The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide
 The Speech of the Masked One
Codex Regius
MS No. 2365 4to  [R]
Arnamagnæan Codex
AM 748 I 4to [A]
1954 Guðni Jónsson
Normalized Text:

Hetomc Grímnir,
hetomc Gangleri,
Herjann ok Hjálmberi,
Þekkr ok Þriði,
Þunðr ok Uðr,
Helblindi ok Hár.  

Hætumz Grímnir,
hætumz Ganglæri,
Herjann ok Hjálmberi,
Þekkr ok Þriði,
Þuðr ok Uðr,
Herblindi ok Hár.  
46. Hétumk Grímnir,
hétumk Gangleri,
Herjann ok Hjálmberi,
Þekkr ok Þriði,
Þuðr ok Uðr,
Herblindi ok Hár.
Additional variants of these names appear in manuscripts of Snorri's Edda, Gylfaginning 20, which quotes Grímnismál 46-49:

Ganglari W, Gangari r,
heriann UW757,
English Translations
1797 Amos Simon Cottle
in Icelandic Poetry
The Song of Grimnir
1866 Benjamin Thorpe
in Edda Sæmundar Hinns Frôða
The Lay of Grimnir

XLV. When in the nations I am seen,
Mortals who to my fanes convene
Shall hail me with a thousand names,

[1] "Shall hail &c." --- The names of Odin are the following: Grimer, Gangler, Herian, Hialmber, Theccer, Thrid, Thud, Uder, Helblind, Harr, Sader, Snipal, Sann-getal, Herteiter, Hnicarr, Bileyger, Bal-eyger, Baulvercer, Fiolner, Grimar, Grimner, Glapsuid, Fiolsuid, Sithaviter, Sidsceggar, Sigfander, Henikuder, Alfander, Valfander, Atrid, Farmat, Jale, Rialer, Vider, Osci, Omi, Jafnhar, Biflinder, Gondler, Harbard, Suidur, Suidner, Ygger, Thunder, Vacer, Hropter, Gauten, Jalcer, Ofner, Suafner.  

46. I am called Grim,
I am called Gangleri,
Herian and Hjalmberi,
Thekk and Thridi,
Thund and Ud,
Helblindi and Har,

1871 Frederic G. Bergmann
Dits de Grimnir
"Grimnir's Poem"
1908 Olive Bray
in Edda Saemundar
The Sayings of Grimnir
  46. On m'a nommé Masqué, on m'a nommé Piétonneur,
Aime-Troupe, et Porte-Casque,
Agréable, et Troisième, Corneur, et Ventant,
Ténébreux-comme-Hel, et Sublime;

One called me Masked (Grîmr) one called me Pedestrian (Gangraðr),
Likes-Troops (Herian), and Carries-Helmet (Hiâlmberi),
Pleasant (Þekkr), and Third (Þrîði), Trumpeteer (Þuðr) and Blowing (Uðr),
Dark-as-Hel (Helblindi), and Sublime (Hâr);
49. They have called me Hood- winker, called me Wanderer,
Helm-bearer, Lord of the Host,
Well-comer, Third Highest, Wave, and Slender,
High One, Dazzler of Hel.


1923 Henry Bellows
in The Poetic Edda
Grimnismol: The Ballad of Grimnir
1962 Lee M. Hollander
in The Poetic Edda
The Lay of Grimnir
  46. Grim is my name,  Gangleri am I,
Hergan and Hjalmberi,
Thekk and Thrithi, Thuth and Uth,
Helblind and Hor;

47. Grim(68) is my name, and Gangleri,(69) Herjan(70) and Hjalmberi, (71)
 Thekk (72) and Thrithi,(73) Thuth and Uth, Helblindi and Har.(74)

68) Grim is short for Grimnir (see the Prose above). A number of the following names cannot be satisfactorily explained.
69) "The Way-Weary." 
70) "War God" (?).
71) "Helm-Bearer." 
72) "The Welcome One."
73) "The Third," (with Har, below, and Jafnhar in St. 50). This trinity seems to betray Christian influence.
74) "One-Eyed"; but, as evidenced by Jafnhar, "Equally High" (St. 50), the name was at an early time confused with the homonymous word meaning "high."
1967 W. H. Auden & P. B. Taylor
in The Elder Edda
The Lay of Grimnir
1969 Patricia Terry
in the The Elder Edda
  My name is Grim, my name is Gangleri,
Herjan and Hjalmberi,
Thekk and Thridi, Thund and Ud,
Helblindi and Har.

