þing (OSw) thing (ODan) þing (OGu) þing (ON) thing (OSw) noun

A meeting/assembly, its congregation and district area and location as well as the activities — judicial, administrative, economic and fiscal matters — publicly and communally dealt with there. To be legal, meetings with the þing were held at predetermined times and locations that vary between the laws and have a stipulated minimum of participating free men, but extraordinary meetings would be summoned when need be.

Many usages are reflected in the numerous compounds containing þing, giving the terminology an impression of far-reaching complexity. For instance, a þing could be held with a specific function (1) for a specific judicial district (2) at a specific time (3). The assemblies of the various judicial districts were not strictly hierarchical, but rather served separate purposes reflecting the opinion and power of the different sets of inhabitants that they included, which in turn affected the compliance with the decisions of the assembly.

  1. a þing with a specific function or an extraordinary þing: afkænnuþing, ennætþing, konungsþing, malþing, manndrápsþing, manntalsþing, ræfsingaþing, skuldaþing, soknaþing, sægnarþing, vápnaþing, vithermælesthing, örvarþing.
  2. a þing with a specific judicial area mentioned in the name: aldragöta þing, alþingi, almænningsþing, fiærþungsþing, fylkisþing, hálfuþing, hreppstjórnarþing, hæraþsþing, hundarisþing, kirkjusóknarþing, landsþing, skapþing, skipreiðuþing, syselthing, thrithiungsthing.
  3. a þing with reference to the time of the meeting in the name: höstþing, jamlangaþing, leiðarþing, varþing.
  4. a þing held within five days or with five days’ notice: fimmtarþing.
  5. a þing with the name of the meeting place in its name: Eidhsifathing, Frostuthing, Gulaþing, Lionga þing, Øxarárþing.
  6. a þing held at the right place at the right time: laghþing
  7. a þing with the term for the official in charge of the meeting: laghmans þing

In the OIce Grg þing also could refer to a church parish, and in the OGu GL to a local judicial district, possibly synonymous with OGu hundari (q.v.).

assembly OSw ÄVgL Md, Smb, Slb, Urb, Äb, Gb, Rlb, Jb, Tb
ODan ESjL 1−3
ONorw FrL Intr 15 Tfb 1 KrbA 1, 22 KrbB 1 Mhb 5, 6 passim
OGu GL A 2, 4, 7, 11, 13, 14, 21, 28, 30, 31, 37–42, 45, 45a, 48, 52, 61, Add. 8 (B 55)
OIce Grg passim
OGu GS Ch. 4
ONorw GuL Krb, Kpb, Kvb, Løb, Llb, Arb, Tfb, Mhb, Tjb, Olb, Leb
OIce passim
OIce Js passim
ODan JyL 1−3
OIce KRA 29, 36
OSw ÖgL Kkb, Eb, Db
OSw SdmL Kkb, Kgb, Jb, Bb, Kmb, Mb, Tjdb, Rb, Till
ODan SkL passim
ODan VSjL passim
OSw YVgL passim

assembly area OGu GL A 28
district OIce Grg Tíg 265
OIce Þfb 1 Kge 33

judgement from the assembly OSw SdmL Mb
legal thing assembly OSw DL Eb
meeting OSw DL Mb
place of assembly OGu GL A 13
property OIce Kge 6
OIce Js Kvg 5

thing (1) ONorw EidsL 15.2 30.7
ONorw FrL Tfb 5
OSw HL Kkb, Kgb, Äb, Mb, Jb, Blb, Rb

thing assembly ONorw BorgL 8.12 17.5
OSw DL Eb, Mb, Bb, Gb, Tjdb, Rb
OSw HL Kgb, Äb, Mb
OSw UL passim
OSw VmL passim

Thing assembly meeting OSw DL Rb Expressions:

þing fyri alla lyþi, þing firi alla lyþi (OGu)

all the people at the general assembly OGu GL Add 1 (B 4)

general assembly OGu GL Add 1 (B 4)

þing gengt (ON)

free passage to the assembly OIce Js Mah 19


Andersen 2011, 29−36; Brink 2004b; Cleasby and Vigfússon s.v. þing; Foote 1984, 74−83; Fritzner, s.v. þing; KLNM s.v. ting; Schlyter s.v. þing; Sunde 2005, 83−85; Tamm and Vogt, eds, 2016, 22−24, 300.

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

  • http://www.dhi.ac.uk/lmnl/nordicheadword/displayPage/6164