Foclóir Stairiúil na Gaeilge.

Éanna Ó Caollaí reports for the Irish Times on an excellent lexicographical project:

Manuscripts chronicling medieval Irish history, oral material collected with the earliest recording devices and a 1607 account of the Flight of the Earls are among an extensive range of resources that will be drawn upon to complete the most comprehensive dictionary of Irish material produced over the last 400 years. Work on the project to create ‘Foclóir Stairiúil na Gaeilge’ (Historical Dictionary of Irish) will be funded for the next five years by a €920,000 Government grant. The funding will help complete the dictionary and will be used to strengthen a seven-strong team of lexicographers and researchers already working on the project at the Royal Irish Academy.

One of the most ambitious linguistic research projects to be undertaken in the history of the State, the corpus already consists of over 3,000 texts and 19 million words which are freely accessible online. Dictionary editor Charles Dillon says the funding, announced by Minister of State for the Irish Language Seán Kyne, will help lay a foundation for the next phase of the project which will see the inclusion of audio recordings made in Gaeltacht areas during the first decades of the last century. […] It will chart the morphological, contextual, and semantic development of words which will give a greater insight into Ireland’s language and culture during the period. “The easiest comparison is with the Oxford English Dictionary,” says Dillon. […]

One example he cites is the word ‘nasc’. Irish speakers who use the internet will be familiar with the use of the word which translates into English as ‘hyperlink’. Nasc describes the everyday action online that allows the reader to access material by clicking or tapping. Fewer will be aware of the origin of the word which in the past referred to a collar or necklace worn by warriors to indicate their allegiance in battle. “That is an example of the development of the language over some 2,000 years where it was once used in an ancient context but is now used to describe something very modern.”

Here’s the dictionary website, with links to the corpus and other things. Thanks, Trevor!


  1. John Cowan says

    Hurrah! Irish today, Arabic tomorrow! (Still hoping Lameen will be tapped as Editor in Chief.)

  2. From your mouth to the ear of the God of Lexicography.

  3. Maybe President Trump can appoint United States Secretary for the English Language

  4. John Cowan says

    Not without Congressional approval he can’t, at least if this is to be a Cabinet-level position.

  5. Royal Irish Academy

    Exactly which king?

  6. Ruaidhrí Ó Conchobhair, I hope.

  7. “Nasc” is also known because Tolkien thought he’d come up with nazg, the Black Speech word for ‘ring’, by cryptomnesizing (?) the Scottish spelling nasg ‘id.’.

  8. David Marjanović says

    Huh, it’s still called “Royal”?

    Reminds me of interwar Germany, where everything continued to be called “Imperial” (Reichs-); that was even extended the office of president. Austria switched to “Federal” (Bundes-) right away; Germany only followed suit in 1945.

  9. Russia has lots of Soviet names and titles still hanging on and it doesn’t look they would disappear any time soon.

    For example, full official name of the chief military academy in Russia runs as follows: Order of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, Order of Zhukov, Frunze Combined Arms Academy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

    One could get an impression that Russia was still Communist….

  10. Jen in Edinburgh says

    All-Ireland, although the headquarters are in Dublin. But Royal charters issued to (Southern) Irish institutions while they were part of the United Kingdom apparently stand until/unless altered by the Irish parliament, as the UK privy council no longer has power over them.

    I find ‘stairiuil’ odd – is it just ‘historical’ with half the sounds taken out? Scottish Gaelic would have ‘eachdraidheil’.

  11. The –úil part is just an adjectival ending; stair is from Latin historia.

  12. Jen in Edinburgh says

    Still mildly odd, then, as I thought that Latin borrowings into Gaelic were mostly ecclesiastical 😉
    But ‘historia’ has been borrowed enough that the coincidence isn’t really surprising.

    (And -uil turns out to be pre-reform -amhail, although -u is pre-reform (and Scottish Gaelic) -achadh – so not quite as close as I thought it might have been!)

  13. As for eachdraidh, according to MacBain (1911) it’s “from E. Ir. prep. echtar, without, *ekstero, W. eithr, extra; Lat. extra, externus; from ex.”

  14. I thought that Latin borrowings into Gaelic were mostly ecclesiastical

    Not really: Old Irish agairc ‘agaric,’ acuit ‘acute accent,’ adiec(h)t(a) ‘adjective,’ ocían ‘ocean,’ asal ‘ass, donkey,’ etc. etc.

