Back in 2001 I asked the following and it ended there:
> By the way, does the Irish "lámdía" (= household god, idol)
> translate a Latin expression? It seems to be first attested in
> Saltair na Rann.
The passage in SR, as quoted in DIL (s.v. "lám"), is:
"tuc lea lámdeo á athar (of Rachel), SR 3016"
= she took her father's household gods with her
It occured to me this afternoon that the Irish compound "lám-día" (lit.
"hand-god" = domestic god/idol) might have come from a misunderstanding
of the the common Latin phrase "dîs/diis manibus sacrum = sacred to the
gods of the Manes / to the underworld gods/ to the dear deceased
ancestors". My Latin is a little shaky, but wouldn't "mânibus = of the
Manes" be easily confused with "manibus = of the hands"?
The plural word "Manes" apparently derives from an archaic Latin
adjective "mânus" meaning "good", while "manus" means "hand". The
phrase "diis manibus sacrum" was commonly inscribed on tombstones and
was most often simply abbreviated as D.M.S or something similar. I've
read that its use passed passed from the pagan into the christian
Does this explanation make sense? If so, I'm sure it's been propounded