On 28/06/2015 10:56 PM, Tom Smith wrote:
> Why is the name Forgaill usually translated as 'bearing witness' or "testifying",
> 1. Dubgaill is usually translated as 'black foreigners'
> 2. Finngaill is usually translated as 'white foreigners'
> 3. Derb Fhorgaill is usually translated as 'Daughter of Forgall" (a foreign king),
> as in "Derbforgaill .i. dér ingen Forgaill rig Lochlainde".
> Surely Forgaill means a 'superior foreigner' or something similar?
In addition to what Christopher has said, note that your examples involve
oblique cases (nominative plural or genitive singular) so that the final
broad consonants have been slenderised: so
'a black foreigner' is dubgall
'a white foreigner' is findgall
'(daughter) of Forgall' is ' (ingen) Forgaill'.
So an epithet 'Forgaill' cannot be a compound of (nominative) 'gall' in the
sense 'superior foreigner'.
In Irish law, the highest status class beneath that of king was the 'aire
forgaill'. That seems a likely parallel.'Aire forgaill' is often translated
as 'noble of superior testimony', though in my publications I usually treat
it as meaning 'nobleman of superior authority'.