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NGéadal

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NGéadal

  Aicme Beithe   Aicme Muine
Beith Muin
Luis Gort
Fearn nGéadal
Sail Straif
Nion Ruis
  Aicme hÚatha   Aicme Ailme
Uath Ailm
Dair Onn
Tinne Úr
Coll Eadhadh
Ceirt Iodhadh
  Forfeda
Éabhadh
Ór
Uilleann
Ifín Peith
Eamhancholl

nGéadal (Ngéadal or Ngeadal) is the Irish name of the thirteenth letter of the Ogham alphabet, .

The Bríatharogam (kennings) for the letter are:

  • lúth lego "sustenance of a leech"
  • étiud midach "raiment of physicians"
  • tosach n-échto "beginning of slaying"

Its meaning is probably "[the act of] wounding". In Old Irish, the letter name was Gétal. It may be a verbal noun of gonid 'wounds, slays'. in which case is related to Welsh gwanu 'to pierce, to stab', which comes from the root was *gʷhen- 'to pierce, to strike'. Its original phonetic value in Primitive Irish was [ɡʷ], the voiced labiovelar. In Old Irish, this phoneme merged with g (gort), and the medieval manuscript tradition assigns it Latin ng [ŋ], hence the unetymological spelling of the letter name with initial n-.

References

  • Damian McManus, Irish letter-names and their kennings, Ériu 39 (1988), 127-168.
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