From Iceland — Just sayings: Að leika tveimur skjöldum

Just sayings: Að leika tveimur skjöldum

Published June 21, 2021

Just sayings: Að leika tveimur skjöldum
Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Screenshot/AC Valhalla

It doesn’t perhaps sound like a wise decision to go into battle armed only with two shields (unless you’re a Viking in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla), but it can be effective if you’re a Danish intelligence agent. The saying “Að leika tveimur skjöldum” literally translates to “to play with two shields.”

The best way to explain this is perhaps by recapping the classic film ‘Primal Fear’, where Edward Norton pretends to be mentally ill and innocent of murder, when he’s actually a calculated criminal. This saying is used often in Icelandic conversation and means that the one that is armed with two shields is deceitful and dishonest — like the Danish Defence Intelligence Service spying on their allies for the NSA. VG

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