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David Stifter wrote:

>>> Do-gní in liaig a leges & osclaicid na crêchta & do-bertar baicc 
>>> taris et dergthair coltur iar sain i tenid et do-be[i]r in liaig 
>>> ammus de for broind ind f*ir. Co tânic in días êorna & in duirb mét 
>>> lochad & in gaî & cech a mbaí and archena.
>> DIL is a bit vague on what a "bacc" is.  
> 
> It's a "hook", to keep the wound together, like stitching together a 
> wound in modern medicine.

'Hook' makes good sense; the word is used of various 'angled 
instruments' including hooks (Kelly, Early Irish Farming, glossary). Do 
you have a refernce for 'bacc' as 'hook' in a medical context? I don't 
think a hook would be used to keep a wound closed, least of all in the 
present case. More likely, I think, it is being used here to hold the 
wound open.

My assumption is that Fingin opens the wounds to make it easier for the 
foreign bodies to be ejected. Then he applies the 'bacc'. So the 
function of the 'bacc' would be to hold the wounds open (like the 
retractors used in modern surgery). Note that meaning (c) in DIL is 
'hindrance', i.e. something that 'holds back'. Finally, Fingin scares 
the heck out of Tadg with the coulter, so that he ejects the objects in 
his wounds (in much the way that Conchobar mac Nessa ejected the 
calcified brain-ball from his skull, upon hearing of the crucifixion of 
Jesus).

Neil