Lindworm (cognate with
Old Norse"linnormr" 'constrictor snake', Norwegian "lindorm" 'serpent', German "Lindwurm" 'dragon') in British heraldry, is a technical term for a wingless bipedal dragon. It is often shown wingless, with a poisonous bite, like the Komodo dragon.
In modern Scandinavian languages, the cognate lindorm can refer to any 'serpent' or monstrous snake, but in Norwegian heraldry, it is also a technical term for a 'seaserpent' ("sjøormer"), although it may also stand for a 'lindworm' in British heraldry.
The English term 'lindworm' sometimes refers to the
Viking Erarunic depictions of a huge horned serpent with arms, which can also be called a 'lindorm' in Scandinavian languages in the sense it is a 'serpent'. However, the technical English term and the general Scandinavian term are not equal in meaning. In the Viking Era, this creature was called a 'snake' ("ormr") or a 'dragon' ("dreki"), not a 'lindorm' ("linnormr"). (Note, the Völuspámentions a "dreki" with wings, probably resembling the ' wyvern' in British heraldry.)
Generally, the word lindworm stood for the Latin word "draco" (whence Norse "dreki"), thus could refer to any draconic creature, from a real life constrictor snake to a legendary dragon. In
European mythologyand folklore, creatures identified as a 'lindworm' may be winged or wingless, plus quadrapedal, bipedal or limbless.
Lindworms in tales
Saxo Grammaticusbegins his story about Ragnar Lodbrok, a semi-legendary king of Denmarkand Sweden, by telling of how a certain " Thora Borgarhjort" receives a cute baby lindworm, curled up inside of a casket, as a gift from her father Herrauðr, the Earlof Götaland. As the lindworm grows, it eventually encircles the hall of the Earl and takes Thora hostage, demanding to be supplied with no less than one ox a day, until she is freed by a young man in fur-trousers named Ragnar, who thus obtains the byname of "Lodbrok" ("hairy britches") and becomes Thora's husband.
In many descriptions, the lindworm is wingless, with a poisonous bite, like a poisonous
snakeor Komodo dragon.
Fafnirfrom the Norse Völsunga sagaappears in the German " Nibelungenlied" as a "lindwurm" that lived near Worms.
Another German taleFact|date=June 2008 from the 1200s tells of a lindworm that lived near
Klagenfurt. Flooding threatened travelers along the river, and the presence of a dragon was blamed. The story tells that a Duke offered a reward for anyone who could catch it, so some young men tied a bull to a chain, and when the lindworm swallowed the bull, it was hooked like a fish and killed.
In 1335, when the skull of a
wooly rhinoceroswas found in a cave nearby, it was believed to be a dragon's skull.Fact|date=June 2008 Marco Poloreported seeing lindworms on the steppes of Central Asia.Fact|date=June 2008
The shed skin of a lindworm was believed to greatly increase a person's knowledge about nature and medicine.Fact|date=June 2008
A "dragon" with the head of a "salamander" features in the legend of the
Lambton Worm. The dragon who was caught in the River Wearwhen young, and terrorized the countryside of Durham while the fisher who caught it was away at the Crusades. The villagers caught on and started leaving a sacrifice of milk for the creature, and when the fisher returned home, it was prophesied that he would be the only one who could kill it. He was given armor with bladed spikes to protect himself from the worm's crushing weight, and eventually cut its head off. Bram Stokerused this legend in his short story " Lair of the White Worm".
The sighting of a "whiteworm" once was thought to be an exceptional sign of good luck.Fact|date=June 2008
knuckeror the Tatzelwurmis a wingless biped, and often identified as a lindworm. In legends, lindworms are often very large and eat cattle and bodies, sometimes invading churchyards and eating the dead from cemeteries.Fact|date=June 2008
In the 19th-century taleFact|date=June 2008 of "Prince Lindworm" (also "King Lindworm"), from
Scandinavian folklore, a "half-man half-snake" lindworm is born, as one of twins, to a queen, who, in an effort to overcome her childless situation, has followed the advice of an old crone, who tells her to eat two onions. She did not peel the first onion, causing the first twin to be a lindworm. The second twin boy is perfect in every way. When he grows up and sets off to find a bride, the lindworm insists that a bride be found for him before his younger brother can marry. Since his bride must love him willingly and none of the chosen maidens do, he eats each new bride they bring him, this creates a slight problem for the kingdom until a shepherd's daughter who spoke to the same crone is brought to marry him. She comes wearing every dress she owns. The lindworm tells her to take off her dress, but she insists he shed a skin for each dress she removes. Eventually he is out of skin and underneath is a handsome prince. Some versions of the story omit the lindworm's twin, and the gender of the soothsayer varies.
