eDIL - Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language

The electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) is a digital dictionary of medieval Irish. It is based on the ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY’S Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials (1913-1976) which covers the period c.700-c.1700. The current site contains revisions to c.4000 entries and further corrections and additions will be added in the coming years.

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GLÚN is 'knee'. The expression 'do-fúargaib glún' (raises the knee) seems to describe an act of respect or homage. In English we refer to 'going down on bended knee'; in the Irish expression, the focus is on the knee which is raised. Críth Gablach, a legal text, gives us some idea of the parties involved in this kind of ritual: tuargaib espuc a glún ria ríg (a bishop raises his knee before the king).

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CRIDE 'heart' indicates the physical heart of a living thing. But it can be used figuratively also, to refer to the centre of something, and so can occur along with words for other parts of the body. CRIDE LÁIME, for example, is 'the palm of the hand' (the phrase 'heart of the hand' is used in the same way in Hiberno-English) and CRIDE COISE, literally 'the heart of the foot', is the sole!

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TROSCAD 'fasting' has a particular legal significance in early Irish. It refers to coercive fasting performed in order to obtain a request or petition - a kind of medieval hunger-strike. In contrast, AÍN is the ascetic practice of fasting and appears in the names of days of the week: Cétaín (first fast) 'Wednesday', Dardaín (between two fasts) 'Thursday', and Aín Dídine (end fast) 'Friday'.

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OIDID means ‘offers, lends’. It occurs in a wide variety of contexts in medieval Irish. God lends the world to man, a prostitute is a woman who has lent her body for a fee ('ben ... ro aidhestar a corp ar choibche') and the Old-Irish wisdom-text Tecosca Cormaic advises us against acting as someone else's mouthpiece: 'ní ois do beólu do chách' (do not lend your mouth to others).

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