Word of the Week: fiskhelgr

fiskhelgr (ON) n.

Literally ‘fish-sanctity’. A unit for measuring distance; the distance at which cod fish could still be seen in the water from land.[1] This indicated the space between the coast and the limit in open waters to which the fishing and drift rights of the landowner extended. Beyond the fiskhelgr were common waters (ON almenningr).

See also: almenningr, rekamark

Lit.: Gísli Pálsson and E. Durrenberger 1987; idem 1996; Hastrup 1992; KLNM s.v. hvalfangst

[1] An Icelandic newspaper article from 2002 suggests 300-600m (http://www.bb.is/Pages/82?NewsID=8907).

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