From Scotland we move to Ireland, where Colm Ó Caomhánaigh from Dublin is compiling a Dictionary of Bird Names in Irish. He writes:
Reading W.B. Lockwood’s The Oxford Dictionary of British Bird Names (Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-866196-7) inspired me to look into the meaning and origin of bird names in Irish. I do not speak Irish, though I learned it at school like everyone else. Most of my research on the bird names has been through the dictionaries and other books noted in the texts. I am hoping to get access to some older dictionaries which may yield more results.
I have organised my information into a dictionary form and would be very pleased to hear opinions on the theories. In particular, in the Irish-English section I have tagged with an * names for which I have no probable explanation – many of them the more common names which have probably changed most over the years. The pictures are my own.
Well, I say “is compiling,” but the latest update is from 25 February 2002, so it may be fair to say this is an ex-project (having kicked the bucket, shuffled off the mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible), but it’s still a nice thing to know about. Thanks, Bathrobe!