My name is Grim, my name is Gangleri,
Herjan and Hjalmberi,
Thekk and Thridi, Thund and Ud,
Helblindi and Har.


1996/2014 Carolyne Larrington
in The Poetic Edda
Grimnir’s Sayings
2011 Ursula Dronke
in The Poetic Edda, Vol. III:
Mythological Poems 
“The Lay of Grimnir”
  46. I am called Mask,* I am called Wanderer,
Warrior and Helm-wearer,
Known and Third, Thund and Ud,
Hellblind and High;

*Odin reckons up a long list of names by which he is known. Some have meanings, others are obscure.

46. I was called Mask,
I was called Much-Travelled,
War Lord and Helm Wearer,
Well Informed and third Man,
Slender and Sword,
Hell Blind and Blind Eye,

2011 Andy Orchard
The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore
'The Lay of Grimnir"
2015 Jackson Crawford
in The Poetic Edda
The Words of Odin in Disguise"
  46. ‘I am called Battle-mask, I am called Wanderer,
War-lord and Helm-bearer,
Knowing and Third,
Thund and Ud,
Hel-blind and High,
I have called myself Grim,
I have called myself
Warrior and Helm-Wearer,
Famed One and Third,
Thunder and Wave,
Hel-blind and One-eye


After having given a veiled description of the cosmos and the path of Valhall, Odin unmasks himself, revealing his true identity for the first time. He does so by providing a list of his alternate names, beginning with Grimnir, the "Masked One", the eponyous subject of the poem: Grímnismál. Although his identity has remained concealed, his name has recurred again and again throughout his recitation. At this point in the poem, the name Odin has been uttered six times. Hereafter it is heard 3 more times, for a total of 9.

