Story Glossary

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    ava adore

    Hi! I’m writing a story and script, so I want to make sure that the words I’m using are correct. I was referred here by James Pelow at Snasta when I was looking to purchase a translation, as I believe (?) I’m looking for Old Irish and it turns out he specializes in contemporary Irish. I’m hoping you all might be open to helping me, and thank you for your time!

    These are the Irish words that I will be using:

    aes sídhe – people of the mounds
    Airgetlám – silver hand/arm (of Nuada)
    Sluagh – horde – (is this Old Irish?)

    It’s come to my attention that there are different forms and spelling of the Irish Gaelic language. I’m looking for the form/dialect/time period that matches the above terms. Are they Old Irish? Contemporary Irish with pre-spelling-reform spellings? What are the above and do they all agree / come from the same linguistic background?

    The glossary of terms I’m needing to confirm as
    1) correct and
    2) following the same Irish form as above
    are as follows:

    Translations I have found online:

    • ánanma – couple, as in handfastings
    • násad – assembly
    • An Ancaire – the anchorite
    • An tArdsagart – the high priest
    • Mingary – the quiet place
    • Forosnai – illuminated / that which illuminates
    • argat – silver (is this a noun?)
    • clann – descendents, offshoots
    • Clann Nuada – or would it be Clann Nuad?
    • Slane – Dian Checht’s well (is this a noun?)

    Translations I have had done for me:

    • An Sídhean – the fairy mounds
    • An Rudalann – the human realm / “the place of things”
    • cineál rudaí – humanity / “the race of things”
    • an fiáin – “the wild” (is there any subtext to this translation?)


    • Imbolc / Samhain / Bealtaine / Lugnasad – do all these agree in form?
    • For the Old Irish, should it be ogam or ogham?

    And lastly, an odd one—

    • I read that the Unseelie Court and Seelie Court’s names stem from Scottish seilie… is there an Irish version, or would those be the same due to culture sharing?

    Thank you so much again for all of your help!


    Hi! As the characters you mention (Núada, Cían Cécht) go back to the mythological era, it would perhaps make sense to use Old Irish spellings … Based on the electronic Old Irish Dictionary eDIL, I have tried to list the correct forms:
    áes síde, argatlám, slúag, násad, ancaire (“anchorite”), int ancaire (“the anchorite”), ardsacart (“high priest”), int ardsacart (“the high priest”), Mìogharraidh (Scottish Gaelic, actually means “middle field”), forosnai (means “that illuminates”), argat (“silver” as noun), clann, clann Núadat (“Núada’s children/descendants”), Sláine (place-name, literally means “healt; salvation”), Imbolc, Samain, Beltaine, Lugnasad, ogam.
    As regards the translations, I’m a bit hesitant. The word “fairy-mound” is “síd” in Old Irish (plural “sída”), in modern Irish it would simply be “sí” (plural “síthe”). “An Sídhean” doesn’t make much sense. “Mankind” or “humanity” would be “(an) cine daonna” in modern Irish, so by analogy perhaps you could coin a term like “(an) rudchine” (“the thing-kind”). The old Irish word for “kind” is “cenél”, but I’m not sure “rud” would work there. “An fiáine” would be “wildness” and “an fiadhúlra” would be “wildlife; wild nature”. In Old Irish, “wildnerness” is “fíadan”. I would personally have trouble understanding the meaning of “An Rudalann”… perhaps “rudlann” would make more sense in terms of grammar.
    I’m not an expert in Old Irish, so take all this with great caution. Good luck with your script!

    ava adore

    So sorry for the delay, I had trouble logging in. Thank you so much for the response, it was very helpful!
    I have a few follow-up questions, if you (or anyone able) could help:

    ===OLD IRISH===

    – I see rudchine is modern Irish; I do need an Old Irish type translation. Could you clarify for me what would work with cenél? Why would “rud” not work? “Rud” is a central term I use (and I can change it if that’s not Old Irish – I looked and saw rét might be the right term instead? Would it need to be Rétlann?) but I do need a term for “thing” (like object of some but not major consequence, perhaps with the subtext of interchangeability) to be use for terms in Old Irish meaning “thing-race” and “thing-place.” Does Rudlann or Rétlann work for the latter? What would work for the former? It’s in a fantasy context, so as close as possible on this particular topic (thing-place and thing-race) is fine.
    – If sída is the Old Irish plural of fairy mound, would Sídalann work? And what would Sídeann mean, if anything? (I realize that might not mean anything, I just need to confirm that).
    – I didn’t realize Mingary was Scottish. I’m basically looking to name a place, a quiet sort of limbo type hibernation space, spiritually speaking. I don’t want it to end in -lann or -ann. What are some other words that could work to name this place in Old Irish?
    – With “the wild,” fíadan was given in Old Irish – does this work in the context of like, the wild unknowable? I’m not looking so much for a noun indicating a forest, but more that sense of wild wonder of going into ‘the wild’ as something unmeasurable and untamable. Would that work work in that context?

    ===MODERN IRISH===

    – I have one Modern Irish question. If folks are speaking to one another in current Modern Irish about an old god, would one use Nuada (the old spelling/name) or Nuadha (the modern spelling)?

    Thanks again!!

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