People, Places and Pronunciation

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  • Abhaim Oirimh – (Ow-im Ir-iv) The Erriff River. Flows between Sheefry Hills and Partry Mountains into Killary harbour.
  • Ail na Mirenn – (Ol-na Mir-an) Irish name for the Stone of Divisions in Co Meath, said to represent the ancient sacred centre of Ireland.
  • Aine– (On-ya) Irish girls name, meaning ‘brightness, delight’. Also the name of a Tuatha de Denann Godess.
  • Airmid -(Ar-mith) Skilled physician and herbalist, and daughter of Dian Cecht, King Nuada’s physician.
  • Annalee -River flowing from Lough Sillan in Co Cavan into the Erne River. Also the name of Conor’s Sidhe companion.
  • Ard Ri – (Ord-Ree) High King of Ireland.
  • Balor -Fomori King, who was killed at the Second Battle of Moytura by his grandson, Lugh Lamfadha, who went on to be King of the Tuatha de Denann.
  • Ballaghadereen -(Bal-ah-der-een) A town known historically as ‘the Gateway to the West’. Its Irish name, Bealach an Doirin, means ‘the Way of the Little Oak’.
  • Banba -(Bon-va) Her name means ‘Unplowed Land’. She was a Queen of Ireland and married to MacCuill. Her sisters were Eriu and Foddhla.
  • Beltaine -(Balt-een-a) An ancient festival which takes place on May 1st. It marked the beginning of Summer for the Tuatha de Denann, and was celebrated by lighting huge bonfires. It is also the Irish name for the month of May.
  • Breffni -An ancient kingdom once comprising the counties of Leitrim and Cavan.
  • Bres -(Brez) A name meaning ‘Beautiful’. Eochu Bres was the son of Fomori King Elatha and Eri, Princess of the Tuatha de Denann. He became King after Nuada lost his arm in battle against the Fir Bolg. He ruled for seven years, until the Tuatha de Denann opposed him for his cruelty and poor leadership.
  • Brigid -(Bree-sht) Means ‘Exhalted One’. She was the daughter of the Dagda, and wife of Bres with whom she had a son, Ruadan. Her festival day is on February 1st, and known as Imbolc. To the Tuatha de Denann, it represented the first day of Spring.
  • Carrowkeel -This Neolithic complex consists of fourteen cairns and the Doonaveeragh village. It was constructed between 3000 and 2000BC high in the Bricklieve Mountains of Co Sligo.
  • Cas Corach – (Koz-Kur-ok) A Harper of the Tuatha de Denann.
  • Cesard -(Kez-orth) Druid, magician and counsellor to Eochaidh mac Eirc, last King of the Fir Bolg. He interpreted the King’s dream of a terrible flock of crows as the onslaught of the Tuatha de Denann.
  • Cessarb -(Kess-orb) Warrior of the Tuatha de Denann. Along with his brothers Luam and Luachra, he slew King Eochaidh mac Eirc of the Fir Bolg and his son Slainge at the First battle of Moytura.
  • Cian -(Kee-an) Son of Dian Cecht, father of Lugh Lamhfhada.
  • Cirb -(Kirb) Warrior of the Fir Bolg.
  • Claoimh Solais – (Clee-ov Shull-ish) Irish name for the ‘Sword of Light’, belonging to Nuada. A magical weapon, one of the Four Treasures, it was said none could escape when it was drawn against them.
  • Cnocba -(Knuck-ba) Irish name for Knowth, part of the Newgrange complex of megalithic passage tombs in Co Meath. Legend has it that Lugh buried his wife Bui here, hence it’s name, which means ‘Hill of Bui’.
  • Coire Ansic – (Kwir-a On-sik) Irish name for the Dagda’s magic cauldron, and one of the Four Treasures. It is said that none would go away from it unsatisfied.
  • Credne -(Krain-ya) Goldsmith by trade, but also skilled in the arts of working silver and bronze. He was one of the Tri Dee Dana, the Three Gods of Art, along with his brothers Luchtaine the Carpenter and Goibniu the Smith. It is said he made Nuada’s silver arm.
