Scot-Coll have been offered, and it has been suggested that the by-name meant ruffian (Finnur Jónsson and Joh. Steenstrup) or »Schottenkopf« (B. Kahle). In the present paper -kollr is explained as 'bald head' or specifically 'tonsure', and when it is remembered that the word skotar may be used both about the Scots and
che Irish, skotakollr would seem to mean 'celtic tonsure'. Anyone in the Norse-Celtic world who was familiar with this tonsure could have used the by-name skotakollr to denote a man's special hair-style or lack of hair. 

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Section
Literature