An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language/O

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An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language  (1911)  by Alexander MacBain


o, the interjection "O! oh!" Ir. o; see vocative a.

o, from, ab, Ir. ó, O. Ir. ó, ua (, hua): *ava; Skr. áva, away, off; Lat. au-, as in aufero, take away; Ch. Sl. u-, Pruss. au-. Also bho, q.v.

o, since, when, with the rel. as o 'n, Ir. ó, O. Ir. ó, ex quo; it is merely the prep. o used as a conjunction.

ob, refuse, Ir. obaim, O. Ir. obbaim, obbad (inf.); referred to ud-bad, "out-speak", the prefix ud-, out (allied to Eng. out, Skr. ud, out, of) and ba, speak, I. E. bha, Lat. fari, Gr. φα in φημί. Ascoli gives the root as ben (see bean), repellere.

òb, a creek; from NNorse hóp, small land-locked bay, Sc. hope, Ag. S. hóp, valley.

obaidh, a charm; see ubag.

obair, a work, so Ir., E. Ir. opair, oper, O. Ir. opred, operatio; from Lat. opus (g. operis), opera.

obair, a confluence; the usual pronunciation of the Aber- in place names. See abar.

obann, sudden, Ir. obann, E. Ir. opond: *od-bond, e vestigio, from bonn? Stokes refers it to the root of Gr. ἄφνω, O.Slav. abije, immediately, suggesting *ob-nó-. W. buan also suggests itself.

ocar, interest on money, Ir. ocar, W. ocr; from Norse okr, usury, Ag. S. wocer, Got. wokrs, Ger. wucher; root veꬶ.

och, an interjection, alas! Ir. och, uch, O. Ir. uch, vae, ochfad, sighing: *uk; Got. aúhjôn, make a noise, Norse ugla, Eng. owl; Let. auka, stormwind, Srb. uka, a cry.

ochd, eight, Ir. ochd, O. Ir. ocht n-, W. wyth (*okti), Br. eiz: *oktô; Lat. octo; Gr. ὀκτώ; Got. ahtau; Skr. ashtaú.

ochòin, alas, Ir. och ón; literally "alas this"! From och and the old pronoun ón, discussed under eadhon.

ocras, hunger, Ir. ocrus, ocarus, E. Ir. accorus. See acras. The Lat. careo, want, may be suggested as allied; root ker, kor.

od, yonder, yon; see ud.

oda, tongue of land; oddr.

oda, horse-race (Uist), race, race-course (Carm.); cf. N. at, horse-fight.

odhar, dun, so Ir., E. Ir. odar: *odro-s, for *odh-ro-, shady, Lat. umbra (= *o-n-dhra), âter, dark, Umbrian adro, atra. Bez. suggests, with query, *jodras, allied to Lit. jü*das, dark. Thurneysen has referred *odro-s to I. E. udro-, otter, hydra, watery, the idea being "otter-like" or "water-like" (Gr. ὕδωρ, Eng. water).

ofrail, an offering, Ir. ofráil, M. Ir. offráil, E. Ir. oifrend; from Lat. offerendum.

òg, young, Ir. óg, O. Ir. óc, óac, W. ieuanc, Corn. iouenc, Br. iaouank, Gaul. Jovinc-illos: *jovṇko-s, comparative jovôs; Lat. juvenis, juvencus; Eng. young, Got. juggs; Skr. yuvaçá, juvenile, júvan, young.

ogha, grandchild, Ir. ó, ua, g. ui, a grandson, descendant, O. Ir. ua, aue, haue, g. haui: *(p)avio-s; Gr. παίς, for pafís, boy; further Lat. puer, for pov-er; W. wyr; root pu, pav, pov, beget. Brug. (Grund.2 122) refers it to *avio-s, an adj. from avo-s, grandfather, etc., Lat. avus. Eng. eame.

oghum, the "Ogam" writing, so Ir., E. Ir. ogum, Ogma ma Elathan (son of knowledge), the Hercules of the Gaelic gods, Gaul. Ogmios, the Gaul. Hercules and god of eloquence: *Ogambio-s. Cf. Gr. ὄγμος (*γ-μος?), a furrow, line, Skr. ájmas, course, run, root ag: the comparison is very doubtful. See oidheam.

