Cite this: eDIL s.v. nícon or dil.ie/33175
Last Revised: 2019


Forms: nícon, níco, noco, nocho (n-), nocha (n-), nocha, nochan, nacon, nícon, Nícon, nocon, nochon

adv. of negation, a strengthened form of ní, used before vbs. The second element -con is expld. as perfective particle com- (con-) Études Celt. xv 505 , Akten Marburg 112-13 but see Ériu xxi 90-92 . Used at the beginning of a main clause with the indic. (or potential or optative subj.), folld. by the conjunct form of the vb. In the Glosses, the particle -con is always written in conjunction with the vb., ní either standing as a separate word or joined to it. The initial consonant of the vb. is lenited (not always expressed in MSS.).

In Mid.Ir. the form nícon somet. becomes níco before a consonant, and is early weakened to noco (noco n- before a vowel or lenited f); later with lenited c, nocho (n-), nocha (n-), which prevail in later Mid.Ir.; early Mod.Ir. nocha (generally eclipsing follg. cons., nochan before a vowel and lenited f), still persisting in North Ireland and in Scottish Gaelic in the neg. cha, chan.

In O.Ir. nacon replaces nícon in dependent clauses; this construction disappears in Mid.Ir.

Nícon (nocon, nochon) expresses a more emphatic denial than ní alone (in later usage there is not much difference).

(a) nícon (níco n-): O.Ir. níconchoscram we destroy not, Wb. 2b21 . ni conchechrat they will not love, 30c4 . ni conchloor act for caínscél may I hear nothing but good of you, 23b41 . ni-conḟil, Sg. 188a4 (but: ní confil, Wb. 12d5 , Ml. 92a8 ). ní con-talla obbad fair, Sg. 90a2 . nicontuislifea, gl. nihil . . . elabitur, Ml. 27b18 . ní con bia cumscugud for pianad, 26d12 . ní conrogab terochraic, 36a32 . ni con ruaccobrus ní, gl. nunquam concupivi, 136b7 . Before vowel: ni conairigur-sa na imned I feel no tribulation, Wb. 16a28 . ní conétada, Sg. 188a4 .

Mid.Ir. nícon tora etir, SCC 40. niconromolastar, Mon. Tall. 10. nícon-ér-sium tria bith sír he will never rise, PH 1860. níco dlegar, Mon. Tall. 51. nico ro troisci, 72 . níco fil crich fora flaithius, PH 1808 , cf. 710 , 6614 . nico tarut Í. nach freccra, 3251 . ráthaigit na minpheccda . . . ┐ ní co ráthaigit na morphecdai, 3231 .

(b) noco(n): noco rag-sa ar cuiriud mná, SCC 32. noco bia . . . i pēin, SR 2043. noco laimed nech, 4877 . noco dentar, PH 5551. nech bud chalmu . . . cosindiu nocon ḟuaross, TBC-LL¹ 3674. nocon uil nech cen imarbus, PH 3181 ( = nocon-ḟuil). noco díultab-sa ┐ nocon fhuiceb tu, 3009 . nocon cēl-sa I will not hide (it), ACL iii 296 § 37. noco rogenair . . . duine bad choimiu, SR 2245. noco rom-saebad I have not been deceived, PH 1795. nocor ḟer banne not a drop (of rain) fell, LB 65b58 = Lat. Lives 85 z (nocar).

(c) nocho(n), nocha(n): nocho chretiub-sa duitsiu, LU 9224. nochonepér rit insein, SR 1309. nocha bhí clúmh trés an gcreig | nach creid . . . dhuid there is no verdure on the rock but trusts to thee, Dán Dé xxix 26 . nocha chéal, Content. xxviii 28. dā bfinnadh . . . nacha dingnadh maith he would not do good, ZCP vii 301 § 3. nocho ro díultus . . . ar na bochtaib . . . nocho ro fhuirgius iat, PH 6031. mo lām nochor leadair duine never injured any man, ACL iii 241 § 3. nochan faidiubh-sa le fer, TBC-LL¹ 4483 St. nochon ḟidir mac duine, ZCP vii 303 § 9. nuchun eirg, Ériu iii 198.1 .