  • Cuchulain -(Ku-kull-in) Son of Lugh Lamhfhada. His original name was Setanta, but when he killed Cullan’s guard dog in self-defence, he took the animal’s place until a replacement could be reared, and was known after as Cuchulain, ‘the hound of Cullan’.
  • Cu Sith – (Koo Shee) Fairy hounds the size of cattle with shaggy black hair. Said to be harbingers of death.
  • Daelbeth -(Dayl-beh) A King of the Tuatha de Denann.
  • Dagda, the – (Dog-tha) Means ‘the Good God’ as in talented in many arts. He succeeded Nuada as King.
  • Dian -(Dee-an) One of the three sons of Carman, the Celtic Witch. Means ‘violence’.
  • Dian Cecht – (Dee-an Kekth) King Nuada’s physician, and Airmid’s father.
  • Diarmuid -(Deer-mith) Irish male name, meaning ‘without enemy’.
  • Dothair -(Thu-hir) Another of Carman’s sons. Means ‘evil’.
  • Drogheda -(Draw-hed-a) Town established around the mouth of the River Boyne in Co Louth by the Normans.
  • Druantia -(Th-roo-on-tee-a) Nuada’s chief druid, she was known as ‘the Queen of the Druids’.
  • Dub -The third of Carman’s sons. Means ‘darkness’.
  • Dumha na nGiall – (Thoo-a-na-Nee-al) Irish name for The Mound of Hostages, a neolithic passage tomb at the Hill of Tara, Co Meath.
  • Eithne -(Eth-na) Daughter of Fomori king Balor, and mother of Lugh.
  • Elatha -(El-ah-a) Fomori prince. Father of Bres and the Dagda.
  • Eochaidh mac Eirc – (Yeo-hee mok Airk) Last King of the Fir Bolg.
  • Eochaidh Ollathair – (Yeo-hee Ul-ah-hir) Another name for the Dagda. Means ‘all knowing father’.
  • Eraidhne -(Er-ath-na) Defeated by the Tuatha de Denann, the remaining Fir Bolg made their home around Lough Erne, and became known as the Eraidhne.
  • Eirean– (Air-in) Ancient name for Ireland.
  • Eriu -(Eyr-oo) Daughter of Ernmas, and Queen of Tuatha de Denann. She was married to Mac Greine (son of the sun). Her sisters were Foddla and Banba.
  • Eterlam -(Eth-er-lam) Son of Nuada and Macha.
  • Faeth Fiadha – (Feh Fee-oh-a) Means ‘Master of Mist’ and refers to the magical Cloak of Concealment with which Manannan shielded Tir na Nog, the home of the Tuatha de Denann from sight following defeat by the Milesians.
  • Fianna -(Fee-ana) Military elite group who guarded the King and protected Ireland. The people’s warriors.
  • Fidcheall -(Fih-al) Ancient Celtic board game, supposedly devised by Lugh and played most skilfully by his son Cuchulain. Means ‘wood sense’. Little is known about it, but that two opponents moved equal numbers of pieces on a grid around the board.
  • Fir Bolg – (Fir Bul-ug) Race which inhabited Ireland prior to the Tuatha de Denann.
  • Foddhla -(Foal-a) Queen of Ireland. Married to Mac Cecht. Sister of Banba and Eriu.
  • Forradh -(For-a) Means ‘Royal Seat’. Name of a ring barrow at the Hill of Tara upon which stands the Lia Fail.
  • Fullachta Fiad – (Full-ok-th-a Fee-a) Outdoor kitchen.
  • Four Cities of the Tuatha de Denann – The Denann were reputed to have come from four cities in the North, from where they learned their magic, and brought their talismans of power, the Four Treasures. These cities were Findias, Falias, Gorias and Muirias. I have chosen to leave off the endings of these names, as to me they sound as though they have been ‘latin-ised’ by scribe monks.
  • Gaible -(Gob-la) Son of Nuada and Macha.