Late belief in "lindorm" in Sweden
The belief in the reality of a "lindorm", a giant limbless serpent, persisted well into the 19th century in some parts. The Swedish
folklorist Gunnar Olof Hyltén-Cavalliuscollected in the mid 19th century stories of legendary creatures in Sweden. He met several people in Småland, Swedenthat said they had encountered giant snakes, sometimes equipped with a long mane. He gathered around 50 eyewitness reports, and in 1884 he set up a big reward for a captured specimen, dead or alive. Hyltén-Cavallius was ridiculed by Swedish scholars, and since nobody ever managed to claim the reward, it resulted in a cryptozoological defeat. Rumours about lindworms as actual animals in Småland rapidly died out (Sjögren, 1980).
Lindworm in cryptozoology
Creature_Name = Lindworm
Image_Caption = Known as a "snake" ("ormr") or "dragon" ("dreki"),
a horned serpent with two arms
was a motif on
runestones in 11th century Sweden.
This runestone is identified as U 871.
AKA = Lindworm snake, whiteworm
Country = Various
Region = Northern Europe
Status = Unconfirmed
In cryptozoology, the name "lindworm" is applied to plausible but unverified reports of a wingless bipedal dragonlike animal, perhaps related to certain species of dinosaur.
Mexican Mole Lizard, a verified species of lizard resembling a snake with two mole-like forelimbs.
[http://biology.uta.edu/herpetology/bipes/bipes1_med.jpgSee image here.]
In modern Dutch, "lintworm" refers to a kind of
tape worm("lint" means "tape").
* Sjögren, Bengt, "Berömda vidunder", Settern, 1980, ISBN 91-7586-023-6 sv icon
* [http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/snake.html#lindorm King Lindorm] , translated from: Grundtvig, Sven, "Gamle danske Minder i Folkemunde" (Copenhagen, 1854--1861).
* [http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/DanishHistory/book9.html Gesta Danorum, Book 9] by Saxo Grammaticus.
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/tml/tml35.htm A retelling of Ragnar Lodbrok's story] from "Teutonic Myth and Legend" by Donald Mackenzie.
* [http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/stgeorge3.html Saint George Legends from Germany and Poland]
* [http://runeberg.org/nfbp/0351.html Lindorm] , an article from
Nordisk Familjebok(1904-1926), a Swedish encyclopedia now in the Public Domain.
* [http://mutopiaproject.org/cgibin/piece-info.cgi?id=883 Lindormen] , a ballad in Swedish published at the
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Lindworm — (dragon bipède dénué d ailes) : anciennes armoiries bavaroises Les lindworm, appelés aussi lindorm (surtout en Norvège), lindwurm (en Allemagne), linnorm (exclusivement en Scandinavie), et dreki (« dragon ») ou ormr… … Wikipédia en Français
Lindworm — (dragón bípedo desprovisto de alas), en un antiguo escudo de armas bávaro. Los lindworm, llamados también lindorm (sobre todo en Noruega), lindwurm (en Alemania), linnorm (exclusivamente en Escandinavia) y dreki («dragón») u ormr («serpiente») en … Wikipedia Español
lindworm — noun a) A wingless bipedal dragon. b) Any draconic creature. Syn: lindorm … Wiktionary
lindworm — lind·worm … English syllables
lindworm — … Useful english dictionary
Ouïvra — Lindworm Lindworm (dragon bipède dénué d ailes) : anciennes armoiries bavaroises Les lindworm, appelés aussi lindorm (surtout en Norvège), lindwurm (en Allemagne), linnorm (exclusivement en Scandinavie), et dreki (« dragon ») ou… … Wikipédia en Français
Tatzelworm — Lindworm Lindworm (dragon bipède dénué d ailes) : anciennes armoiries bavaroises Les lindworm, appelés aussi lindorm (surtout en Norvège), lindwurm (en Allemagne), linnorm (exclusivement en Scandinavie), et dreki (« dragon ») ou… … Wikipédia en Français
Tatzelwurm — Lindworm Lindworm (dragon bipède dénué d ailes) : anciennes armoiries bavaroises Les lindworm, appelés aussi lindorm (surtout en Norvège), lindwurm (en Allemagne), linnorm (exclusivement en Scandinavie), et dreki (« dragon ») ou… … Wikipédia en Français
List of Dragonaut -The Resonance- characters — The following is a list of fictional characters from the anime and manga series Dragonaut The Resonance .Main ;nihongo|Jin Kamishina|カミシナ・ジン|Kamishina Jin anime voices|Daisuke Ono:Jin Kamishina is an 18 year old boy who lost his family in a… … Wikipedia
Wurmbrand-Stuppach — is an old noble family of Austria, and the name of the County they ruled. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Counts of Wurmbrand Stuppach gained notability in wars against the Turks in the Balkans, and Prince Eugene gained fame fighting… … Wikipedia