fælla (OSw) falle (ODan) fælle (ODan) fella (OGu) felz (OGu) fella (ON) falla (OSw) fallas (OSw) fiollas (OSw) fællas (OSw) verb

Apart from the literal felling and falling of people and things, three main usages with legal significance can be discerned, albeit with some overlap: 1) To fail or neglect to perform a duty (or something similar), which is reflected in translations such as ‘fail’, ‘neglect’, ‘decline’, often referring to a person or a group of people failing to make transports, build fences, maintain bridges etc. 2) To fail to achieve (wanted) result — particularly of an oath — reflected in translations such as ‘fail (an oath)’, and possibly ‘be annulled’, ‘dismiss’, ‘overthrow’, ‘default’, usually referring to a defendant’s failure to produce the stipulated number of oath-helpers, or to be supported by the men nominated to determine the case. In this usage, often appearing in the passive and as participles. 3) Presumably influenced by both a sense ‘to fell, defeat; to fall, to be defeated’ and from the usage ‘to fail (an oath)’, meaning ‘to convict’, and hence ‘to pass judgment’, which is reflected in translations such as ‘convict’, ‘find guilty’, ‘condemn’, ‘sentence’, ‘judge’. The conviction, which could be reached through an eþer ‘oath’, could be issued by witnesses, occasionally other men involved in the dealings at hand, sometimes other actual eye-witnesses or other local men assumed to have knowledge of the facts of the case, or a group of nominated men, sometimes referred to as a md. The verbs appear in numerous phrases and expressions and a few citations can illustrate the usage and translations: fællær han at loghum ‘if the oath fails for him’ (ODan JyL 3:35), fals han at laghum ‘if he fails the oath’ (OSw ÄVgL Äb 11), værþær han fælþær ‘if he is found guilty’ (OSw ÄVgL Gb 7, Fös 5), þa wærin fældir ‘then it becomes invalid’ (OSw HL Rb 8), tha ær han fældær at the sac ‘then he is at fault in the cases’ (ODan ESjL 3:65), döma (man) fældan ‘judge (someone) guilty' (OSw YVgL Till).

accuse OSw DL Kkb
attack ODan SkL 200
be annulled OSw DL Rb
be convicted OSw HL Kgb, Äb
ODan JyL 2
OSw SdmL Bb
OSw YVgL Drb, Föb

be found guilty OGu GL A 20
OSw UL Kkb, Mb
OSw VmL Kkb

be guilty and fined OSw DL Bb
be lawfully convicted ODan JyL 2
be reduced OSw UL Äb
OSw VmL Äb

be slain OSw UL Kgb, Mb
OSw VmL Kgb, Mb

be void OSw DL Rb
build a fence ONorw GuL Llb
cancel OSw VmL Rb
charge (someone) with (something) OGu GL A 20
condemn OSw ÄVgL Slb
OSw DL Kkb, Bb
OGu GL A 2
OSw UL Kkb, Kgb, Äb, Mb, Kmb, Blb, Rb
OSw VmL Äb, Mb, Kmb, Bb, Rb

convict OSw ÄVgL Slb, Jb, Tb
OSw DL Eb, Rb
ODan ESjL 2, 3
OSw HL Kkb, Kgb, Äb, Mb, Blb, Rb
ODan JyL 2, 3
OSw ÖgL Kkb, Eb, Db
OSw SdmL Kkb, Kgb, Gb, Bb, Kmb, Mb, Tjdb, Rb, Till
OSw UL Kkb, Äb, Mb, Kmb, Blb, Rb
OSw VmL Kkb, Kgb, Äb, Mb, Jb, Kmb, Bb, Rb
ODan VSjL 87
OSw YVgL Kkb, Frb, Äb, Gb, Rlb, Tb, Add

decline (to do something) OSw UL Blb
OSw VmL Kmb, Bb

dismiss OSw YVgL Add
fail OSw ÄVgL Md, Äb, Rlb, Tb
OSw DL Kkb, Bb, Tjdb
OSw HL Kkb, Kgb, Mb, Jb, Blb, Rb
ODan JyL 3
OSw ÖgL Db
OSw SdmL Gb, Äb, Jb, Bb, Kmb, Mb, Tjdb, Rb
ODan SkL 155, 218, 226
ODan VSjL 87
OSw YVgL Drb, Tb, Jb, Föb, Add

fail (to observe or fulfil something) OGu GL A 20a
OSw UL Kkb, Kgb, Mb, Jb, Blb, Rb, Add. 14
OSw VmL Mb

fail an oath OSw ÄVgL Fös
OSw YVgL Kkb, Rlb, Utgb

fail one’s case of defending OSw YVgL Add
fall OGu GL A 20, 23, 24e
OSw HL Kgb
OSw UL Kkb, Äb, Mb, Blb
OSw VmL Kkb, Äb, Mb, Bb

fell OSw ÄVgL Md
find guilty OSw ÄVgL Gb, Fös
OSw DL Bb, Rb
OSw HL Kkb
OSw UL Kkb, Kgb, Äb, Mb, Kmb
OSw VmL Kkb, Kgb, Äb, Bb, Rb
OSw YVgL Add

go against ODan SkL 146
hinder ONorw GuL Krb
judge OSw YVgL Föb
make at fault ODan ESjL 3
make invalid OSw HL Rb
neglect OSw DL Rb
OSw HL Kkb, Kgb, Mb, Blb, Rb
OSw SdmL Kkb, Kgb, Bb, Rb

overthrow OSw YVgL Add
pass away OSw UL StfBM, Äb
OSw VmL Kkb, Äb

push ONorw GuL Mhb
reject OSw HL Kkb
sentence OSw HL Äb
OSw YVgL Frb, Föb

write off OGu GL A 17 Expressions:

falla/fals at eþe (OSw)

convict in respect of an oath OSw VmL Kkb

fail in an oath OSw UL Kkb, Äb, Mb, Jb, Kmb, Blb, Rb VmL Kkb, Äb, Mb, Kmb, Bb, Rb

fælla til næs (OSw)

sentence to defence by oath OSw SmL

niþer fælla (OSw) falla niðr (ON)

to be abolished OIce Mah 1

to lapse OIce Grg Klþ 2

leave unused OSw UL Blb

to be negligent OSw UL Kkb, Blb VmL Kkb


Andersen 2010, 47−48; Hellquist s.v. fälla; Hertzberg s.v.v. falla, fella; KLNM s.v. rettergang; SAOB s.v. fälla; Schlyter s.v.v. falla, fælla

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

  • http://www.dhi.ac.uk/lmnl/nordicheadword/displayPage/1604