  • Goibniu -(Gov-noo) Nuada’s smith. Known as one of the Tri Dee Dana, the Three Gods of Art, along with his brothers Luchtaine the Carpenter and Credne the Goldsmith.
  • Inis Ealga – (Inn-ish Al-ga) Fir Bolg name for Ireland.
  • Inis Fail – (Inn-ish Faw-ll) Tuatha de Denann name for Ireland, named after their coronation stone, the Lia Fail.
  • Indech -(Inn-dek) Fomori King.
  • Knowth -(Now-th) See ‘Cnocba’.
  • Lia Fail – (Lee-a Faw-ll) The Irish name for the Coronation Stone, also known as ‘The Stone of Destiny’, located at the Hill of Tara. Legend has it that its cry, which can be heard throughout the land, confirms the coronation of the rightful High King of Ireland.
  • Luachra and Luam – (Loo-ok-ra and Loo-am) The brothers of Cessarb, who helped him kill King Eochaidh ma Eirc and son Slainger of the Fir Bolg at the First Battle of Moytura.
  • Luchtaine -(Luk-thin-a) Worker of fine metals including gold, silver and bronze, one of the Tri Dee Dana, the three Gods of Art along with brothers Goibniu and Credne.
  • Lugaidh -(Loo-ee) Son of Nuada Argetlam. Killed in the First Battle of Moytura.
  • Lugh Lamhfhada – (Loo/Loog La-ward-a) A King of the Tuatha de Denann. His father was Cian, son of Dian Cecht, and his mother was Ethniu, daughter of Fomori King Balor. The name Lugh is thought to mean ‘flashing light’ or ‘lightening flash’, and as such, he is often associated with storms, in which he is believed to be fighting his grandfather Balor, whom he killed at the Second Battle of Moytura. As an infant, he was fostered by Queen Tailtiu of the Fir Bolg until he came of age. He founded the festival of Lughnasa at Teltown, Co Meath on August 1st in her honour when she died. He earned himself many titles, the most well-known among them being ‘Samildanach’, meaning ‘Equally Skilled in All Arts’, and ‘Lamhfhada’, meaning ‘Of the Long Arm’, due to his skill with the throwing spear.
  • Lough -(Lock) Irish word for lake.
  • Macha -(Mock-a) Wife of Nuada, sister to Badb and the Morrigan.
  • Mathgen -(Moh-gen) Chief magician to Nuada.
  • Miach -(Mee-ah) Skilled surgeon, and son of Nuada’s physician Dian Cecht. He replaced Nuada’s silver arm with one of flesh. Dian Cecht was so overwhelmed with jealousy by this that he killed his son in a fit of anger.
  • Moytura -(Moy-chew-ra) The site where the Battles of Moytura took place, now known as Moytirra beside Lough Arrow, Co Sligo. There is some debate about this; some claim the first battle is more likely to have occurred at Cong, on the borders of Co Galway and Co Mayo. The Irish name is Cath Maighe Tuired, meaning ‘The Battle of the Plain of Pillars’.
  • Nochtann -(Nuck-than) Irish for ‘reveal’.
  • Nuada Argetlam – (Noo-tha Or-geth-lam) The King of the Tuatha de Denann who brought his people to Ireland. He lost his sword arm fighting Sreng of the Fir Bolg. As he was now considered ‘blemished’, he could no longer continue as king, and was replaced by Bres, who ruled as a tyrant for seven years. During this time, Nuada’s silver arm was replaced with one of flesh, and as he was now ‘whole’ again, Bres was deposed, and Nuada re-instated. He was killed during the Second battle of Moytura by Fomori King Balor.
  • Nuala -(Noo-la) Irish girls name, short for Fionula, meaning ‘white shoulder’.
  • Ochtriallach -(Uk-three-lok) Son of Fomori King Indech. He was responsible for sabotaging the Denann’s well of Healing at the Second Battle of Moytura by filling it with stones which his men took from the River Drowse.
  • Octrivil -(Uk-three-vil) Second son of physician Dian Cecht.
