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If you will note the CDIL in parentheses, that refers to the Compact
Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish
materials.  I am a linguist--not an Old Irish scholar (would that I were,
but I'm not--I just have good references and know how to use them).  This
*may* explain my answer.
----- Original Message -----
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, May 31, 1999 10:54 PM
Subject: Re: 'Macha' ?


Ar 8:38 PM -0500 5/31/99, scríobh Pafra & Scott Catledge:

>Macha, as in Ard Macha or Emain Macha means field or plain (CDIL)

That *may* be the explanation in the case of those placenames,
although tradition of course explains them as commemorating one
of the several mythological figures called Macha.  Accounting for
her name is perhaps not so easy.  First, there is the common noun
in OI spelled "macha" or "machae", meaning a cattle pen or milking
enclosure (buaile), which may be the same as her name, implying
perhaps a goddess tied up with women's sphere of labor.  That works
somewhat for at least one of the Machas, the one who raced the
horses, but maybe not so well for one of the thirds of the triple-
goddess Morrígna!

Also, I've seen her name reconstructed back into Common Celtic
as *Magesiâ : *mag- (plain) + theme in -es + suffix -iâ : "the
woman of the plain"??

Eoghan Moody a scríobh:

>Ná bris do loirgín ar sdól nach bhfuil ann do shlighe.

Tá an seanfhocal sin, scríofa sa seanlitriú céanna, ar an mballa
sa bhialann "Tír na nÓg" in Seattle.  Ní raibh mé ann ach uair
amháin, ach is cuimhin liom é mar rinne mé iontas den litriú.
Cá bhfuair tú féin é?

Dennis King