o, m. later ogam, ogham.
, a species of writing or script used in Ireland in
early times, though prob. adapted from the Roman alphabet
Macalister, The Secret Languages of Ireland 28
In Irish ogham the letters (25 in all) were represented by
strokes, vertical or oblique and varying in number from one
to five, drawn from one or both sides of a foundation-line
(druim); it was commonly employed on stone pillars or
rectangular staves of wood, of which an angle served as
`druim'. The only extant specimens are inscriptions on
burial- (or memorial-?) stones. Its invention was traditionally
ascribed to Ogma mac Elathan (see Ogma): athair ogaim
Ogma, mathair ogaim lam no sgian (i.e. Ogma was the in-
ventor of Ogham, its efficient cause is hand or knife),
. The letters in the o.¤
alphabet bore the names of trees
or shrubs and the alphabet itself was called Beithe-luis(-nin)
from the opening letters b, l, (n). Ogham script seems to
have been cultivated in the bardic schools throughout the
Middle Ages and in the Auraicept in BB and other MSS. 93
various kinds of ogham alphabet based on the Beithe-luis
are described. In the curriculum of the bardic schools (given
IT iii 32 § 2
34 § 9
) 50 `ogums' (? ogham alphabets)
form part of the course in the first, second, and third years
respectively. In heroic lit. we find ogham writing used for
burial inscriptions, cryptic messages and occas. for divination
(wooden staves or rods being used for the last purpose).
(b) an ogham inscription
ogum i llia, lia uas lecht,
dammared Find fichtib glond | cian bud
chuman in ogom,
(= int ogum, LL fcs.).
atá coirthe oca
ulaid. ┐ atá ogom isin chind fil hi talam din corthi. Issed fil
and. Eochaid Airgtech inso,
Imr. Brain i 48.15
ro tócbad a lia ┐ ro scríbad [a] ainm oguim,
dogni ith n-erchomail . . . ┐ scribais ogum ina menacc,
tuc ainm n-oguim 'na menuc,
dobert C. a sleigin dō ┐ doforne ogum n-ind,
IT ii1 178.138
co ndernui [in druí] iiii flescca ibir ┐ scrípuidh oghumm inntib,
IT i 129.22
(a method of divination). foidis . . . Dauid co
hAibisolon in milid ┐ rig-ogum ina sciath do thabairt chatha,
ZCP xiii 177.9
(i.e. secret instructions to give battle).
las' cētna dernta chumni i n-ogmaib,
Corp. Gen. 363 (320c24)
comorbus ... ro rinnad oghmaib 'inheritance ... which has been engraved in Ogams',
Ériu lvi 73 (18)
CIH iii 746.38
Ogham inscriptions were also used to attest sales, ownership
of property, and for mere-stones;
ogum na creca do beth i
H 3.18 p. 251
), where a tombstone is used
for the record.
in bat la comorbaib cuimne cen ogom i n
ailc[h]ibh . . . cen macu, cen ratha,
ib. p. 22 a
comcuimne da crích . . . .i. in t-oghum isin gollan [= gallán],
ib. p. 230b
in t-ogum isin ngollán . . . gebid greim
H 5.15 p. 7a
(c) in late gramm. treatises ogham apparently denotes the
written language or spelling as distinguished from the spoken
lang. or pronunciation (Gaedhelg).
an connsuine bháithtear
do gháoidheilg do dhénamh d'oghum san chomhfhocal,
Introd. § 2.36
(i.e. to express in the written compound word
a letter which is assimilated in pronunciation? an error; cf.
nach do réir oghuim do shíor chuirthear comhar-
(i.e. rhyme is not invariably determined by spelling).
(= current or ordinary spelling?).
atáid cóig aicme chúigir san bheithe luis ┐ ger lór trí litre .xx.
san ogham iomagallmha,
(there are 25 characters in the
`beithe-l.' or ogham alphabet, but only 23 in current script).
(d) the term ogham seems to have been later applied also
to some species of Bérla na filed or cryptic lang., see Thurn.
RC vii 369
O'Don. Gram. p. xlviii
Macalister, The Secret Languages of Ireland
obscurum loquendi modum, vulgo Ogham, anti-
quariis Hiberniae satis notum
O'Molloy, Grammatica Latino-
(quoted by O'Don., loc. cit.).
Morish O'Gibellan . . .
an eloquent and exact speaker of the speech which in Irish is
ACMN (transld. by MagEoghe-
gan) p. 286 (an. 1328). See ogmóracht.