A kenning is a figure of speech, or a creative twist of words that refers to a person, object, place, action, or an idea. Vague, you say? Maybe. But, please also note that the prolific use of kennings generally occurred in Old English, Norse and Germanic poetry (like in Beowulf).
Here are some examples (taken from Kennings | Literary Devices):
Some modern examples, in no particular order are:
crumb-snatcher(s): child, or children of any age that are dependent upon their parents for support, food, shelter, etc.
bookworm: a person who loves to read
tree-hugger: an environmentalist
pig-skin: a football
ankle-biter: a small child
four-eyes: a person who wears glasses
bean-counter: an accountant, or a CPA
wind racers: horses
Wolf’s joint: wrist
What are some of your favorite kennings? Do you use them in your creative projects?