vingæf (OSw) vingjöf (ON) noun

Literally, ‘friend gift’. This word is used in three different ways. In Grg, it seems to have an entirely literal sense, with the ruling being that one might give such gifts as one wished to one’s friends during one’s lifetime. The heir could only object if it seemed that the gift-giver was trying to dispossess him. In the Swedish provincial laws, it seems most often to have a similar significance to fæstnaþafæ (q.v.), which is the expression used in HL, UL and VmL in similar circumstances. In this second meaning, it was the consideration given by the prospective husband to the giftarmaþer (q.v.), either at the meeting agreeing the betrothal, shortly after or on completion of the marriage. In ÄVgL and YVgL it is laid down as three marks, one mark for a freed male slave, but elsewhere no sum is mentioned. According to ÖgL, considerations were given to more than one member of the bride’s family. Unlike the munder (q.v.), mentioned in ÄVgL as an important element of the marriage process, and which was passed to the bride by the giftarmaþer, it seems that the vingæf was retained by the giftarmaþer. There appears to be little doubt that this reflects the history of the transaction as bride purchase. In ÖgL, in addition, a vingæf is given as an extra sum (six örar) to a landowner to seal lease of land. If the arrangement failed, both the advance rental and the vingæf were returned.

amity gift OSw DL Gb
friend’s gift OSw ÖgL Bb
friendship gift OIce Grg Arþ 127
OIce Kge 22
OSw ÖgL Gb

gift in return OSw ÄVgL Äb
gift of friendship OSw ÄVgL Gb
OSw YVgL Drb, Äb, Gb, Add

KLNM s.v. vängåva; Korpiola 2004; Schlyter 1877, s.v. vingæf; SL DL, 90 notes 44−46; SL YVgL, 289 note 9; SL ÄVgL, 85−86 note 20, 103 note 6; SL ÖgL, 119 note 32; Vogt 2010

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