LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OLD-IRISH-L Archives


OLD-IRISH-L Archives

OLD-IRISH-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OLD-IRISH-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject:
From: Charles DeVane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 12 May 2004 01:38:00 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (45 lines)


> Charles scríbas:
> 
> > I've always found the name Bealtaine to conote "a mouth of fire"
> > as in the opening between the two fires of Bealtaine.
> 
> The problem with that explanation, if you mean it by way of
> an actual etymology, is that the vowel of the first syllable
> of "Beltaine" (modern "Bealtaine", Sc.G. "Bealltainn") is
> historically short, while the vowel of "bél" (modern "béal",
> Sc.G. "beul") is always long.  A change in vowel quantity in
> a stressed syllable would be highly unusual, I think.  David
> can speak to this, if I'm mistaken.
> 
> The only exception I know to Beltaine having a short vowel
> is Keating's artificial spelling in his reprise of the Sanas
> Cormaic explanation, which is quoted from "Foras Feasa ar
> Éirinn" in DIL:
> 
>    "ón teinidh sin do-níthí i n-onóir do Bhéil ghairmthear
>    Bealltaine don fhéil uasail ar a bhfuil lá an dá apstal
>    mar atá Pilip agus Seamus; Bealltaine .i. Béilteine nó
>    teine Bhéil"
> 
> Dennis

MacBain has it: 

bealtuinn 
May-day, Irish béalteine, Early Irish beltene, belltaine, *belo-te(p)niâ 
(Stokes), "bright-fire", where belo- is allied to English bale ("bale-fire"), 
Anglo-Saxon bael, Lithuanian baltas, white. The Gaulish god-names Belenos and 
Belisama are also hence, and Shakespeare's Cym-beline. Two needfires were 
lighted on Beltane among the Gael, between which they drove their cattle for 
purification and luck; hence the proverb: "Eadar dà theine Bhealltuinn" - 
Between two Beltane fires. 

Dineen offers these alternative spellings:

Béaltaine (Meath) and Beáltaine (Connacht and Donegal)

I've also seen the spelling of Béilteine in a listing of various Irish month 
names int he different Irish language forms (i.e. Béarla na Feinne, Béarla  na 
bhFilí, Béarla  Eadarscartha, Béarla  Teibhide, and Gnáith  Bhéarla.

Searles

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OLD-IRISH-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.HEANET.IE

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager