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Subject: Re: Sith co nem 8
From: "andy m." <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 20 Jan 2007 01:12:51 -0200

text/plain (115 lines)

Neil wrote
>I still can't make acceptable sense of the first four lines without some
very courageous amendments to the readings. Any ideas?<

Here is mine for what they are worth?  Kind of been hanging back, to see what you posted.
However, I believe one significant thought may be worth posting.  The words
{la fe}and possibly{lafea}b(ra)e should be read Liffey, or less likely Aife
or Oife.
1.uich{d} a mbuaib
Uich I could not find without {d or t}ucht breast,  in Briath. Beag breast, bosom brow, side of a hill;
mbuaib,  I also couldn't find, mbuaib, 'bua" mostly related to cow and cattle, -aib ending in verbs were all 3 sg, of some 35 ceannfhocal in IDB 19 were verbs, and 13 pp, 2 nouns, 1 prep;  my best shot in the dark is it means something like cowing, calving?  "uddered from-her calving"?, or "from her calving udder-with-milk"?  "udder of a cow"?

2. Boinn a mbrú
Boinn is the Boyne, mbrú, brú: abdomen, appetite, belly, border, bowels, brink, edge, stomach, womb, so the obvious would also include pregnant, swollen, big etc?  The m-b of mbrú and mbuaib could be  important, or just pronunciation modification imposed from the proceeding word-letter, you however or more qualified to post. "From the swollen belly of the Boyne"?  The Boyne is often associated with the milkyway in Irish motifs, right?

3. bru la fefaid
If you have the Byone, then the Liffey is an obvious choice for (lafe_faid).
In  my  pronunciation: Lafe and Liffey are homophonic ; How about?{lafe}= i-lLifi  =  in, into the Liffey;  faid=noun cry, outcry, lament{ation?}.   " into (the) Liffey('s) swollen (by)tears"?"in (the) Liffey('s)  (a)womb of lamentation"?  "womb/belly in Liffey outcry"

4.[f]ossglas ia er
Following your lead [f*]oss = attendant, man-servant, remaining, rest, servant;  glass = blue, blue, green, greenish, clasp,lock; air=yes!excel,  er = great, noble. "Yes, Great!      the blue green servant / rest(ing) yes! great"  Not  a lot of sense here,  ia er has to be something else.

I see these as two couplets, 1,2 and 3,4. contrasting the Boyne1,2 and Liffey 3,4 rivers, gods personified,  what ever you can dig out of the lit.  Boinn: fat, pregnant, large breasted; or new mother milky white, over flowing with milk. A milky in color slower moving large river. Liffey,tearful servant, clear water stream (ie smaller but swifter flowing than the Boyne). Not being  particularly versed in the subject, I'll leave it to the list.

 Neil,   you now may stomp my translation ;>(} However, I'll plead to Dennis and David ;>) with apologies in the forehand
if I miss understood them.

Dennis wrote:Re: Etymology of River Liffey?  Fri, 1 Jun 2001
> Anyway, now I have to at least ask whether
> "il-Life" could somehow involve the preposition "i" (in)?
David wrote ___Re: Etymology of River Liffey? Sun, 3 Jun 2001
>Formally yes, apart from the fact that Life is feminine and in
>absolutely correct Old Irish we would expect "i lLifi", with the
>appropriate ending of a feminine ya-stem.     (But the ending -e is no
>big deal, if the text or the MS stems from a period after final vowels
>had all become schwa.)  <<

Is this the case with regard: sith conem, date wise?    (But...)    in David's text above
This is running on, but rather than looking up Dennis' and David's text, I'll
copy the last two  it here.
Somebody wrote
> I have been asked to find out the etymology of the River Liffey.
> Does anyone know?
Dennis wrote
>Seosamh Mac Muirí discusses this etymology, in Irish, in the June
>issue of the on-line magazine "Beo!", at:

The interesting twist that Mac Muirí introduces (along with a
great many odd but entertaining digressions) is a suggestion
that the by-form "il-Life" might in fact reveal a Welsh name
"Y Life" (= The Flow, Flood), based on "llif" meaning "flood,
deluge, current".

It's a little hard to tell just how serious the author really
is about this, given the playful tone of much of the article.

The by-form "Il-Life" appears in the "Fitness of Names",  which
explains the epithet in the personal name Cairbre Lifechair as:

   .i. ara mhét rochar Liphe, nó il-Liphe a mathair

 (that is, for how much he loved Liphe, or il-Liphe, his mother)

In my original response to Gareth I speculated rather freely that
the "il-" might be the prefixed adjective meaning "many, multiple":

 Playing the old-style native littérateur now, I might venture to
 guess that "il-Liphe" stands for "il-oíphe / il-oíbe / Il-Aífe",
 meaning something like "many beauties, multiple radiance", tying
 in with the goddess Aífe / Aoife (< Gaulish Esuvia ?, per O Rahilly).
 The shortening of the long vowel in "oíbe / Aífe" could be explained
 by the reduced stress in the compound, similar to the way that
 the long í in "oíb" is shortened in the compound "cammaiph" (= false
 appearance; nevertheless; < camm + oíb).

I was recently reminded of this question by "i llepaid" or "il-lepaid"
in the gloss on "imscing bic", which David discussed in Immacallam 44:
"biim i llepaid immalle fri ríg" (I am regularly in a bed with a king).
Here the "i ll-" is just an instance of regular gemination following
an unstressed preposition, similar to the "a lluachair" (from brightness)
which we encountered earlier, in Immacallam 29.  Anyway, now I have
to at least ask (myself and anyone else who has read this far!) whether
"il-Life" could somehow involve the preposition "i" (in)?

As a final note, Mac Muirí states that "Ruirthech" ("rapidly flowing",
from the intensive prefix ro- and an adjective based on the verbal stem
>reth-) was the earliest name of the river.  He doesn't cite an authority,
>but DIL attributes this to the Metrical Dindsenchas.
and the rest of David

>This is in Met. Dinds. iii 104.6 in a poem on Benn Etair (Howth).
>There it is said of Etar:
A gualú dess ri Dothra,
Ruirthech ria chness co feochra

Gwynn translates:

His right shoulder fronts the Dothra:
the Ruirthech dashes wildly against his side,

and in the commentary he says:

"Ruirthech is the older name of the Liffey. The Dothra is now the
Dodder, a little river which falls into the Liffey at Ringsend, near the

>BTW, has anyone seen the Liffey "dash"?<

I'm thinking that the text probably is relating to spring or  autumn flooding .

Hy Brasil

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