Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/72

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62 The European Sky-God.

word mugna denoted 'salmon,'^ a fish that we have already found to be intimately connected with both Nuada and Nodons.^

At one time Ireland must have been well-nigh covered with oak-woods — witness the amazing number of Irish place-names derived from the oak. Dr. Joyce ^ says : 'Over 1300 names begin with the word in its various forms, and there are innumerable places whose names contain it as a termination.' The oak was in early days the most plentiful of all Irish trees, and its timber con- tinued for many ages to be exported to England.* Nevertheless parts of Ireland were more famous for their ash-trees, for instance Funshin, Funshinagh, Funshog, Funshoge, Unshinagh, Inshinagh, Unshog, Hinchoge, all of which mean places producing ash-trees, Funcheon the ash-producing river, Ballynafunshin the town of the ash, Cloonnafunchin the ash-tree meadow, Corrinshigo or Corrinshigagh the hill of the ash-trees, Druminshin or Drumnahunshin the ridge of the ash, Lisnafunchin the fort of the ash-trees.^ Naturally enough, therefore, the ash sometimes replaces the oak as the tree of the sky- god. I have already^ had occasion to remark that the part played by the oak as the sky-tree of central and

^Whitley Stokes Three Irish Glossaries London 1862 p. 107 cites from O'Davoren's Glossary the word mugna glossed by ' salmon ' : Mughna. i. bradan. ut est ni blaisi mughna mana fir foltac/;. f. i. ni tuga bias mogha in ena in uis«' do in b[r]adan. In the Archiv fiir celtische Lexikographie ii. 421 no. 1266 Dr. Stokes prints : Mughna. i. bradan, ut est ni blaisi mughna mana fir folta?^. f. i. ni tuga bias mogha in ena in uis« do in bratan. He adds : 'Quotation and gloss are obscure to me.'

"^ Supra p. 39 ff.

^ P. W. Joyce The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places ed. 2 Dublin 1870 p. 487. See also ib. p. 484 ff. and index, ib. (Second Series) Dublin 1875 index, eujzd. Irish Local Names Explained index.

^ Id. The Origin and History of Irish Names of Places p. 484.

® Id. ib. p. 488 f. and index, ib. (Second Series) p. 36 and index, Irish Local Names Explained p. 49.

^Folk-lore xv. 292 f.