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Cite this: eDIL s.v. fethal or

Forms: f., fethail

n o, m. acc. to Vendryes, RC xxix 204 `that which indicates' (√ uet- ` declare '), hence

(a) a characteristic badge or emblem (of office or class), insignia (used both of dress and ornaments): e fethol .i. a n-étach sacaird (gl. ephoth) Tur. 87 . f.¤ līnda imbi (of a herald) TBC-I¹ 1112 . f.¤ maith an airdrigh tar cend a tuaithi (gl. on: sēt cacha mārflatha, as a pledge), Laws v 244.22 Comm. f.¤ connduala (distinctive appurtenance of a chief's wife) 384.24 ; expld. by: fethal comdala ... nó ... eccusc comduala .i. in merge no in brat sída no in rinde, O'Dav. 992 , but see next ex.

(b) a device or ornament on a shield: sceith co fethul chonduala, LL 248b3 ( TBFr. 39 ). sce[i]th co fethluib conndualae ┐ con n-imlib findruini, IT iii 239.139 .

(c) a halidom , an object regarded as sacred, and sometimes used for swearing on; in Christian lit. esp. of the appurtenances of Divine service . f.¤ .i. cumdach comartha nó minn, ut est imdénatsom la fethla `f.¤ i.e. a shrine or mark, or relic, ut est, they prove with relics' O'Dav. 899 . fetal cach cumtach, Phil. Soc. Trans. 1859, 209 . cūic prīmfethail cecha ec(ol)sa ... bachall ┐ menistir ┐ cros ┐ cloc ┐ catur (.i. soiscela), Trip. xxi . soire ecalsi Dé ... cona fethlaib, Cáin Ad. 34 . sechip f.¤ foa tosar a ndubethech any emblem on which a down-right perjury is sworn Ériu vii 156 § 15 . f.¤ na feart (of a bell), Fen. 236.18 . le cois na ffethal ffertach with the wonder-working insignia (of St. Maedóc's halidoms) BNnÉ 246.10 . is deside rocumtaigit scrína ┐ [ḟ]ethla náem hErenn, LL 274a7 . scrín Mancháin do cumhdach ... feibh as deach ro cumhdaighedh feathal a nErinn, AFM ii 1156.13 . crand do chor a fethlaib `casting lots out of reliquaries' IT iii 192.5 (= chalices ? Cf. dobertar na crunna i cailech for altōir, Cáin Ad. 46 ). Of pagan halidoms used in attestation : etag ┐ iath anmann fethal la gentiu, ut dicitur: dar an iath-sae ..., O'Mulc. 469 . Fig. of a person: ba he ... an f.¤ coisrecctha an righ nemdha dognídh sídh ... eter Dia ┐ duine (of St. Barre) BNnÉ 20.22 (cf. Lism. L. 2463 where same expression is used of Senán and the word f. is glossed `mincúis'). f.¤ co faebraighi (of Christ) ZCP viii 203.26 . cartait glonn fri f.¤ find, AFM ii 590.10 (poem), where f.¤ seems to refer to the bishop Mael Maedoc.

(d) a valuable drinking-horn or cup (B. na f. ? Cf. IT iii 192.5 above) : f.¤ .i. corn cumdaigh argoid, Corm. Y 653 . O'Cl. (feathal). is he f.¤ luigid (= luigi ?) sil Eogain .i. bernan Emin, Irish Texts iii 2.11 (probably a bell, see bernán). na tri feathla is deach do boi a nEalga, ZCP viii 103.1 (B. na f.) = na tri cuirn, Ériu ii 186.19 . Cf. f.¤ .i. comdus (= comadas ?) ind dail, O'Mulc. 596 = Phil. Soc. Trans. 1859, 209 .

(e) distinctive shape or appearance, aspect, likeness: feuthal .i. eugasg, Corm. Y 669 . feathal .i. éccosc no cuma, O'Cl. gó go ffeathol ffior ┐ fior go bḟethal ngua, Ériu xiii 14.20 . f.¤ ferda, TBC-LL¹ 5741 . fethol chuid Ailline, RC xiii 222.43 (B. na f.) = delb cinn A., MS. Mat. 473 . biaid i fethol cech míl he will assume the form of every animal Imr. Brain § 53 . cidh deghnie drochfethol? ol sé `what makes thee look so ill ?' RC xii 64.15 (leg. -féth; -ol being due to dittography ? Cf. 5 féth). finnḟethal frestal `attendance of bright appearance' (of angels) ACC 22 ( RC xx 166 ). Cf. also: Foibne, feochair in f.¤ 'fierce of feature' Metr. Dinds. iv 86y . goiridh Sesar Cruithnigh .i. picti, do Brethnuibh do cuiredh aighidh fedil do bhód ┐ do bhadar orra (= Caesar calls the Britons picti because they tattooed their faces with woad and madder) 24 N 2, 162 = Todd, Todd Nenn. vi 4 (Dubháltach Mac Fir Bhisigh). If `fedil' = fethail (or fethal , g p.) it applies to the figures of animals, etc., mentioned in the previous sentence.