Page:Irish Lexicography.djvu/40

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32
ON IRISH LEXICOGRAPHY.

But in other words not of Latin origin, possibly traces of a differenti- ation of meaning may be discovered, depending on the changed cir- cumstances of the time; thus the word gor, 'pious'; cf ML. 44b 83 , donaib duthrachtib innan^or, 'votis piorum The negative ingor occurs (Ml. 56 b 9 ), imfolngi comrorcuin dosochaidi cidarabiat indfirien isnaib imbedaib ⁊ isnaib frithoircnib ⁊ indingoir isnaib imbedaib ⁊ isnaib soinmechaib, "it causes trouble to many why the righteous should be in tribulation and in sufferings, and the impious in wealth and prosperity"; ibid. 57 d 8 , med brithem- nachtae dee huandamnither intingor is huantfirinni inbrithemnachtae si conocaba infirian, " eadem libra judicii qua deprimitur impius adtollitur Justus". Thus in the Brehon Law glosses we find the two terms, gor and ingor, contrasted: cf. SM. (cf. also p. 52) n. 288, 1. 29, mac gor ocus mac ingor, " an obedient son, or a son who does not support his parent"; 11. 22.1. 29, cethraime eneclainne athar uil do mac ingor, " fourth of the honour-price of the father is [due] to the son who does not support his father". This rendering is taken from the gloss in H. 2. 15, given in O'Donovan, Suppl., maith cach macc bes gor di'athair, " good is every son who is ' pius' to his father." The words were in use in the ninth century as the equivalents of the Latin pius and impius ; were they specialized at a later period in the direction of Latin pietas, &c, piety shown in the support of parents ? { But the other theory is tenable : the earliest monks no doubt modi- fied the signification of many native words when applying them in reference to sacred topics, and it seems to me not improbable that they adopted these terms, gor and ingor, which really denoted ' behaviour towards parents', in the deeper sense of actions considered in their relations to God.


It may be objected that in many cases the difference is so slight that it is not worthy calling attention to such unimportant points ; and indeed Mr. Fitzgerald (in the Rev. Celtique of Oct. 1884, vi., p. 196) has denounced rather severely the whole of the modern school of Celtic students. I hope he will pardon me for suggesting that the ' arid treatment ' of which he complains is in reality more hopeful for the attainment of the knowledge which he himself desires. Much of the matter printed is, as he says, rubbish ; but it has one merit, that of containing words whose meaning can be fairly got at, thus enabling