descriptive bynames

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    Hugo David

    Traditionally, people were often named including a descriptive byname describing from physical feature or personality trait. Nowadays, I know the word rua continues to be used to describe red hair; does anyone know if the following byname also continue to have specific meanings regarding physical traits in people:

    Crón – dark skinned?, tanned? (See, e.g. cróinseach – a dark-skinned woman)

    Buí – yellow-haired? (means: yellow)

    Riabhach – streaked (hair/beard)? (means: streaked, striped, brindled, speckled grey; used in: bó riabhach – brindled cow (black streaked with red); cat riabhach = tabby cat)



    I’ve not heard any of the above. But a neighbouring family are known as the Bawnees, from Bán presumably.


    I’ve often heard bui used for someone with a sallow (yellowish) complexion

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