On Wed, 28 Jan 1998, Breandan Dalton wrote:
> > > dichetal di chennaib - "chanting from heads (?)"
> > dichetal di chennaib - "incantation from tips"
> How about "the ability to recite a piece straight off the top of your
> head/from memory", i.e. having the poems on the tip of your tongue,
> and not stumbling over them or humming and hawing or needing to use an
Meyer himself translated the term as "improvisation", which is
close to the same idea, and the DIL defines "di/chetal" by itself
as "incantation or spell composed extemporaneously by the filis
and druids in ancient Ireland", and mentions it as one of the the
14 "srotha e/icsi" or "streams of (poetic) learning":
> One problem with this guess is that if it were correct, you'd expect
> 'heads' to be 'head'.
This is just a wild guess: could "cenn" here mean something like
subject or topic or keyword, so that "di/chetal di chennaib" might
mean "the abiliity to improvise incantations starting from any word