IRISH DICTIONARY ONLINE.

Man, do I wish I’d had this available when I was studying Old Irish several decades ago: the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) “is a digital edition of the complete contents of the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials.” The About page says:

Despite justified criticism, the Dictionary has been an invaluable tool to scholars and students since its publication began, and it is the most comprehensive and ambitious dictionary of the Irish language ever compiled….
The difficulties in using the paper edition are widely recognised. It contains many inconsistencies and inaccuracies… It is the result of the work of generations of scholars and this reveals itself in varying editorial approaches from fascicle to fascicle. These editorial problems are compounded by the huge chronological span covered by the Dictionary (over one thousand years), the variations in spelling in the sources, the complexity of the grammar of the language and its impact on word forms, and the lack of adequate textual editions from which to work. It would have been desirable to arrange forms and senses chronologically, thereby illustrating the historical development of the lexicon, but the problem of dating Irish texts was, and remains, huge, and the editors were no doubt correct in avoiding this hurdle.
This digital edition will ameliorate many of these problems and for the first time users will be able to make complex searches of discrete data types such as translations, citations, grammatical descriptions and sources. It is hoped that the completed work will be of use to a wide range of students and scholars interested in medieval Ireland including linguists, historians, archaeologists, and geographers, as well as those working in Modern Irish. Students and non-specialists will find it a considerable advantage to be able to find the meaning of a word they encounter in a text without having to necessarily know beforehand which headword it will be found under. Editors will be able to search for matches for words which are only partially legible in the manuscript; linguists will be able instantly to compile lists of particular forms of words.


I decided to look up Félire, a word the student frequently runs into because it’s the usual abbreviation for The Félire of Oengus mac Ongobann, a verse calendar of the saints compiled around 800 that is frequently cited, and I remember having wondered what it meant exactly and where it was from. I found:

Félire
io,m. (1 féil) a calendar, almanac: feilere (gl. computus annalis) Thes. ii 34.31. Félire (gl. codice, of an almanac) 16.39 (Bcr 32 a 1 →) = felire Thes. ii 35.31. Esp. a calendar of religious festivals, a martyrology: in titles: Feilire na náomh, Feilire i Ghormáin, O’Cl. Pref. (RC iv 354). f.¤ fírchert, Fél. Ep. 156. ní foigbe … f.¤ bas certu 148. ap. (?) rotúrsem … Félire fer nGoídel 144. Félire ro scrútus i céin ┐ acus 109.

If you click on the abbreviated source names, a pop-up box gives the full citation (Thes. is Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus: a collection of Old-Irish glosses, scholia, prose, and verse, ed. Stokes, Whitley, and Strachan, John, published by Cambridge University Press, 1901-03); if you click on the “1 féil” you get:

féil
i, f. (cf. W. gwyl), ns. fel (in (Ogham) Sg 70 a marg. feil, Thes. ii 33.30. gs. na feile LL 26 a 50 →. np. feli, Thes. ii 34.29. féli, Fél. Ep. 16. 182. (féli as as. (?) armuinter a ḟéli, Fél. Oct. 2. arricfam a ḟéli, Dec. 30. Possibly ap. though féile occurs later as sg.: go f.¤ an bháis, TSh. 4128). gp. na féle, Fel. Prol. 329. Ep. 80. ndu. dí prím-ḟéil, May 31. féil (gs. np. -i) IGT, Decl. § 14.17. Late pl. féilte, O’Hussey T.C. 160.11. Luc. Fid. 115. A festival, feast-day (almost exclusively of religious festivals): f.¤ ir-Rúaim … nóeb nEorapa uile, Fél. Ap. 20. féil sruith, Mon. Tall. §15. ind náob asa feil bís for ind láo §8. i féil máir maicc Cula, Fél. Ap. 5. ria fél Petair, MacCarthy 15.5. ier bfel Brigde TBC 2473 St = iar n-imbulc LL. féiltin Seaain (= féil tSin S.), O’Gr. Cat. 319.30. Abbott-Gwynn Cat. 363. láa feili Poil ┐ Petuir LL 309 b 33 (Cog. 227). f.¤ ghabhála Mhuire i mbroinn Feast of the Conception TSh. 3269. geimh- readh an ghalair ┐ féil an bháis 4116. ó lá ḟéle na marbh All Souls’ day FM ii 1084.15. ag congmháil láoi féile, Ps. xlii 4. pl. feriae … .i. fele, O’Mulc. 60. feili noeb n-uag SR 267. hi felib mártir LU 1856. isna sabbotib saeraib | isna felib fírnóebaib SR 4574. do bhennuccadh gach áoin onóraighfes na laithe ┐ na féilte BNnÉ 275.12. d’faghbhail na féilteagh so[cl]aecloithi the movable feasts O’Gr. Cat. 309.3. budh ainfesach cleirigh | fana feiltiph fire ZCP x 50.14. Rarely of a secular or pagan festival: atbail Moingfinn aidhchi Ṡamna … conid de garar féil Moingfinne frisin Samain icon daescursluagh BB 264 a 6 (SG 332. RC xxiv 178). feli termini feasts of Terminus (gl. terminalibus) Thes. ii 34.29.