  15. PlasticPaddy says
    I had thought of eachtra as an adventure and find the derivation from “outing” a tad implausible. I can only conclude that Gaelic weather must have been more extreme then than now.

  16. I too wasn’t convinced by the derivation from “outing,” but that’s the only etymology I ran across.

  17. Jen in Edinburgh says

    Hang on, without or outwith? 🙂

    I mean, are we talking about going outside of something (which makes a kind of sense), or just not having it?

  18. J.W. Brewer says

    I believe the fixed expression “kiss my royal Irish ass” retains some currency even in the 21st century among Irish-Americans of generally non-royalist political views. I’m not sure even the Dail has jurisdiction to alter that one.

  19. J.W. Brewer says

    Separately, even this many generations after the end of royal authority in non-Northern Ireland, if you want to practice as a barrister in the Republic of Ireland’s courts, you need to be qualified via The Honorable Society of King’s Inns (alias Cumann Onórach Óstaí an Rí). The English-wiki article notes the historical oddity of preserving the “Honorable” spelling when “Honourable” would now be standard in the relevant context, but doesn’t discuss what you’d think would be the larger onamastic oddity.

  20. John Cowan says

    Royal charters issued to (Southern) Irish institutions while they were part of the United Kingdom apparently stand until/unless altered by the Irish parliament

    The same is true of the U.S., where a great many of our land titles rest on royal grants. The Gardiner family’s claim to Gardiners Island rests on a royal patent issued by Charles I in 1639; the current Lady of the Manor, Alexandra Gardiner Creel, is the 17th. All other royal land grants have changed hands, but not this one. On the institutional side, the College of William and Mary received letters patent personally from those amiable monarchs in 1693; most other pre-Revolutionary universities have provincial charters issued in the name of the Crown.

  21. It’s not as surprising that legal instruments survive a change of government as it is that the names of institutions do. Even after country X becomes independent from country Y, the people of X still want to know that they still have the same houses, furniture, companies, debts, professional qualifications, slaves etc that they did before independence day.
    (Indeed, in some historical cases, that has been one of the main reasons for them to desire independence, if they suspected the government of Y of having, what’s the phrase, “excited domestic insurrections among us”.)
    But it’s odd for “Royal” to survive the departure of the actual monarchy unless (as in Malaysia) it’s been replaced with another one. There’s also a Royal Irish Academy of Music.

  22. January First-of-May says

    Exactly which king?

    Given the 1785 foundation date, the king was presumably George III – as it happens, the last King of Ireland (in personal union under Great Britain) before the kingdom was officially folded into Great Britain in 1801.

  23. Royal names in the Republic of Ireland. The Royal Curragh Golf Club dropped “Royal” in 1922 and restored it in 2013. The “Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland” lost its royal warrant in the 1850s — it was notorious for challenging the Royal Yacht Squadron’s exclusive civilian right to use the White Ensign — and soon went extinct but the name was revived maybe 10 years ago for a new club based in the same town.

    The most recent amendment of a royal charter was the The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Charters Amendment) Act 2003. Public acts of the Oireachtas no longer bother with preambles; I guess private acts still need them in some lawyer’s opinion:-

    WHEREAS the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland was incorporated by Charter or Letters Patent dated the 11th day of February 1784 and granted by His late Majesty King George the Third:

    AND WHEREAS the said Charter or Letters Patent were duly surrendered and by Charter or Letters Patent dated the 13th day of September 1828 granted by His late Majesty King George the Fourth certain persons therein named and such other persons as should from time to time be elected in the manner therein directed were incorporated into one body politic and corporate which should at all times thereafter consist of a President, Vice-President and Commonalty and should be called by the name of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland:

    AND WHEREAS by Supplemental Charter or Letters Patent dated the 11th day of January 1844 and granted by Her late Majesty Queen Victoria the Charter of 1828 was amended and partly repealed:

    AND WHEREAS by a further Supplemental Charter or Letters Patent dated the 31st day of October 1883 and granted by Her late Majesty Queen Victoria certain amendments were made to the Charter of 1828 and the Charter of 1844:

    AND WHEREAS by a further Supplemental Charter or Letters Patent dated the 23rd day of May 1885 and granted by Her late Majesty Queen Victoria certain further amendments were made to the Charter of 1844:

    AND WHEREAS by The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Charter Amendment) Act 1965 amendments were made to the Charter of 1828, the Charter of 1844 and the Charter of 1885 in order inter alia to ensure that the said College would enjoy charitable status:

    AND WHEREAS it is expedient in order to provide for certain matters relating to membership, governance, administration, discipline and other matters necessary for the efficient management of the body politic that certain further amendments be made to the Charter of 1828, the Charter of 1844, the Charter of 1883, the Charter of 1885 and the Act of 1965 as provided herein:

    AND WHEREAS it is expedient and proper that the jurisdiction, power and authorities and discretion of the Council of the College be confirmed:

    AND WHEREAS the said amendments cannot be effected without the authority of the Oireachtas.


