Tuesday, 11 May 2010

ayurvedic and gallowglass

Proto-Indo-European *h₂oi̯u- "life force" became Vedic ā́yus "life force" and आयुर्वेद āyur-veda - veda meaning "knowledge".

The AHD claims that *h₂oi̯u- was a variant of *h₂i̯eu- "youth, vigor" altho I haven't seen anyone else make this claim. *h₂i̯eu- is the source of Old Irish óac "young" which combined with the abstract noun-making suffix -lach to become Irish Gaelic óglách "youth, servant, warrior".

Óglách is the second part of the Irish Gaelic gallóglách, the first part being from gall "foreigner, stranger" - borrowed from Latin Gallus "Gaul" (according to MacBain's). A gallowglass was a mercenary class in Scotland and Ireland, but its etymological meaning is apparently "foreign warrior, possibly Gaulish".

The mercilesse Macdonwald
… from the Westerne Isles
Of Kernes and Gallowgrosses is supply'd

- Macbeth I, ii

(A kerne is an Irish foot-soldier, from Irish Gaelic ceithern.)


Cailliomachas said...

I enjoyed this. It is not clear what 'foreigners' are implied in the term 'gallóglach' - Herbridean Norsemen or Scottish Gaelic mercenaries who came to Ireland. The English 'gallowglass' may derive from the collective noun 'gallóglachas' and in Ireland today is more likely to refer to a céilí band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2fmhuB1Kj0

goofy said...

The English term was often used as a collective noun, so the derivation from "galloglachas" sounds plausible to me.

Con vista al mundo hispanohablante said...

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