On Wed, 10 Apr 1996, Joshua M. Alden wrote:
> A chairde;
> A friend of mine engages in re-enactments of the American Revolution
> battles, along with many others. Recently someone posted to the RevWar
> list in a discussion on Whigs and Torries. He says that both words derive
> from Gaelic. I've tried to find simple possibilities for "Tory", but I'm
> unable to do so. Here's the pertinent portion of what he wrote. Can
> anyone help him out?
TORY comes from the Irish word TO/RAI/ which means, in principle, "pursuer,
hunter", and by implication street-robber - or in this meaning it was
borrowed into English. WHIG is not of any Gaelic origin, as far as I know.