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July 5, 2017
9:15 am
Forum Posts: 27
Member Since:
December 16, 2015

I think we can do better than "woman", never mind anything sorrowful – which is obviously silly as the Deirdre concerned had that name long before anything tragic occurred to her. Noting the Old Irish form "Derdriu", I suspect we should observe a parallel to Derlughdach (variously "Dar-"). If the argument proposed for that name – ie that Der = daughter – then 'all' we have to do is parse the "dre"/"driu". I don't have a definitive answer, but I start from the assumption that people did not give their children names implying negative qualities or aspirations. Looking for something similar in Scots Gaelic (Dwelly) I would therefore discard various words in "driuch" etc. in favour of eg "dreach" = beauty. Thus the name might mean "beautiful daughter" or even more emphatically "daughter of Beauty". I would not assert that this is the right answer, but I think that it is probably the right approach. Hopefully there will be someone with a detailed knowledge of Irish Gaelic who might be able to zoom in on the sensible answer.

July 9, 2017
2:32 pm
Forum Posts: 27
Member Since:
December 16, 2015

Further to my post above I am now thinking that the dreach/driuch dichotomy may well be a deliberate pun. The starting point is that the pretext (the cry in the womb) is technically impossible so the whole of the start of the tale is a post hoc confection. We may go on to see a parallel with Cameron (really Chambron but tweaked by disgruntled locals to cam rhon) and Campbell (cam beul for Campo Bello). Thus if he real name were Der-dreach, the story teller represents this as Der-driuch for dramatic purpose.

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