  24. Prussia is long gone, and there are no Prussian kings for even longer, but the Prussian Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur still exists.

  25. John Cowan says

    Let’s not forget K.M.R.I.A., though when that was written Ireland was stilll a monarchy.

  26. See J.W. Brewer above (August 29, 2019 at 11:04 am).

  27. August 29, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I use anchors as I can never remember whether post times are localised and I don’t want people to trace me to Eucla

  28. So is a “nasc” what we call a neck torc? I had not known the pattern of construction reflected tribal allegiance or identity.

  29. J.W. Brewer says

    British monarchs are not the only ones relevant to U.S. real estate. For example, there are still occasional disputes in New Mexico about the alleged ongoing legal effects of land grants originally made in the name of his late Most Catholic Majesty Ferdinand VII. Well into the late 20th century and maybe still, real estate disputes in the U.S. Virgin Islands occasionally required examination of the pre-1917 chain of title governed by Danish law although I don’t know how much direct input the various Danish monarchs may have had into who owned what.

  30. And let’s not forget Norton I, by the grace of God, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.

  31. J.W. Brewer says

    Some 20 years ago I had occasion to have considerable professional dealings with an essentially delusional fellow whose theories about why my (UK-based) client had done him and his friends wrong included a creative-to-incomprehensible exegesis of the Jay Treaty of 1794. I have yet to come across someone relying on the legal efficacy of a charter promulgated by the late Emperor Norton, but I guess I ain’t retired yet, so the possibility remains open …

  32. Some old soldiers may die but they never fade away. The Royal Irish Regiment was disbanded by the Free State in about 1921 only to reemerge in 1990-something when a bunch of regiments (Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Ulster Thingamebobs etc.) were being downsized and squished together – this time in London. It’s still going, just run by the Ministry of Defence now. Same with the Irish Guards of course. I just watched an affecting BBC programme about someone’s grandfather who’d enlisted in the Royal Irish Regiment in 1914 in a rather attractive place on the coast of Co Waterford where he’d grown up (it still has no hideous new housing like they seem to have put up nearly everywhere else in Ireland) in order to kill Huns and Turks, which he did in France & Salonica, only to then be whisked back to Dublin after the Easter rising in 1916, so he could kill his own naughty fellow countrymen. That must have really annoyed him, because he returned his medals and joined the IRA as a lieutenant in 1919. (Then in 1922 he was unemployed. He got a job as a fireman shovelling coal on a ship from Barry in Wales to Argentina: 4 hours on, 4 hours off, without end, for weeks. I can’t imagine that. No time off in Argentina, the ship returned the next day to Wales and two days later he died of a heart attack, poor sod. He was in his twenties. There’s a pic at the link. He looks exhausted.)

  33. “The Royal Irish Regiment was disbanded by the Free State in about 1921”

    It was disbanded by the UK in 1922. The Free State did not have or want the authority to do so; as long as the British Army left the country it could reorganise itself however it pleased.

  34. John Cowan says

    Jay Treaty of 1794

    Article III of that treaty reaffirms Article VIII of the Treaty of Paris on the subject of free navigation of the Mississippi, declaring that it “from its source to the ocean shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great Britain and the citizens of the United States.” It’s true that the Pinckney Treaty with Spain of the following year contains this sentence in Article IV: “His Catholic Majesty has likewise agreed that the navigation of the said River in its whole breadth from its source to the ocean shall be free only to his subjects and the citizens of the United States, unless he should extend this privilege to the subjects of other powers by special convention.” It is far from clear, however, that a treaty with His Catholic Majesty should override the existing treaty rights of the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, especially sub silentio. It’s noteworthy that the United States has no directly reciprocal obligation here.

