David Stifter wrote:
>> 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.
Fergus Kelly "Crimthann 'fox' and other formations in -thann, -thenn"
at the 13th ICCS
Ach céard a dúirt sé? An cuimhin le haon duine anseo?
>> 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.
Crimthann was apparently one of the most popular names in Early
Ireland. I suppose that the proud bearers didn't quite realize that
they were named "Stinky", more or less. ;-)
It may be worth mentioning that there was yet one more word besides
"crimthann" for the common "sinnach":
"loisinnán" ( < los + finn) "the white-tipped one"
Also, according to the Early Irish Glossaries Database, Dúil Dromma
Cetta contains the following gloss:
Bamach .i. sinnach.
I happened to be looking at "sinnach" in an attempt to make sense of
"fimíneach" (= hyporcrite) as a derivative of "femm" (= tail). Works
imputing human moral qualities to animals were popular in the middle
ages, going back to Greco-Roman sources, and the fox was considered to
be deceitful and hypocritical. Unfortunately for the etymology, he
does not have a "feimín / fimín" (= little tail), but a big bushy
one. Or could we read "feimín" as "the little one with a tail"?