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Subject: Re: Root for bantuathaid?
From: Neil McLeod <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 6 Mar 2012 05:18:26 +0800
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On 6/03/2012 4:47 AM, SUBSCRIBE OLD-IRISH-L Anonymous wrote:

> I've come across the word "bantuathaid" (female witch) and it's listed in three
> entries on eDIL, however the entry for "t˙athaid" lists "t˙ath" as the root word.

Yes, that is correct. The root means 'north, left' with the standard 
connotations of 'left' with 'sinister'. (The English word 'sinister' itself 
comes from the Latin word for 'left'.)

> My research partners and I were wondering if the root
> for "bantuathaid" is "t˙ath"

Yes.

or "t˙aithbel / t˙athal"?

No. T˙ath-bel itself contains the root 't˙ath', but the sense of turning 
belongs to -bel not to t˙ath. The name T˙athal is unrelated. It comes from 
a distinct root 't˙ath' meaning 'territory, people of a kingdom'.

> We have a theory that if the
> root is "t˙athal" that would then lend "bantuathaid" a definition or at least
> connotation of "turning woman" or "curse-worker" since moving "deiseal" brings
> good luck and "t˙athal" casts ill-luck.

I'm afraid that is impossible. It means 'female evil-doer'. (The ending 
-(a)id is an agentival suffix.)

Neil

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