Page:Irish Lexicography.djvu/34

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26
ON IRISH LEXICOGRAPHY.

mild to be commanded ; and it is a torment to chieftains to be re- strained 1 '. Two good examples oi this use of the word ' to happen to- gether/ of two events synchronizing, hitting the same point, &c, occur, ibid., p. 100, in adaigh ro h-urmaisedh ar Dhomnall do dirgudh ocus do oirdnedh i n-oirechus Erenn, as i sin adhaigh ro h-aentaighid na h-oirechta, "the night on which it was resolved that Domhnall should rule, and be elected to the sovereignty of Erin, was the night on which the assemblies were united," &c. This should be "the night on which it happened to Domnall, to be elected was the very night on which" , &c. This is shown better perhaps in the following passage, p. 106: do h-urmaised sén saerighda, soineamhail, do'n ardfhlaith ocus d' Erinn i comhrach re cheile, "the noble, happy prosperity of this monarch and of Erin were ordained together" (O'Don.) ; but the meaning is simply that the two events concurred. Similarly in F. Mast, we find the term used vaguely, with no due appreciation of the right meaning, e. gr. in., p. 2282, do rala fordal conaire [" wandering from the way" : cf. in., p. 2198] ocus sechrán slicchidh do na slocchaibh lá dobhar dhorcha na h-oidhche co nár urmaissettar a neolaigh saighidh gus an ionadh chinnte, "the forces mistook their road and lost their way in consequence of the great darkness of the night, so that their guides were not able to make their way to the appointed place"; n., p. 1452, ni ruacht las an sluagh ngaoidhealach dol in inneall nó a norducchadh amhail ro bha dír dóibh, ⁊ ní mó ro urmaissiot comhairle a naireach do ghabhail, "the Irish army were not able to go into order or array as was meet for them, nor did they take the advice of their chiefs " (O'Don.). In both instances the meaning is fairly enough given, but the force of urmais in the sense of 'hitting', 'falling in with', 'happening upon', &c, is not duly recognized and expressed.


It is, no doubt, unsafe to deduce conclusions from the etymological connexions of a word, but there are some words so peculiarly formed that they almost inevitably call attention to their origin. Thus a familiarity with the words etargne, etar-cne, 'cognition' (cf. omietarcnu,

  • experiment ', Ml. 19 a", 27 a 6 ; cf. 19 d w , 42 b 13 ' 27 , etarcnaib,

etarcnu, etarcnae) ; and bis, ' custom ', suggests the explanation of beasgna, 'law', as bes-cna, 'the knowledge of customs ' : the early