In a message dated 6/25/99 11:51:27 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
<<Third, Mananna/n and Manawydan are often said to be cognate, based
on linguistic similarity of their names.>>
It's more than "linguistic similarity" -- the two names are identical, and
internal evidence suggests the Welsh name was borrowed from the Irish.
'Manawydd' means a Manxman, with the suffix -an imitated from the same
construction in 'Manannán', interpreted as meaning something like "Great
Manxman". That they are both "son of Lir/LLyr" could hardly be a coincidence.
While the figure of Manannán in the most famous Irish literary texts in which
he is mentioned may appear quite different from Manawyddan in the Mabinogi,
this may only reflect the limitations of the extant material, and does not
exhaust the roles he may have played in living oral tradition. Note that
Manannán in Fiannaíocht has something of the image of the wandering peddler,
and also displays the qualities of a trickster-figure, dangerous as well as
The familiar Manx image of 'Manannaun Beg Mac-y-Lheir' spinning about on
his three legs could very easily be a modern folk invention inspired by the
trinacria, not the other way around.