Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Some killer kennings!

In studying Beowulf, we've come across a literary trope called kennings, and my British Literature students have investigated what these are and how they work. According to Angel,
A kenning is the use of describing things as you rephrase them in an obvious way by using another noun and pointing out the actual objects without naming the actual names of the object. It's similar to a metaphor which we implicate what we want to say.
I think this is pretty much right-on. Here are some great examples of kennings from our class:

A teacher:

  • Knowledge consultant (Angela)
  • Origin of insomnia (Esther)
  • School-parent (Elaine)
  • Oppressor of students (Emmanuel)
  • Tree killer* (Tim)
  • King of boredom (Sean)
  • Boss of students (Kotomi)

A bus driver:

  • Transporter of the public (Jonathan)
  • Postman of people (Enoch)
  • Citizen's slave (Timmy)
  • Foreman of a tube (Elaine)
  • Master of transportation (Justin)
  • Monster controller (Cynthia)

A computer:

  • Brainchild of technology (Angela)
  • Brain wannabees (Andrew)
  • Pygmy secretary (Esther)
  • Brain of autism (Emily)
  • Homework answerer (Tristan)


  • Sweet poison (Linda)
  • Pain in the heart (Win Win)
  • Person warmth (Florence)
  • Jar of tears (Jane)
  • Invisible treasure (Kevin)
  • Bridge of hearts (Yalisa)


  • Gifts of killers (Beverly)
  • Master of massacre (Angel)
  • Portable volcano (Andrew)
  • China weapons (Timmy)
  • Life destroyer (Sky)
  • Exploding rain (Florence)
*Think "homework".

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