The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018
Kenning: A type of periphrasis, or circumlocution, in which a figurative, often compound phrase is used in place of a simpler or more common term. Kennings, which tend to be both allusive and conventional, were particularly common in Old English and Old Norse poetry.
EXAMPLES: The hyphenated nouns “whale-road” and “swan-road,” used to refer to the sea in Beowulf (c. A.D. 700), are kennings, as are the phrases “storm of swords” (for “battle”) and “oar-steed” (for “ship”). Contemporary kennings include phrases such as “chicken of the sea,” “eye candy,” “gas guzzler,” “pencil-pusher,” and “tree hugger.”