òglach, a youth, servant, Ir. óglach, O. Ir. óclach; from óg and suffix -lach (see teaglach).

ogluidh, gloomy, awful, bashful, Ir. ogluidh, bashful; from Norse uggligr, fearful, Eng. ugly.

oich, interjectionn of pain, Ir., O. Ir. uch. See och.

oide, foster-father, step-father, Ir. oide, O. Ir. aite: *attio-s; Gr. ἄττα, father; Got. atta, father; Ch. Sl. otici, father; Skr. attâ, mother.

oidhche, oiche, night, Ir. oidhche, O. Ir. aidche, later oidche, also adaig: *ad-aqiâ, *ad-aqî, root aq, dark; Lat. aquilus, dark; Lit. aklas, blind; Gr. ἄκαρον, blind (Hes.). Skr. andhas, darkness, with root andh, adh, Lat. ater, etc., have been suggested, the ad of *ad-aqia being made the root and not the aq (see odhar).†

oidheadh, tragical death, so Ir., E. Ir. oided, aided; root pad, ped, fall, Lat. pestis (Stokes). See eas.

oidheam, a secret meaning, inference, idea (M'A., M'E.), a book (M'F., H.S.D.). Properly oigheam, the same as ogham above (Zeuss, Rhys' Hib.Lect.).

oidheirp, oirpe, an attempt: *ad-erb-, root erb of earb, q.v.?

oifig, an office, Ir. oifig, M. Ir. oifficc; from Lat. officium (Eng. office).

òigeach, a stallion, young horse; from òg and each. Commonly àigeach, q.v.

òigh, a virgin, Ir. óigh, E. Ir. O. Ir. óg, uag, integer: *augi-, root aüg, increase; Lat. augeo; Got. áukan, increase; Lit. áugu, (Brug.). Bez. (in Stokes' Urkel.Spr.) suggests Czech pouhý, pure, and a stem *pougo-s.

oigheam, obedience, homage; cf. gaidhe.

oighionnach, aigheannach, a thistle (Perth, according to M'A.): see fobhannan.

oighre, ice, Ir. oidhir, M. Ir. óigred, E. Ir. aigred, snow; see deigh.

oighre, an heir, so Ir., M. Ir. oigir; founded on Lat. heres, possibly on M. Eng. heir rather, which is from heres.

oighreag, cloudberry; founded on Sc. averin.

oil, vexation, offence, Ir. †oil. The E. Ir. áil has a long, and is for agli-, Got. agls, disgraceful (Strachan). The G. is perhaps from the root of oillt.

oil, rear, educate, Ir. oilim, O. Ir. ailim; root al as in altrum.

oilbheum, offence, stumbling-block, Ir. oilbhéim, M. Ir. ailbéim: "stone-dashing", "stone-stumbling"; from ail, rock, and beum, blow, q.v. (Atk.).

oilean, eilean, training, nurture, Ir. oileamhuin, nurture, M. Ir. oilemain, inf. to ailim, I rear; root al, as in altrum, q.v.

oillt, horror, disgust, Ir. oilt: *aleti-, root pal, strike, whence Lat. palma, palm, palpo, palpitate, etc.?

oineach, liberality, Ir. oineach, mercy, liberality. See eineach.

òinid, a fool, Ir. óinmhid, E. Ir. óinmit, onmit; from ón-, foolish, and ment, mind. See next.

òinnseach, a foolish woman, Ir. óinseach; from ón, foolish, and the feminine termination -seach.

oir, edge, border, Ir., E. Ir., O. Ir. or, W. gor-or, ora superior: *oro-. Cf. Lat. ôra, coast, from which Thur. regards it as borrowed; it is not allied to Ger. ufer, coast.

oir, for, O. Ir. ar, air; the prep. air (*are) used as a conj. The Ir. óir, because, for, O. Ir. óre, úare, abl. of O. Ir. uar, huar, is from Lat. hôra, Gaelic uair.

oir-, prefix denoting "ad" or "on", Ir. oir-, O. Ir. air-, ar-; this is the prep. air (*are). Hence oirbheart, a good deed, Ir. do., from beart; oirbheas, act of charity, from beus, conduct, etc. Sometimes confused with òr-, gold, as prefix; cf. óirdheirc.

oircheas, pity, charity, Ir. oircheasachd, need, charitableness; cf. O. Ir. airchissecht, gratia, indulgentia, vb. airchissim, parcit, indulget: air+cess; root of cead?

òirde, a piece or lump of anything; see ord.

òirdheirc, glorious, Ir. óirdhearc, O. Ir. airdirc, erdirc; from air and dearc, see: "con-spicuous". See oir- for the òir-.

oirfeid, music, Ir. oirfid, E. Ir. air-fitiud, playing, inf. to arbeitim, arpeitim; from air and peitim, peiteadh, music; peit or pet is from svettâ, whistle, pipe, G. fead, q.v.

òirleach, an inch, Ir. órlach, ordlach, M. Ir. ordlach, tri hordlaighe, three inches; from ordu, thumb, now G. òrd-ag, q.v.

oirthir, the east, so Ir., O. Ir. airther; comparative of air, ante - "in front", as one faces the sun in the morning.

oirthir, border, coast, so Ir., M. Ir. airer; from air and tìr.

