eDIL - Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language

The electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) is a digital dictionary of medieval Irish. It is based on the ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY’S Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials (1913-1976) which covers the period c.700-c.1700. The current site contains revisions to c.4000 entries and further corrections and additions will be added in the coming years.

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FOR-OSNA 'lights up, illumines' is an Old Irish compound verb. It is used most often with reference to enhanced insight or understanding, such as in the phrase IMBAS FOROSNAI (seemingly a divinatory ritual performed by professional poets) and in a compelling entry in the Triads of Ireland: trí caindle forosnat cach ndorcha: fír, aicned, ecna 'three candles that illumine every darkness: truth, nature, knowledge' (Triads § 201)

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DREÄNACHT 'wren-lore' is the heading of a text in Trinity College, Dublin, MS 1337. According to this text, the direction from which a wren calls can reveal the type of person coming one's way and the purpose of their visit. The number of times the bird alights on the ground is said to reveal also the number of dead it announces. These traditions about the wren almost certainly explain why its Irish name DREÄN is derived in Cormac's Glossary from 'druí-én' (druid-bird).

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GALAR 'sickness, disease' is used along with various adjectives to provide Irish names for diseases. Thus, 'galar buide' (yellow sickness) is jaundice and 'galar brecc' (spotted sickness) is smallpox. Epilepsy is usually 'galar tuitmech' (falling sickness), but O'Davoren's Glossary has two instances of the phrase 'galar Póil' (Paul's sickness), an early reference to the idea that the conversion of Paul the Apostle on the road to Damascus was brought about by an epileptic seizure.

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STOC was the early Irish term for a trumpet, bugle or horn, STOC CATHA probably being an instrument which could be heard over the noise of battle and thus used for signaling in medieval warfare. Interestingly, STOC is also the word used to refer to a pipe in what seems to be our earliest reference to smoking: stoc tobac ’na chlab 'a pipe of tobacco in his mouth' (Celtica iv 106)

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