Dennis King wrote:
> The OI word "crimthann" is glossed as "sinnach" (fox), but is
> generally a proper name. I'm assuming that in this respect it is like
> other proper names such as Art (= bear) and Tadg (= badger) which
> preserve animal names that fell out of everyday use long ago, possibly
> as a result of tabu avoidance.
> Thurneysen (GOI p. 52) derives the word/name from "crem" (= wild
> garlic), although he doesn't address the second element.
> LEIA s.v. "cáer" says that "cáerthann" (= rowan tree) is made up of
> "cáer" (= berry) plus -than / -then "comme d'autres noms d'arbres et
> de plantations". This latter apparently comes from Pedersen, as given
> in this entry for "fíntan" in DIL:
> > fíntan
> > a vineyard: gl. vinetum Sg 53 a 3 . A compd. of fín `wine ,' and
> > tan `time ,' orig. used of space also, Ped. ii 14 ; of *ten, *tan
> > `tree,' found as suff. inróstan, cairthen(n) and npr. Crimthann,
> > Dergthenn, etc. KM Wortk. 19 . Cf. Marstrander, Vidensk. Skr. II
> > Hist.-fil. Kl. 8 , Kristiania .
> Two questions:
> 1. Is Pedersen's derivation of -than from "tan" still accepted?
If I remember correctly, Fergus Kelly gave a paper at various
occasions in this regard, but I cannot remember the details. I don't
know if he has published it.
> 2. LEIA says that Thurneysen's etymology of "Crimthann" from "crem"
> seems "aventurée au moins pour le nom commun signifiant « renard ».
> Could garlic have come into a word for "fox" because of the animal's
> musky odor (as in "sionnach ar bhréine") ?
I think that is the idea.