What if we allowed for the possibility that 'airdech' is treated as an
o(m) word in this text?
That would give us 'the pot is on the boil'.
('Is bruth ind airdig sin'; literally. 'that is the boiling of the
This would also explain the form 'ind' rather than 'in'.
The phrase would mean that things have reached an agitated climax and
something is about to happen. (We have the same phrase in English.) The
phrase would fit here in the story because liquid has just spilled out
over the lip of the vessel in the way it would if it were boiling.
I realise that the fact that airdech is an â (f) word is something of a
stumbling block. But fluctuations in declension are not unheard of, even
if I have no other example for this particular word!
From: Old-Irish-L [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, 9 April 2005 2:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: an omen
> "All amnae," ol in druí, "brod in airigid".
> Windisch had written something in the introduction to the story
> about this phrase's being a druidic pun on the names of Conchobor's
> charioteer Brod and Gerg's servant Airidech: In part IV of the
> story, Brod throws a spear that pierces Gerg's shield, killing him
> and passing through his body to kill Airidech as well.
Windisch makes a good argument, however, that the character
"Airidech" is a later fabrication, based on a misreading:
"Dieser Diener Airidech ist eine spätere Erfindung. Er is
aus dem Worte 'airdig' in dem Satz 'Is brod ind airdig sin'
erwachsen. Wie 'brod' eine Anspielung auf 'Brod', den
Diener Conchobar's ist, so hat man nun ach zu dem 'airdig'
oder 'airidig' eine Person 'Airidig, Airidech' gedichtet."
So we do have a pun on "brod/broth" and the servant "Brod",
but originally no parallel pun on "airdech" (= vessel, cup).
The version of the sentence from LL is "brod in airigid".
The Egerton MS version is "Is broth ind airdig sin".
Windisch thinks that this is the best version ("am correctesten
überliefert zu sein scheint"). This pattern "Is XYZ (sin)"
is a well-worn one for proverbs in OI: "Is dorn imm ceó (sin)".
My only problem with the Egerton version is "ind", which I
assume is a scribal error for "in". I don't see that it
makes sense otherwise.
> Windisch goes on about the phrase for two pages [...] before
> admitting "soweit ist Alles klar, aber unsicher bleibt, wie man
> broth oder brod übersetzen soll." Oh, well ...
So, we have a proverb that may have the original form "Is broth
in airdig sin". It seems to have a foreboding or negative
meaning. (Many such proverbs are images of the the impossible,
vain or fruitless, as "Is dorn imm ceó" = It's a fistful of
mist). And it allows a pun with the personal name "Brod", the
man who puts a spear through the king immediately after the
druid utters this phrase and makes a prophecy of doom. But
we still lack the original literal and figurative sense of the
Is broth in airdig sin. = That is a "broth/brod" in a cup.
Just where Windisch left us. :-( Help!