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>From: Hilaire Wood <[log in to unmask]>
>I have been unable to access this for some reason and wonder if it is
>the correct URL?

Occasionally, I have problems displaying archived messages, too, Hilaire.
Here's the message as it appears in the archives, including the note that it
comes from another list. Hope that helps. Francine


Date:         Thu, 2 Nov 2000 12:30:41 -0700
From:         Dennis King
Subject:      Crom

I'm copying this message from the Indo-European list Cybalist,
since it deals with a subject of Old Irish interest:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Christopher Gwinn wrote:

>Crom Cruaich means "Crooked-mound." He has other
>variants - the most common being Crom Dub
>"Crooked-black" but also Cenn Cruaich "Head
>mound."

OI "cruach" (dat. & acc. cruaich) can mean heap,
stack, pile; hill, mountain (cf. the name of the
pilgrimage mountain Cruach Phádraig (angl. Croagh
Patrick).  But OI "cruach" can also be a common
adjective, "bloody, gory", derived from "crú",
blood, gore.  Another version of the theonym is
Crom Croich, which seems to impicate "croch"
(= cross, gallows) in the semantic muddle as well.

The Dindsenchas also has "Crom Crín", that is,
"Withered Crom", and historical sources mention a
plague called "Crom Conaill", i.e. Conall's Crom.

>Crom is heavily associated with Lugnasad, which
>has the alternate name "Crom's Sunday." Crom is
>still remembered in Irish folklore (some whisper
>that he is still half-worshipped!)

Well, people still exclaim "Dar Crom!", more or less the
equivalent of "By Jove!"  But note now that in all the
above "Crom" is taken to be a noun, not an adjective,
so that reading "Crom Crua(i)ch" as "crooked mound"
stands out as an exception.  The native understanding
is much more naturally "Bloody Crom".  Another possiblity
would be "Crom Cruaiche" = The Crooked One of the Heap,
although I'm not aware of any such attested form and
meaning.  Whether "Bloody Crom" is a new interpretation
of an older, possibly borrowed name is another matter.

Dennis King



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