  • Ogma -(Oh-ma) Warrior of the Tuatha de Denann, Nuada’s champion, and brother of the Dagda. Lugh’s half-brother. Ogma is credited with inventing the Ogham Alphabet.
  • Ollamh Eirean – (Ul-av Air-inn) Chief bard of Ireland, equal in status to the High King.
  • Provinces, the Five – In ancient times, Ireland was divided into five provinces, each with their own king. These were Connacht, Leinster, Ulster, Munster and Mide. Each province was sub-divided into smaller kingdoms. Now only four remain, Mide having become the counties of Meath and Westmeath.
  • Radala Gaoithe – (Roh-th-al-a Gwee-ha) Name of the unicorn in this story who guards the forests of Tir na Nog. Means ‘Wind Racer’.
  • Rath na Riogh – (Roh na Ree) The Fort of Kings at the Hill of Tara, also known as ‘The Royal Enclosure’.
  • Ri Tuatha – (Ree Thoo-a) Rank of clan chieftain.
  • Ruadan -(Roo-awn) Son of Bres and Brigid who was killed by smith Goibniu at the Second Battle of Moytura after being sent on a mission of espionage and sabotage against the Denann.
  • Ruadh Rofhessa – (Roo-a Row-essa) Title given to the Dagda, meaning ‘The Mighty Red One of All Knowledge’.
  • Ruairi -(Roo-ree) Irish boys name, meaning ‘red king’.
  • Samildanach -(Sau-wil thon-ok) Title given to Lugh Lamhfhada, meaning ‘Equally Skilled in All Arts’.
  • Seamus -(Shay-mus) Irish version of the boy’s name James.
  • Sidhe -(Shee) When the Tuatha de Denann were defeated in battle by the Milesians, they were said to have retreated into their forts beneath the hills, and became known as the Sidhe, or Fairy Folk.
  • Slainge– (Slaw-n-ya) Son of Fir Bolg King Eochaidh mac Eirc. He was killed at the First battle of Moytura.
  • Sliabh an Iarainn – (Shlee-av on Eer-inn) Means ‘the Iron Mountain’. This is where the Tuatha de Denann mined the metal for their tools and weapons.
  • Sligo -(Sly-goh) Town and county in Ireland. Irish name is Sligeach, meaning ‘the shelly place’, after the abundance of shellfish found in the river and estuary there.
  • Sreng mac Sengalin – (Sh-reng mok Sheng-al-inn) Battle chief and champion of Fir Bolg King Eochaidh mac Eirc. Cut off Nuada’s sword arm at the First Battle of Moytura
  • Tadg – (Thy-g) Son of Nuada and Macha.
  • Tailltiu -(Tall-chew) Wife of Eochaidh mac Eirc and Queen of the Fir Bolg. Foster mother to Lugh Lamhfhada. Lived at Tailten, now known as Teltown, Co Meath.
  • Teamhair na Ri – (Tee-ow-ir na Ree) Irish name for the Hill of Tara, an important archaeological site located near the River Boyne in Co Meath. It is associated with ancient sacred kingship rituals.
  • Tir na Nog – (Tier na noag) Land of the Ever Young. Mythical home of the Sidhe.
  • Tuatha de Denann – (Thoo-a day Don-on) Race of god-like people with magical powers who once ruled Ireland over 4000 years ago. Later became known as the Sidhe.
  • Tuathal Teachtmhar – (Thoo-hal Ceck-th-vor) A High King of Ireland during the First Century AD.
  • Uiscas -(Ish-kos) The creator of Nuada’s magical Sword of Light, the Claoimh Solais.
  • Uisneach, Hill of – (Oosh-na) In Irish, its name is Cnoc Isneagh. It is located in Co Westmeath, and is considered in mythology to be the centre, or ‘naval’ of Ireland. The Stone of Divisions is located here. There is also evidence of huge fires being lit at Uisneach, possibly in celebration of the Beltaine festival on May 1st.

One Comment on “People, Places and Pronunciation

  1. Pingback: Today it’s all about ME! | aliisaacstoryteller

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