This is a stab in the dark, but... could "reddening" be a euphemism for a woman's menstrual cycle?
"My partner has her period, so I am writing."
If he really was a layman he could well have been married, and many men nowadays will find some project to work on to give their wife some space during this time.
Just a thought.
--- On Sun, 5/10/09, David Stifter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: David Stifter <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [OLD-IRISH-L] another tweet
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Sunday, May 10, 2009, 1:59 PM
On So, 10.05.2009, 18:30, Marion Gunn wrote:
> Could be a bit of wordplay at play here: "seisreach" in our
> language means a "ploughing team", so the resemblance between
> "seise" ("companion", Old Irish "sesse")
might well be intentionally
> used here, especially in conjuntion with "ruamar" (Modern Irish
> "rómhar", "ploughing"). Who was the companion then
ploughing the earth
> is anyone's guess, unless the scribe means that his only companion is
> his pen reddening/digging into the parchment. So my guess is that there
> is double wordplay going on here: both a play on companion
> (sesse)/ploughing team (seisreach) and a play on reddening
There is no wordplay on "reddening/ploughing": "rú/amar /
ruamhar) means "digging". There is no *ru/amar "reddening".
various other formations from *ruam- "reddening", but none in
all of these have unlenited /m/.