òisg, a sheep, yearling ewe, E. Ir. óisc; for ói-shesc, ói, sheep, and seasg, barren, q.v. The word ói is from *ovi-s; Lat. ovis; Gr. οἴς; Lit. avis; Skr. ávis.

oisinn, a corner, Ir. isinn, the temple, fán na hoisean, along the temple, E. Ir. na-h-usine, the temples: *ad-stani-, "out-standing"(?). See ursainn, tarsainn.

oisir, an oyster, Ir. oisre; from M. Eng. oistre, from Fr. oistre, from Lat. ostrea.

oistric, ostrich, Ir. ostrich; from the Eng.

oit, an interjection to denote the sense of burning heat; cf. O. Ir. uit mo chrob, alas for my hand!

oiteag, a breeze, puff of wind, Ir. oiteóg: *atti-, root at, as in Gr. ἀτμός, vapour, Eng. atmosphere; Ag. S. aeðm, breath; Skr. âtmán, breath, soul.

oitir, a ridge or bank in the sea, a low promontory, Ir. oitír: *ad-tír, from tír, land, "to-land".

òl, drink, drinking, Ir. ól, ólaim, E. Ir. ól, inf. to ibim, O. Ir. oul, *povolo (St.), drinking: *potlo-, root po, , drink; Lat. póto, Eng. potate, etc.; Skr. pâ-, drink. Zimmer considers it borrowed from Norse öl, Eng. ale. The root pele, plê, full, has also been suggested; but it is unlikely here.

ola, oil, Ir., O. Ir. ola, W. olew, O. W. oleu, Br. eol; from Lat. oleum, Eng. oil.

òlach, a hospitable person: "boon-companion"; from òl.

olann, wool, so Ir., E. Ir. oland, O. W. gulan, W. gwlan, Corn. gluan, Br. gloan: *vlanâ, *vlano-; Lat. lâna; Gr. λᾶνος, λῆνος; Eng. wool, Got. vulla; Lit. wilna; Skr. ū́rnâ; I. E. vḷnâ, vḹnâ.

olc, bad, Ir. olc, O. Ir. olcc, olc; cf. Lat. ulciscor, revenge, ulcus, wound, Eng. ulcer; Gr. ἕλκος, wound. Bez. suggests O. H. G. ilki, hunger, Lit. alkti, Ch. Sl. alkati, hunger.

ollabhar, a great army (M'F.), Ir. ollarbhar: oll+arbhar. For oll, see next word; E. Ir. arbar, a host, is from ber (see beir).

ollamh, a learned man, a doctor, so Ir., O. Ir. ollam, g. ollaman; from Ir. oll, great (root pol, pel, plê, full, fill).

òmar, amber, Ir. omra, W. amfer; from the Eng.

omhail, attention, heed, Ir. úmhail; cf. G. umhal, obedient.

omhan, othan, froth of milk or whey, whey whisked into froth (Carm.), Ir. uan, E. Ir. úan, froth, foam, W. ewyn, Br. eon: *eveno-, *poveno-; Lit. putà, foam, Lettic putas.

onagaid, confusion, row (Dial.); cf. aonagail.

onfhadh, a blast, storm, raging of the sea, Ir. anfadh, E. Ir. anfud, for an-feth, "excess-wind", feth, aura; root , ven, blow; Skr. vā́ta, wind; Gr. ἄημι, blow, ἀήρ, Lat. aer, Eng. air; Lit. vėjas, wind; further Lat. ventus and Eng. wind.

onnchon, a standard (M'F., O'B.), so Ir., also Ir. onchú, leopard, E. Ir. onchú, banner, leopard; the idea of "leopard" is the primary one. From Fr. onceau, once, Eng. ounce, leopard.

onoir, respect, honour, Ir. onóir, E. Ir. onóir, onoir: from Lat. honor.

ònrachd, solitude, Ir. aonarachd; from aonar, aon.

òr, gold, Ir., O. Ir. ór, W. aur, Cor. our, Br. aour; from Lat. aurum.

òr-, prefix air, oir, confused often with the prefix òr-, gold; e.g. òrbheart, good (golden!) deed, which is for oirbheart (see oir-).

òrag, sheaf of corn (H.S.D.), orag (M'F., Arm.):

oragan, an organ, Ir., M. Ir. orgán, E. Ir. organ, W. organ; from Lat. organum, Eng. organ.

òraid, a speech, Ir. óraid, prayer, oration, E. Ir. orait, prayer, orate; from Lat. orate, pray ye, oratio, speech.

òran, a song; this is for *auran, from the correct and still existing form amhran, Ir. amhrán, M. Ir. ambrán, Manx arrane; from amb, i.e. mu, about, and rann? Ir. amhar, E. Ir. amor, music. Cf. Ir. amhra, eulogy, especially in verse. Cf. amra (Cholumcille), panegyric.

orair, a porch (orrar, M'D.): "front", from air- or ar- and air, a reduplication really of air, "on-before".