Which not only tells me what I wanted to know (it’s from Latin vigilia) but gives me a whole bunch of citations from which I could get a complete picture of how the word is used. It’s not exactly the OED for Irish, but it sure is a treasurehouse, and I thank wood s lot for pointing me in its direction.

Comments

  1. John Emerson says:

    Please look up :cur”.
    Cur, g. curtha and cuirthe, m. – act of putting, sending, sowing, raining, discussing, burying, vomiting, hammering into the ground, throwing through the air, rejecting, shooting, the setting or clamp in a rick of turf, selling, addressing, the crown of cast iron buttons which have been made bright by contact with cliff faces, the stench of congealing badgers suet, the luminence of glue-lice, a noise made in a house by an unauthorised person, a heron’s boil, a leprachauns denture, a sheep biscuit, the act of inflating hare’s offal with a bicycle pump, a leak in a spirit level, the whine of a sewage farm windmill, a corncrakes clapper, the scum on the eye of a senile ram, a dustmans dumpling, a beetles faggot, the act of loading every rift with ore, a dumb man’s curse, a blasket, a ‘kur’, a fiddlers occupational disease, a fairy godmothers father, a hawks vertigo, the art of predicting past events, a wooden coat, a custard-mincer, a blue-bottles ‘farm’, a gravy flask, a timber-mine, a toy craw, a porridge mill, a fair day donnybrook with nothing barred, a stoats stomach-pump…. broken-

  2. Heh. There actually are a whole bunch of meanings:
    1 act of putting, placing; setting up, etc. in a wide variety of contexts…
    2 In figura etymologica…
    3 act of throwing, casting…
    4 act of letting go, discarding…
    5 In a variety of idioms with prepp. (only a small selection can be given from a very wide range, especially where the later lang. is concerned): c.¤ lame ardodced getting involved in misfortune, … dom char ort, DDána 90.12 ‘commending me to thee’… cur chuca ‘interfere with them’… atá an chruinne dom chur (v.l. ) dhí is discarding me… ag cur do chum an bhaile do ghabhail attempting… cur ré tuicsin cumacht an Airdrig to attempt to understand… decair c.¤ ré draoidheacht ndéin contend with… ar c.¤ hi far selbad-si ‘putting ourselves into your possession’… cara im cheann to oppose me… dia c.¤ i cóic dividing it into five… a chur a gcrích uile = the whole disposing thereof… gan c.¤ le gan laghdugadh without addition… do ch.¤ súlae taris ‘to cast my eyes over it ‘…
    6 With follg. adv.: iar na chur amach . . . co ‘after it had been reported . . . that’…
    Transferred meanings.
    7 leap, twist; throw (in wrestling)…
    8 twist, coil..
    9 twist, detour, circuit in road, etc…
    10 tune, melody…
    11 In phrases: in cursa this time… den chursin `in that moment’… dind ara chur `for the second time ‘… ar ch.¤ éigin = aliquo modo, Rial. S.F. 1691 . ar éunch. at all (after neg. vb.)… ar chor oile = aliter… ar an uile ch.¤ in every way… ar gach c.¤ in every way… In phr. ar chur in the power of, at the mercy of, at the disposal of …
    Legal.
    12 contract. ‘Irish equivalent of the stipulatio of Roman law, the solemn verbal contract’, Críth Gabl. p. 81 . Freq. c.¤ bél (where bél simply limits the general meaning of cor act of putting; not properly verbal as oppd. to written contract, which does not occur in early Irish law, Thurn. ZCP xv 307-8). Later in more general sense of bond, bargain, agreement, guarantee, undertaking, etc…
    13 Later in sense surety, guarantor…
    In later lang. in various transferred and Fig. meanings.
    14 Attrib. gs. cuir. Precise meaning unknown…
    15 act of overthrowing, defeating; defeat, reverse…
    16 state, condition, plight…
    17 act of tiring; tiredness, fatigue…
    18 V. freq. in later lang. in adv. phr. car(a) (seldom c.¤) in cháemlaí (-laithi) all day long, the livelong day:…
    19 Meaning doubtful or obscure…

  3. John Emerson says:

    Must be the abridged version.

  4. Drool, or as Myles would have had it, drúthal! Thanks for the heads up!

  5. luck o the oirish…!

  6. Brilliant — follows TEI guidelines, data is stored as XML, text is encoded as UTF-8, and just to ruin it all, the Tironian et sign is represented as U+2510 ┐ BOX DRAWINGS LIGHT DOWN AND LEFT instead of U+204A TIRONIAN SIGN ET !

  7. maureen e casey says:

    Hi,
    Does anyone know the term for a group ,usually in farming, to help one another. My Mom used to say it. I know it begins with an M. The meaning may be close to” the people lived in the shelter of each other.”
    Thanks,
    Maureen

  8. maureen e casey says:

    Hi,
    Does anyone know the term for a group ,usually in farming, to help one another. My Mom used to say it. I know it begins with an M. The meaning may be close to” the people lived in the shelter of each other.”
    Thanks,
    Maureen

  9. Soon you will be notified about the promotion of my Old Celtic Dictionary. It contains primitive Celtic word entries prior to 400 A.D.

  10. Maureen, the word is Meitheal, dictionary entry here.

  11. Well done, Aidan! If my memory of how things work is correct, that would be pronounced pretty much like the English word meal.

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