fjölmæli (ON) noun

Generally gossip, loose talk, slander; a broad category of defamatory speech which could be prosecuted. No specific list of such terms is given in the laws, but a 1313 amendment issued by King Hákon Magnússon states that calling someone the son of a whore (ON pútusonr eða hórkonusonr) constituted fjölmæli, and at least two manuscripts of Bj stipulate that saying a man is ‘womanish’ (ON ragr) is considered fjölmæli. It has been suggested that fjölmæli is equivalent to ‘unspeakable words’ (ON ókvæðisorð, see oqvæþinsorþ).

defamation OIce Mah 24
slander ONorw GuL Tfb
OIce Js Mah 24

CV s.v. fjölmæli; Ebel 1993,163; Fritzner; Hagland & Sandnes 1997, 106; Hertzberg s.v. fjölmæli; KLNM s.v. ærenkrænkelse

  • ‘fjölmæli’. A Lexicon of Medieval Nordic Law.