Though the gloss on 'ceann mòr' that it refers to a physical
characteristic of the man is commonly repeated, there is certainly
an alternative explanation, that it corresponds with what is a
standard Scots term for the 'man at the top', 'high heid yin'. Cf
the gloss on 'sinn féin' that there is something more than
'ourselves' about it, again repeated from one non-Gael writer to
This does not of course remove the explanation that 'ceann mòr' began
as a reference to the size of the lad's head.
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At 01:36 UT today Deborah White wrote:
> > Wasn't the name of the ancestor of the Kennedys,Ceindeidig mac Lorcain,
>> supposed to mean "helmet head"? The 'eidig' part, from 'étid' - "clothe,
> > equip, arm", purportedly refers to Ceindeidig's unattractive
> > I think that famous ancestors tend to be a source of pride to people, even
>> if, or especially if, they have distinctive epithets. Certainly, many
>> important historical figures had strange nicknames, Charles the Bald, Vlad
>> the Impaler, Niall Glundub, Cobthach Coel.
>Also Malcolm Canmore (i.e. Ceann Mór = Big Head).
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