> One of the early words for "wren" is "dreän". One of the
> "etymologies" of "dreän" offered in Sanas Cormaic, s.v.
> "dris" #475, is intriguing:
> "dreaan... no drui-en .i. en doni faitsine"
> = wren... or druid-bird, i.e. a bird that makes prophecy
> LEIA deems this to be a popular etymology, but one which was
> widely accepted. "Dreän", whose second syllable is the mark
> of the diminutive, is clearly a cognate of Welsh "dryw", a
> word which can also mean "seer".
Caroline aan de Wiel gave a paper at the Celtic Congress in Cork 99 where she argued convincingly that the wren
actually IS the druid-bird, and that the two words in various Celtic languages are identical.
By coincidence we were reading a passage of the Mabinogi "Math uab Mathonwy" in a Middle Welsh class the other
day where it was related that Aranrhod's nameless son skillfully hit a dryw = wren with a stone between the sinew of its
leg and the bone (58, 22 ff. in Mühlhausens edition of the Mabinogion). This incident led Aranrhod to call her son Lleu
Llaw Gyffes (= Lugus of the Skilled Hand) against her will.