(d) with eclipsis of follg. cons., due to confusion of con with the preverb con- (com-), Pedersen Vgl. Gr. ii 210 , or the conj. co-n, Thurn. Hdb. § 851 ; only once in Glosses: nícon dét do nach ailiu insin that applies (téit) to none other, Ml. 53a17 . Occas. in Mid.Ir.: nico mbia bríg isindi sin that will not matter, Mon. Tall. 66. níco mbia maith det-siu siu no táll, PH 1812. níco ndeine tú fén do ícc thou canst not heal thyself, 3336 . nico ndénat aithrige, 6476 . nocha mbia, Content. xxvii 16.

(e) with inf. pron.; in Glosses only in three cases in Ml.: ni con-d-robae-som ind rae sin he had not that time, Ml. 41a5 . ni con-da-bia nem they will not have heaven, 69a8 . ní cos-fuar-sa inna furgrad sin I found not those remains, 57d3 (pron. proleptic). Later fairly common: nochom-tha labra, SR 2088. nuchumtha ní radim de I have nothing to say thereof, TBC-LL¹ 800 , cf. 1483 . noconom tha a samail, LU 7007 ( BDD 66 , nimtha v.l.), cf. 8391 ( FB 26 ). nocot-bia airmitiu thou shalt have no reverence, SR 847. nichat-léicfider sech láim, LL 47b42 = RC xx 12 § 21 . nochos-tibrea re cétluth will not give her as a mate, TBC-LL¹ 3502. atchiam cách . . . ┐ nicon n-acci nech no one sees us, LU 10865 ( IT i 133.5 ). nichar-fail tlacht we have no raiment, SR 1560. nocho-for-bia . . . airchra bíid, 4063 . nicos-tánic riam ┐ nicos-ticfa dírimm bas choímiu never came to them and never will come to them, LL 248b11 ( TBFr. 46 ) = nicus-tanic . . . noconus-ticfo, ZCP iv 34.4 .

(f) with copula (Mid.Ir., not in Glosses): nocon alaind mar atai far from lovely is thy appearance, SR 1305. noco choir duin, 1545 ; cf. nicon choir etir laisim, Mon. Tall. 15. noco chath nā tuitt rí, CRR 5. `In béo do thigernae?' `Nocon béo immorro', BDD 166. noco buidech Dia, PH 8371. nicon ed not so, by no means (answer to a question), Mon. Tall. 21. nocon ed namma not only that, SCC 31. nicon ḟiu la credal, Fél. Prol. 111 (nocon, nochon v.l.). nochan fhoráil, Dán Dé xxv 6 . nocha nḟer mar soin Seafraigh S. is not a man of that sort, IGT Dec. ex. 509. nucu maith rí ac nā bít géill, | noco maith geill cen geimle, LL 146b35 ( PRIA iii 542 § 17 ). a mbrughaidh nocha brónaigh, IGT Dec. ex. 782 = nírsat brónuigh `their yeomen were not sad', Ériu iv 116 § 24. noco n-annsa doman-sa ata mo flaithemnus, PH 2709. nochon do biuc bae dia brig not little was his strength, ZCP viii 217 § 5. With pret.: nochorbo choimsech, SR 6091. nocorb éicen, TBC-LL¹ 949.

(g) in O.Ir. con is combined with the conj. ná (occas. nád) in subord. clauses: connaconbeth leu etir that it should not be with him at all, Ml. 35c2 , cf. 103d9 . connacon bet acht degnimai less, 129a9 . arnaconroib dethiden for neuch, Wb. 15d11 . connachonroib, Ml. 23d6 . amal slaidred . . . di naconbi moín from which no treasure is wont to be, 85b7 . nad conbiad íc dō that there would be no healing for him, 58a9 . For a further development of nacon, see nó co.