To shed light on questions pertaining to the similarities and differences between kennings in Old English and in the Poetic Edda, a survey is undertaken of the density of kenning use in the two corpora. The likeliest conclusion to be drawn from a comparison of findings is that the two poetic traditions are rather similar in regard to kenning use. In both traditions, kennings are notably simpler and less riddle-like than in skaldic poetry, though the Edda contains a few kennings of sufficient complexity to suggest skaldic influence. Although kennings, on average, occur more frequently in Old English, the incidence is broadly similar to that in the Poetic Edda. Kennings are not uncommonly explained by the use of variation (apposition) in Old English, but less commonly in the Edda , although the difference does not specifically suggest discrepant attitudes toward kenning use in the two traditions, since variation is rare in the Edda under all circumstances. Although the possibility of the influence of one tradition upon the other cannot be ruled out, the similarities, in the main, are probably best explained as the result of common inheritance. This explanation garners support from the number of instances in which more or less precise cognate kennings appear in the two bodies of literature.