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Cite this: eDIL s.v. B or

Forms: beithe

second letter in the Irish alphabet, and the first consonant of the Ogam alphabet. Irish name beithe birch ; hence beithe luis, name of Ogam alphabet, see IGT Introd. § 4.

O.Ir. b in absolute initial position, after m (imb), and sometimes after l (Albu) and r (orbae) represents the voiced labial plosive (Mod. Ir. b), and derives from IE *b, *bh and *gw ( GOI § 188 ). In other positions it represents the voiced labial fricative (Mod. Ir. bh), and derives (i) from the sources already mentioned, together with *p in IE *-pr-, *-pl- (accabor, díabul), ib. § 227 , and (ii) from IE *u in certain positions (tarb, cubus, etc.). It is possible, however, that the sound in case (ii) was not phonetically identical with that in case (i), since they sometimes have different sandhi treatment; compare dupall (dub-ball) with atrefea (atreb-fea) and derbráthair, modern dearbhráthair (derbbráthair); compare also ropia (ro-b-bia), and in later gairpeann (from garbh + peann), IGT Introd. § 42. The -b(-) of the O.Ir. f-future is, according to the latest explanation of this formation (Watkins, Ériu xx), a voicing of f < *sw.

O.Ir. bb in all positions represents the unlenited sound (abb, abbán).

In Latin loanwords initial b- remains (baithis, baitsid). Ir. b- sometimes represents Lat. p- ( bóc, Sg. 46a2 ), and medial -b- (<earlier -p-), representing a voiced plosive, Lat. -p- (puball s.v. pupall, abstal, Wb. 10c16 ). The Lat. post-vocalic voiced stop -b- became in Irish a voiced fricative (scríb(a)id, Mod. Ir. scríobhaidh). For -b- for Lat. -f- (cobais) see GOI § 201.

In the later language b combines with prec. m (Mid.Ir. imm for imb), and initial mr, ml, become br-, bl- (brath, bláith for older mrath, mláith); medial lenited b and m are sometimes confused (mebuir for memuir).


Cite this: eDIL s.v. -b- or

pron see .

1b bró

Cite this: eDIL s.v. 1b bró or

Of people or objects dense mass; multitude, crowd, company, phalanx: b.¤ .i. iomad, O'Cl. ? bro .i. bisech ` increase ', O'Dav. 331. de betho bróu (bro, v.l.) `from the crowd of the world', Imr. Brain 29. ? hine bron dian degduine, Ériu vii 199.1 . it bróin dírmai, BDD² 284 = hit broí d., LU 6776. in gach mbróin sesmuigh sleg-aigbēil dīb, ML² 1711 . a Ferguis d'an bidba b.¤ `that hast enemies in number', SG 248.13 . b.¤ ṡagh, IGT Decl. ex. 911. b.¤ bhord ┐ b.¤ bheinsi, 34 . bro do bhoghaibh `a dense mass of bows', Magauran 3611 . bro bhadhbha . . . bratac, Caithr. CC 11. o bhroin bhoth `from the clustered bothies', Magauran 402 . idir bhróin reann, DDána 91.51 . co rabatur fó bróin scéith ┐ claidim . . . fa Finn mac C. `they were a mass of shield and sword . . . around F.', Fianaig. 86.28 . docunnuic na nai cét . . . cona mbroín sciath ┐ cloidem acu, ZCP xiii 224.13 . do chonncatar O B. ┐ a chlann ina mbroin sgiath ┐ claidemh chuca astech `in a body with shields', etc. L. Chl. S. 9. b. ¤churraig moss (?): do lín sboingia de (.i. bró curraidh a canoin gaeidhilgi noch súighus ┐ gabus gach uile fliuchaideacht noch curter innti) , Celtica vii 177 .452 . tucadh fínegra ┐ domblas ae a sboingia do .i. a mbroin chuiredh (leg. churraidh) a mbarr shlaite , Smaointe B. Chr. 4141 , Celtica vii 184 . ? Cf. co lluid itir cobrad ┐ brōin in scēith, TBC-I¹ 1512 `between the rim (?) and the body of the shield', Faraday; `between the boss and the centre of the shield´ TBC-I² 173 .

Compds. ? dideirn (.i. dot gráin) bródeirg brufitir, LU 10388 (Tochmarc Emere) = brodercc, ZCP iii 256.26 .