    Nothing has ever been said about this right in any other treaties, so I conclude that a subject of H.B.M., or possibly even a citizen of Ireland or a Commonwealth citizen, still retains the right to sail or steam from any of the distributaries of the Father of Waters all the way to Lake Itasca in Minnesota without hindrance from the U.S. or its customs and immigration regulations. (Reasonable and necessary regulation of navigation would be another matter, as would the question of docking anywhere along the 2300 miles / 3700 km of the river’s anfractuosities.

    Article III of the Jay Treaty also allows Indians to freely cross the border from Canada into the U.S. (customs regulations do apply here) for whatever purposes they like, to stay as long as they like, and making them immune to deportation, all provided they can prove a 50% blood quantum; this right was affirmed by Congress in 1965.

  35. [The Royal Irish Regiment] “was disbanded by the UK in 1922. The Free State did not have or want the authority to do so; as long as the British Army left the country it could reorganise itself however it pleased.”

    That’s a good point. I can’t imagine the Americans having to tolerate a Royal United States Regiment in 2019, but as you say the Free State didn’t have or want authority over the Royal Irish Regiment and its disbanding. They never envisaged the British Army reassembling a Royal Irish Regiment seventy years later. As any pop group will tell you it’s a big mistake to lose control of your name.

  36. There was funny case with Peter the Great’s regimental names. In 1722, Peter the Great invaded Persia and annexed large chunk of it. And the Russian regiments stationed in occupied Persia received Persian names – Astrabad regiment, Girkan regiment, Zenzili regiment, Mazanderan regiment, Shirwan regiment, Astara regiment, Resht regiment, etc.

    After a while, it turned out that Russian forces in Persia had catastrophically high death rates due to widespread malaria and other local diseases and eventually Russia returned annexed provinces back to Persia.

    In 1730s, Shah Nadir of Persia asked Russia to rename Russian regiments which still bore Persian names. Apparently it was felt that this constituted a kind of veiled claim on those provinces.

    Russia obliged and the regiments were renamed once again. Astrabad infantry regiment became Apsheron infantry regiment (after Apsheron peninsula in Azerbaijan), Zenzili regiment became Astrakhan regiment, Girkan regiment – Sulak infantry regiment, Resht regiment – Caspian regiment and Mazanderan regiment became Stavropol regiment.

  37. John Cowan says

    Royal United States Regiment

    The Royal American Regiment was raised in 1756 to protect British North America from the French and their Indian allies. Some of the recruits were colonists, but most came from Britain, and the officers as well as many men were Germans and Swiss, who hopefully understood forest warfare as British regular officers did not. This made it more a foreign legion than a colonial regiment.

    The Royal American fought throughout the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indian War here), the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and finally the Peninsular War. In 1815 the name was changed to the Duke of York’s Own Rifle Corps, then to the King’s Rifle Corps in 1830. Its institutional successor today is the 2nd Battalion of The Rifles; its most recent deployment was in the Iraq War.

    To be sure, “American” is much less definite than “United States”.

  38. That was the Second French and Indian War. I remember that, since every American history class I took as a kid mentioned that war, but with never any indication of what the First French and Indian War would have been. I only learned the answer when I took European history, that it was the North American manifestation of the War of the Austrian Succession.

  39. the North American manifestation of the War of the Austrian Succession

    But what good came of it at last? quoth little Peterkin.

  40. To be sure, “American” is much less definite than “United States”.

    Right (also because Canada). I didn’t know the French & Indian was another telling of the Seven Years’.

    With a bit of luck, the British army will soon have shrunk to one mounted regiment of people in (fake) bearskins who can be rented out to weddings and funerals.

  41. Oh yes, hence Macaulay’s characterization of Frederick of Prussia: “The evils produced by his wickedness were felt in lands where the name of Prussia was unknown; and in order that he might rob a neighbor [Maria Theresa of Austria] whom he had promised to defend, black men fought on the Coast of Coromandel [the coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the southeast of India], and red men scalped each other by the Great Lakes of North America.”

  42. And he wouldn’t have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for the wretched Peter III of Russia, who worshiped Frederick and used his brief time as tsar (before he was deservedly assassinated) to withdraw the Russian troops that had been about to crush him. No Peter, no Hitler!

  43. No Hitler, no Fawlty Towers.

  44. David Marjanović says

    Let bygones be bygones. We’ve had our revenge for Hradec Králové, we’re good *toothy grin*…

  45. January First-of-May says

    on the Coast of Coromandel [the coast of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the southeast of India]

    I first encountered the placename “Coast of Coromandel” in The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo, and thought it was just another silly-sounding name that Edward Lear came up with, like the Gromboolian Plain or the Bay of Gurtle.

