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Article Title

Norse "Loki" as Praxonym

Abstract

The still debated Old Norse theonym Loki is projected against the wide semantic field of the ON verb lúka "to close", not, as current scholarship would have it, as relevant to Ragnarǫk and the closing down of the divine world but in its judicial applications to successfull negotiated outcomes. The ingenious Loki, the bearer of a praxonym, would then be the inventive Fixer. While this aspect is well illustrated in tales of Loki's ruses and expedients, a more archaic figure emerges when Loki is associated with the reconstructed Indo-European verbal root *lok- "to accuse, blame, prohibit" (cf. Old Frisian lakia, Old Norse "to blame"). The early Loki is first and foremost the Blamer (most evident in Lokasenna) and as such represents one dimension of the putative Indo-European poet of praise and blame.