> Dear List Members:
> I'm trying to determine the probable Proto-Celtic form and meaning of
> Old Irish achrann. I had thought this word may come from something
> akin to L. acer, and wondered about it originally denoting a maple (L.
> acernus) thicket.
> But Dwelly has:
> eachrann, place where brambles [= blackberries?] grow; bramble;
> impediment, stumbling block
> achran, intricacy, entaglement, perplexity
> achrannach, intricae, entangled, what retards progress or confounds
> achrannaich, entangle
According to DIL A 19.50, O'Rahilly has an article in S. G. St. i 34, in
which he concludes that the original meaning of 'achrann, eachrann' is
'thicket, tangled undergrowth'. Have you looked at it?
> The English-Old Irish Word List at the Center for Advanced Welsh and
> Celtic Studies does not list eachrann, but does have:
> achrann (a), tangled undergrowth, thicket
> achrann (b), dispute, dissension, strife
> achrannach, firmly fixed, fixed
> I'm getting the sense, if I read this right, of a thicket or
> undergrowth in which one can become entangled. From this meaning the
> word came to suggest an entangling in general, and since warriors are
> entangled with each other when they're fighting, it came to mean
> Does this seem reasonable?
That is apparently O'Rahilly's conclusion, too.
(The attestaions are all quite late. As the word is an o-stem, I wonder
if it is a cpd with -crann, 'wood', perhaps a late form of *'fo-chrann',