    As such, I was extremely surprised to find out that it was, in fact, a completely real place in India. Which admittedly made sense with the obviously colonial setting…

    (Alas, I have no idea to what extent does the flora and fauna depicted in Lear’s poem match the real geography of Tamil Nadu and/or Andhra Pradesh. Though I suspect that those places probably don’t actually have any Bong trees.)

    …Incidentally, in a hilarious case of apparent sheer coincidence, a 2012 article by David Quantick that I found while looking up the other names in the first sentence of my reply above mentioned that “nobody <…> had ever tried to analyze [Edward Lear’s] work, scour it for <…> veiled references to the War of the Austrian Succession”.

    Which immediately made me wonder whether there were veiled references to the War of the Austrian Succession somewhere in there. After all, chances are that Lear would have been aware of Macaulay’s work, if perhaps not necessarily that specific fragment…

    (Less incidentally, and more expectedly, Olga Holownia in chapter 9 of Maps and Mapping in Children’s Literature (2017) – no link, because it was a Google Books find – listed the Coast of Coromandel among the other silly-sounding names from Lear’s works, apparently unaware that it was ever a real place.)

  46. chances are that Lear would have been aware of Macaulay’s work

    It’s a wonderful name. According to its Wiki article, Coromondel is the Dutch pronunciation of “Karimanal”, a village in the Sriharikota island in the north of Pazhavercadu (Pulecat Lake)…The land of the Chola dynasty was called Cholamandalam (சோழ மண்டலம்) in Tamil… from which the Portuguese derived the name Coromandel.

    Edward Lear (1812-88) might have heard it in several places:

    Four ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Coromandel after the Indian coast. The Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand was named after one of these ships, and the town of Coromandel, New Zealand was named after the peninsula. Coromandel Valley, South Australia, and its neighbouring suburb, Coromandel East, gain their name from the ship Coromandel, which arrived in Holdfast Bay from London in 1837 with 156 English settlers. After the ship reached the shore, some of its sailors deserted, intending to remain behind in South Australia, and took refuge in the hills in the Coromandel Valley region […] In Slovene the idiom Indija Koromandija (India Coromandel) means a land of plenty, a promised land, a utopia where “Houses are bleached with cheese and covered with cake”.

    (I don’t know whether Slovenes are always that whimsical or if they caught it from Lear.)

  47. David Marjanović says

    More likely “painted white with cheese” than “bleached with cheese”.

  48. That would make more sense. Something like a pizza that’s been cut up and reassembled as the walls of a house (as you do to make a gingerbread house). I’ve never heard of bleaching with cheese.

  49. PlasticPaddy says

    Whitewashed with cheese. Lime washes are used instead of paint where local weather conditions (e,g., corrosive sea breezes) are destructive to paint.

  50. David Marjanović says

    Thanks, that’s the word I was looking for.

  51. David Marjanović says

    I thought that Latin borrowings into Gaelic were mostly ecclesiastical

    Not really: Old Irish agairc ‘agaric,’ acuit ‘acute accent,’ adiec(h)t(a) ‘adjective,’ ocían ‘ocean,’ asal ‘ass, donkey,’ etc. etc.

    And isn’t foclóir straight from vocabularium?

  52. PlasticPaddy says

    Focal appears to be native, see
    It is true that a Latin word vocalis could have been borrowed as focal (compare vinum > O.Ir fin = modern fíon). I suspect the problem with the proposed borrowing is the long a (also the long o) in vocalis.

  53. (Alas, I have no idea to what extent does the flora and fauna depicted in Lear’s poem match the real geography of Tamil Nadu and/or Andhra Pradesh. Though I suspect that those places probably don’t actually have any Bong trees.)

    Unfortunately, probably not. The Bong tree exists, but it grows in south-east Asia and Indonesia, not in southern India.

  54. PlasticPaddy says

    Re asal, this is borrowed from Latin asellus and does not seem to be claimed to go back to Proto-Celtic. German Esel also has the l (but note old Norse has asna for the female donkey) but is borrowed from asinus (derivation from asellus is specifically ruled out, see wiktionary entry). So the l in both asal and Esel seems to be coincidental.

