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Hi Peadar,

I don't know if you noticed it, but DIL itself gives 'femm' as 'penis' - 
see meaning (b). DIL cites gloss 97 at p 6 of Stokes's 'Irish Glosses - 
a Medieval Tract on Latin Declension' (Dublin, 1862). Stokes doesn't 
appear to date the composition of that tract, but at p 2 he suggests 
that it is was composed 'considerably before' the date of the copy in 
the present manuscript MS (the latter being c. 1500 according to 
O'Donovan). Gloss 97 is as follows:

haec mentula - feam .i. priu

(The same gloss is given in DIL in this fuller version under the 
headword 'priu'.)

DIL also says (under 'femm'): "cf 'feam', a long tail, a searod". That 
is rather suggetsive of why 'femm' might have been used as a word for penis.

Neil



Peadar wrote:
> A chairde,
>  
> have any of you ever come across the term given by DIL as femm (also feam) as meaning a sort of sea-weed, with another meaning? 
>  
> The word appears in later literature in both Ireland and Sotland meaning penis. Any thoughts as to earlier examples of this?
>  
> Durachdan,
>  
> Peadar
> 
> 
>       
> 
> 
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