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Dear List Members:

I'm trying to determine the probable Proto-Celtic form and meaning of
Old Irish achrann.  I had thought this word may come from something
akin to L. acer, and wondered about it originally denoting a maple (L.
acernus) thicket.

But Dwelly has:

eachrann, place where brambles [= blackberries?] grow; bramble;
impediment, stumbling block

achran, intricacy, entaglement, perplexity

achrannach, intricae, entangled, what retards progress or confounds

achrannaich, entangle

The English-Old Irish Word List at the Center for Advanced Welsh and
Celtic Studies does not list eachrann, but does have:

achrann (a), tangled undergrowth, thicket

achrann (b), dispute, dissension, strife

achrannach, firmly fixed, fixed

I'm getting the sense, if I read this right, of a thicket or
undergrowth in which one can become entangled.  From this meaning the
word came to suggest an entangling in general, and since warriors are
entangled with each other when they're fighting, it came to mean
'battle'.

Does this seem reasonable?

Thank you.

August Hunt