A trope or figure of speech characteristic of Old English diction in which two separate words are put together to form a single concept: "whale-road" for sea, for example, or "earth-vault" for underground cavern, or "oar-steed" for ship.
A periphrastic compound whereby two or more nouns are used to replace another noun e.g. 'oar-steed' for ship or 'whale-road' for sea. Kenning was commonly used in Old English or Old Norse verse and is often metonymic in character.
In literature, a kenning is a compound poetic phrase, a figure of speech, substituted for the usual name of a person or thing. Kennings work in much the same way as epithets and verbal formulae, and were commonly inserted into Old English poetic lines.
a riddling reference to one item or concept which does not name it directly, but rather suggests it by the elliptical way in which the subject is spoken of, which causes the listener or reader to visualize the intended concept