First of all, many thanks to Dennis for answering a question that's puzzled me
for years. I guessed there might be an english linking word, but not that it
could be so far back. I'm in the bad habit of thinking of the language and the
people as living in glorious isolation (except for latin) until Strongbow
"Knight" to me means: (a) an armed, armoured, cavalryman, and (b) someone who
is noble because he's (a). The inclusion of the word marcaig in the quotation
seems to mean it meant the same to the author. As far as I know the Irish
fought exclusivly on foot at this time, as did the English at Hastings. Looks
like they absorbed the idea from elsewhere without adopting the practice?
Marion Gunn wrote:
> >Deborah White wrote:
> >> > ... Echdruim Echriud Echrúathar trí marcaig ind rig
> >> > sin .i. a thrí ritiri. tri brathir iat.
> >> Actually, while we're on the subject of "rider", do you, or does anyone,
> >> have anything to say about the word "marcair"?
> >Dwelly appears to treat "marcair" as a variant of "marcach"
> >or "marcaiche", both roughly "horseman, rider". The Stòrdàta
> >Briathrachais Gàidhlig doesn't seem to contain "marcair" at
> >OI "marcach" (whose plural is "marcaig" as in the quotation
> >I gave above) derives from "marc" (= steed; that is, a more
> >poetic word than "ech"). "Marc" is cognate with Welsh "march"
> >and Breton "marc'h" and is found all the way back in Gaulish,
> >where "marcos" is found compounded in personal and placenames
> >such as "Marco-marus" and "Marco-magus". Further cognates
> >appear only in the Germanic branch of IE, and include Old
> >English "mearh" (= horse). Whether Celtic and Germanic
> >have preserved an old IE word lost elsewhere, or whether
> >both borrowed the word from an unknown language, is open to
> >discussion, as far as I know.
> If it means anything, I knew the word 'marcach' (marcach uasal,
> uaibhreach, óg) before learning the word 'ridire', and understood them both
> to equate to the English word 'knight' except that only the latter would
> have been used as a title, or in translating set phrases, such as 'knight
> of the realm'.
> Marion Gunn <[log in to unmask]>