Rasmus Anderson (1872) Endnotes to the Younger Edda:
          "What the etymology of all these names is, it is not easy to tell. The most of them are clearly Norse words, and express the various activities of their owner. It is worthy of notice that it is added when and where Odin bore this or that name (his name was Grimnir at Geirrod's, Jalk at Asmund's, etc.), and that the words sometimes indicate a progressive development, as Thund, then Ygg, and then Odin. First he was a mere sound in the air (Thund), then he took to thinking (Ygg), and at last he became the inspiring soul of the universe.
        Although we are unable to define all these names, they certainly each have a distinct meaning, and our ancestors certainly understood them perfectly. Har = the High One; Jafnhar = the Equally High One; Thridi = the Third; Alfather probably contracted from Alda-foðr = the Father of the Ages and the Creations; Veratyr = the Lord of Beings; Rognir = the Ruler (from regin); Goð (Gautr, from gjotu, to cast) = the Creator, Lat. Instillator; Mjotud = the Creator, the word being allied to Anglo-Saxon meotod, metod, Germ. Messe?; and means originally cutter; but to cut and to make are synonymous. Such names as these have reference to Odin's divinity as creator, arranger and ruler of gods and men.
        Svid and Fjolsvid = the swift, the wise; Gangleri, Gangrad and Vegtam = the wanderer, the waywont; Vidrir = the weather-ruler, together with serpent-names like Ofnir, Svafnir, etc., refer to Odin's knowledge, his journeys, the various shapes he assumes. Permeating all nature, he appears in all its forms.
          Names like Sidhott = the slouchy hat; Sidskegg = the long-beard; Baleygr = the burning-eye; Grimnir = the masked; Jalk (Jack) = the youth, etc., express the various forms in which he was thought to appear,— to his slouchy hat, his long beard, or his age, etc.
           Such names as Sanngetal = the true investigator; Farmatyr = the cargo-god, etc., refer to his various occupations as inventor, discoverer of runes, protector of trade and commerce, etc.
            Finally, all such names as Herfather = father of hosts; Herjan = the devastator; Sigfather = the father of victory; Sigtyr = god of victory; Skilfing = producing trembling; Hnikar = the breaker, etc., represent Odin as the god of war and victory. Oski = wish, is thus called because he gratifies our desires. "
Jere Fleck, Odin's Self-Sacrifice Part II, 1971:
"We must understand that the text was not intended to provide a clear, concise first source of information-but rather, a poetic presentation based on well-known mythical 'fact'. The artistic effectiveness of such a text must depend to a large extent on replacing pedestrian directness with literary fancy. The discovery that one and the same person, place or thing is referred to under many different names should not be surprising. If our text were skaldic verse, we would accept such polyonymy simply as the poet's method of satisfying the strict metric demands of his chosen form. ...The religious decoding of the relevant textual corpus therefore depends largely on establishing the identities obscured by polyonymy. " —Jere Fleck, 1971.
A God by Any Other Name
"I am called..."
Grímnir:  "the masked one". A name for Odin in Grímnismál 46 & 47 and the Prose Introduction, Þórsdrápa 4, Húsdrápa, Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld's lausavísur, Rögnvaldr kali Kolsson's lausavísur, and the þular
Gangleri:  "way-weary", "road-weary",  "the one tired from walking (?)" A name for Odin in Grimnismal 46 and in the þular. Snorri also says that Gylfi who comes to the gods (Gylfaginning 2) is called Gangleri, but he is definitely not identical with Odin. The name Gangleri is clearly connected with Odin's role as a solitary wanderer. [R. Simek]
Herjann:  "lord", "army commander". A frequent name for Odin (Völuspá 30, Grímnismál 46, Gúðrunarkviða 1, 19, Krakumál 29, Islendingadrápa 11 in Einarr Skálaglamm; in the þular, in Snorri, Gylfaginning 2). Herjann is a very old formation with the -ana suffix. Herjann as a name points to Odin's function as a leader of the einherjar, the Wild Hunt (already mentioned by Tacitus as an army of the dead of the Harii) and therefore is probably a very old cult name for the god. [R. Simek]
Hjálmberi: "helmet-bearer". A name for Odin in Grímnismál 46 and in the þular. Snorri mentions that Odin wears a golden helmet (Gylfaginning 50, Skaldskaparmal 17).
Þekkr: "the well-liked one". A name for Odin in Grímnismál 46 and in the þular. A dwarf-name in Völuspá 12 and in the þular. (R. Simek). From þekkr, adj. agreeable, pleasant, liked [Cleasby-Vigfusson]
Þriði: 'the third". A name of Odin in Grímnismál 46 and in Þórsdrápa 2. In Gylfaginning, þriði is a member of the otherwise unknown trinity Hárr, Jafnhárr, and þríði, two of which are known names of Odin.
Þuðr: see þunnr, "thin", poët. form, þuðr, þuðrar, þuðri [Cleasby-Vigfusson].
A line over the u in the Codex Regius manuscript makes the reading Þunðr possible.  
Þunðr, m. gen. Þundar; [prob. akin to Engl. thunder?]. 
Uðr, also Unnr: "wave". A name of Odin in Grímnismál 46. A variant of Auðr, the name of Jord's (Earth's) brother in Gylfaginning 10, who is best identifed as Njord there. The name of one of Aegir's nine daughters (Skaldskaparmal 22 and 58), [R. Simek]. 
Helblindi: "the blind one of Hel", (R. Simek). A name for Odin in  Grímnismál 46 in the Codex Regius manuscript. A name of one of Loki's two brothers according to the Younger Edda.
Herblindi: "one who binds his enemies". A name for Odin in the þular and as a manuscript variant in AM 748 of Helblindi in the Codex Regius mss. in Grímnismál 46. This appears to be the original reading. According to Ynglingasaga 6, Odin could make his enemies blind and deaf in battle. [R. Simek]
Hárr: "High", "the High one". The meaning "the High one" is substantiated by the forms höll Háva, "the High one's hall", (Hávamál 109, 111, 164). The meaning Har, "the grey haired one" is secondary. The possible reading Hár "blind" could indicate his status as the one-eyed god. [R. Simek]