òrais, a tumultuous noise (H.S.D. from MSS.):

òrd, a hammer, Ir., M. Ir. ord, O. Ir. ordd, W. gordd, O.Cor. ord, Br. orz, horz, Gallo.Brit. Ordo-vices(?): *ordo-s, *urdo-s, root verdh, urdh, raise, increase, whence or allied are Gr. ὀρθός, Lat. arduus, G. àrd, etc.; especially Skr. vardhate, raise, increase, grow. See òrdag. Thur. thinks it perhaps possible that Romance urtare, hit, thrust, Fr. heurter, Eng. hurt, are hence, and Ascoli that Fr. ortail, big toe (orddu = ortu), is from òrd, the basis of òrdag, q.v.

òrd, a mountain of rounded form (topographical only); from above.

òrdag, thumb, Ir. ordóg, O. Ir. orddu, g. ordan: *ordôs, *urdôs; same root as òrd above.

òrdugh, order, Ir. ord, ordughadh, O. Ir. ord, ordaad, ordination, W. urdd, urddawd, ordaining, Br. urz; from Lat. ordo.

organ, organ; see oragan.

orra, ortha, orr', or, a charm, incantation, Ir. orrtha (órrtha, Con.), ortha, prayer, charm (in this last sense pronounced arrtha), E. Ir. ortha, acc. orthain, prayer (especially in verse); from Lat. ôrâtionem, Eng. oration.

orrais, squeamishness, nausea:

os, above, Ir. os, ós, uas, O. Ir. os, uas, W. uch, Br. a, us; see uasal for root.

os, an elk, deer, Ir. os (O'B.), E. Ir. os, oss, W. uch, pl. uchen, bos, Corn. ohan, boves, Br. oc'hen (do.), O. Br. ohen, boum: *okso-s (for G.), *uksen- (for Brittonic); Got. auhsa(n), Eng. ox, oxen; Skr. ukshán, bull.

'os, quoth; for ors, from or, ar, say; see arsa.

òs, mouth of a river, harbour bar; from Norse ôss, river mouth; Lat. ostium.

osadh, desisting, Ir. osadh, truce, E. Ir. ossad (do.): *ud-sta- "stand out"; root sta, stand.

osag, a blast, breeze: *ut-sâ, root ut, vet, ve, blow, as in onfhadh.

osan, a hose, stocking, Ir. assan, caliga, O. Ir. ossa, assa, soccus, W. hosan, Cor. hos; from Ag. S. hosa, g. hosan, now hose, hōsen, Norse hosa.

oscach, eminent, superior (Sh., O'B.), Ir. oscách; from os and cách.

oscarach, oscarra, bold, fierce, Ir. oscar, champion; from the heroic name Oscar, son of Oisian (Ir. Oisín, little deer or os, q.v.). Possibly Oscar stands for *ud-scaro-, "out-cutter", root scar of sgar, q.v. Zimmer derives it from Norse Ásgeirr, spear of the Anses or gods, and Oisian from the Saxon Óswine, friend of the Anses; which should give respectively Ásgar and Óisine, but the initial vowels are both o short in Oscar and Oisian. Doomsday Book has Osgar.

òsd, òsda, tigh òsda, an inn, Ir. tigh ósda; from M. Eng. ooste, hóst, hotel, house, hospitium, through Fr. from Lat. hospitium. Stokes takes it direct from O. Fr. oste.

osnadh, a sigh, so Ir., O. Ir. osnad, W. uchenaid, uch, Br. huanad. Zimmer has analysed this into os, up, and an (root of anail), breat: "up-breath"; cf. Lat. suspirium, from sup-spírium, "up-breath". But consider *ok-s, from uk of och. Cf. E. Ir. esnad, M. Ir. easnadh, song, moaning.

ospag, osmag, a gasp, sob, sigh, pang, Ir. ospóg, uspóg, osmóg; cf. osnadh. Also uspag, q.v.

ospairn, gasping quickly, sobbing, sighing; from os and spairn, q.v. Cf. uspairn.

othail, odhail, confusion, hubbub, also (Dial., where pronounced ow-il), rejoicing; spelt also foghail, fòghail; root gal, as in gal? For odhail, rejoicing, cf. M. Ir. odhach, ceolmar, also uidheach, od, music; root ved; Gr. úδέο, sing, praise, Skr. vadati, sing, praise; Lit. vadinu, rufe, root ved, vad, ud, rufen.

othar, ulcer, abscess, Ir. othar, sick: *putro-; Lat. puter, Eng. putrid; root , pu, Eng. foul, etc.

òtrach, dunghill, Ir., M. Ir. otrach, dunghill, O. Ir. ochtrach (= othrach?), excrement: *puttr-, root put, pu, Lat. pûteo, puter, as under othar. Ir. othrach, dung, *putr.