  55. Lars (the original one) says

    German Wikt quotes DWDS:

    (kaum aus dem gleichbed. Deminutivum lat. asellus)

    (I love Deminutivum… properly classical and in casui accusativo too. Wikt buckles and misquotes it as Diminutiv).

    But DWDS doesn’t have references or (citation needed) tags so for all we know, someone was just feeling grumpy that day. English Wikt accepts asellus as the source.

    (And while changes between n and l are common cross-linguistically, from what I understand that’s mostly when languages only have one of the phonemes. The sounds seem to have been kept well apart both in Germanic and Latin, so I think asinus > *asiluz needs special pleading).

  56. David Marjanović says

    and in casui accusativo too

    Or nominativo, seeing as it’s neuter.

    needs special pleading

    Yes. Either asinus and asellus were mixed up (the former causing E-, the latter the -l-), or aséllu(-) was borrowed as ásil(-) with vowel reduction because unstressed short e was rare at best on the Germanic side.

    (That first-syllable stress was still exceptionless is shown most dramatically by Fenster < fenestra.)

  57. And while changes between n and l are common cross-linguistically, from what I understand that’s mostly when languages only have one of the phonemes.

    In modern-day Hong Kong, many younger speakers are unable to distinguish between certain phoneme pairs such as /n/ vs. /l/ and /ŋ/ vs. the null initial[2] and merge one sound into another. Examples for this include 你 /nei˨˧/ being pronounced as /lei˨˧/, 我 /ŋɔː˨˧/ being pronounced as /ɔː˨˧/, and 國 /kʷɔːk̚˧/ being pronounced as /kɔːk̚˧/.[19]

  58. January First-of-May says

    So the l in both asal and Esel seems to be coincidental.

    I do wonder where does the respective phoneme in Russian osyol (осёл) came from…

    (Oh, right, Wiktionary says that the Balto-Slavic forms were borrowed from Germanic, presumably back when Proto-Slavic *o was still /a/.)

  59. Lars (the original one) says

    Or nominativo, seeing as it’s neuter — but notice the article dem.

    In modern-day Hong Kong — true, mergers are not rare either, going from two phonemes to one. But in the Latin / Germanic case both languages had the phonemes distinct both before and after the borrowing event.

  60. David Marjanović says

    but notice the article dem

    Dative; masculine or neuter. You were probably thinking of the accusative article den, which is exclusively masculine in the singular. (It’s also dative plural; no genders are distinguished in the plural.)

    Of course den is very often pronounced dem when a labial consonant other than /v/ follows…

  61. Lars (the original one) says

    So it’s the undeclined German noun Denominativum in the unmarked dative. Aww. Real scholars would have put dem Denominativo.

  62. David Marjanović says

    That was done into the 19th century, but not anymore. It’s down to the genitives Jesu and Christi.

  63. Stu Clayton says

    And Mariä. And Stephani (as in Stephanitag), and so for every other Catholic VIP with a Latin name.

  64. David Marjanović says

    Yeah, kinda. Tomorrow is simply Maria Geburt, an undeclined noun pile.

  65. It seems leprechaun isn’t a native Irish word; here’s the eDIL entry.

  66. Stu Clayton says

    No noun piles here: Mariä Geburt. Gemeinde St. Mariae Geburt.

    So it seems to be yet another of those delightful differences between left and right Teutophonia.

  67. David Marjanović says


    There’s a p in it, so it was always suspicious…

    left and right Teutophonia

    More likely older vs. younger.

  68. I have a friend (American) who had herself listed in a phone book as Maria Himmelfahrt. I used to fancy we could sneak into a banquet, she as Maria H. and I as her brother, Christy.

  69. I see nothing wrong with the traditional etymology < lúchorpán ‘small body (dim.)’ by methatesis, where (mutated) corp is indeed from Latin. (Insert a Trond-disclaimer here.)

    Nor do I see any connection between the rites of the Lupercalia and water (except that Rome is riverine); the cave in question was in the base of the Palatine, quite far from the Tiber. Rather the associations are with the fig (the tree that sheltered R & R) and the wolf (that suckled them). The fig-tree in question was the ficus ruminalis, which makes me wonder about the mysterious Rūmōn ‘the Tiber’ and its connection to Roma if any.

  70. David Marjanović says

    I bet rumen “throat” could mean “cave entrance”.


  1. […] Hat looks at a new project to study Irish texts and language over […]

Speak Your Mind