An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language/U

An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language  (1911)  by Alexander MacBain


ua, o, from, Ir. ua, ó, O. Ir. ua, hua, ó: *ava, ab; Skr. áva, ab, off; Lat. au- (au-fero), away; Ch. Sl. u-, ab, away. See o.

uabairt, expulsion: *od-bert-, prefixed by ua? from the root ber (in beir).

uabhar, pride, so Ir., O. Ir. úabar, vainglory, W. ofer, waste, vain (Ascoli): *oubro-, root eüg, rise, Gr. ὕβρις, insolence (see uasal). It has also been analysed into *ua-ber like uabairt = "e-latio", elation.

uachdar, surface, summit, so Ir., uachtar, ochtar: *ouktero-, root euꬶ, veꬶ, rise, be vigorous, as in uasal, q.v. Cf. W. uthr, admirandus.

uadh- in uadh-bheist, monster, uadh-chrith, terror; see uath below.

uaigh, a grave, Ir. uaigh, M. Ir. uag, E. Ir. uag, *augâ, allied to Got. augo, eye, Eng. eye. See for force dearc. So Stokes, and rightly.

uaigneach, secret, lonesome, so Ir., M. Ir. uagnech: *uath-gen-, "lonesome-kind", from uath, lonesome, single; Norse auðr, empty, Got. auþs, waste, desert; Lat. ôtium, rest.

uaill, pride, Ir. uaill, E. Ir. úaill, O. Ir. uall: *oukslâ, root euꬶ, veꬶ of uasal.

uaimh, a cave, den, Ir. uaimh, g. uamha, M. Ir. uaim, g. uama, O. Ir. huam, specus (also huád, specu): *oumâ. Bezzenberger suggests *poumâ, allied to Gr. πῶμα, a lid (*πωυμα); Strachan

compares Gr. εὐνή, bed (Ger. wohnen, dwell). W. ogof, cave, den is correlated by Ascoli.

uaine, green, Ir. uainne, uaithne, E. Ir. úane. Strachan suggets the possibility of a Gadelic *ugnio-, root veg, be wet, Gr. ü`grós, wet (see feur).

uainneart, bustle, wallowing, Ir. únfuirt, wallowing, tumbling; also G. aonairt, aonagail:

uair, an hour, Ir. uair, O. Ir. huar, uar, g. hóre, W. awr, Cor. our, O. Br. aor, Br. eur, heur; from Lat. hora, Eng. hour. Hence uaireadair, a watch, time-piece, Ir. uaireadóir (*horatorium?).

uaisle, pride, nobility, so Ir.; from uasal, q.v.

uallach, a burden, Ir. ualach: *podl-; O. H. G. fazza, a bundle, Ger. fassen, hold (Strachan). Also G. eallach, q.v.

uallach, gay, proud, so Ir.; from uaill.

uamhag, sheep-louse:

uamharr, dreadful, Ir. uathmhar, E. Ir. úathmar; from uath, fear, q.v. Used adverbially, like Eng. awfully, to denote excess. Dial. uarraidh.

uamhas, dread, horror, uathbhas, Ir. uathbhás, E. Ir. úathbhás: *uath-bás, "dread death"; see uath and bàs.

uamhunn, horror, Ir. uamhan, awe, horror, E. Ir. uamun, hóman, O. Ir. omun, homon, rarely, ómun, fear, W. ofn, fear, awe, Cor. own, Br. aoun, Gaul. -obnos, Ex-obnus, Fearless: *obno-s, fear. Bez. cfs. Got. bi-abrjan, be astounded (but abrs means "powerful"), and Gr. ἄφνω, suddenly.

uan, a lamb, Ir., M. Ir. uan, W. oen, pl. wyn, Cor. oin, Br. oan: *ogno-s; Lat. agnus; Gr. άμνός (for ἀβνός); Ch. Sl. jagne; Also Ag. S. éanian, to yean or lamb (*aunōn).

uar, waterfall, heavy shower, confluence (Sutherland Dial.), Ir., E. Ir. úarán, fresh spring; see fuaran. Arm. has uaran, fresh water.

uarach, hourly, temporary (H.S.D.), homely (M'L.); from uair.

uasal, noble, proud, Ir., O. Ir. uasal, W. uchel, Br. uhel, huel, Gaul. uxello-: *oukselo-, high, root euꬶ, veꬶ, rise, increase; Gr. ὑψηλός, high, αὐξω, increase; Lat. augeo, increase, vigeo, be strong; Eng. up, Ger. auf; Lit. áuksztas, high.

uath, dread, Ir. uath, O. Ir. úath, Cor. uth, Br. eus, heuz, horror; *pouto-, root pu, foul; Lat. putris, Eng. putrid, foul?

ub! ubub! interjection of contempt or aversion, O. Ir. upp.

ubag, ubaidh, a charm, Ir. uptha, upadh, sorcerer, O. Ir. upta, fascinatio, uptha, Manx obbee, sorcery: *od-ba-t-, from ba, speak (see ob, refuse). Zimmer refers it to root ben of bean, hurt, touch.

ubairt, rummaging amoung heavy articles, bustle (Dial.); see ùbraid.

ubh! ubh! interjection of disgust or amazement; cf. Eng. phew.

ubh, an egg, Ir. ubh, ugh, O. Ir. og, ub (?), W. wy, pl. wyan, Cor. uy, oy, Br. u, vi: *ogos; Gr. ὤβεον, egg, further ὠóν, Lat. ovum, Eng. egg. The phonetics as between Celtic and the other languages is somewhat difficult; but the connection is indisputable.

ubhal, apple, Ir. ubhall, E. Ir. uball, ubull, O. Ir. aball, W. afal, Cor. auallen, Br. avallen: *aballo-, *aballôn; Eng. apple, Ger. apfel; Lit. obü*lys. Stokes now queries Ger. obst, fruit, O. H. G. obaz, Ag. S. ofet, fruit.

ùbhla, a fine, penalty:

ùbraid, confusion, dispute, also ùprait: *ud-bert-, from ber of beir.

ucas, ugsa, coal-fish, stenlock:

uchd, the breast, so Ir., O. Ir. ucht: *poktu-; Let. pectus? Stokes and Bezzenberger give *puptu-, Lettic pups, woman's breast, Lit. pápas, breast (Eng. pap from Lat. pappa). St. now gives poktus, allied to pectus. See iochd.

ud, yon, yonder, Ir. úd, E. Ir. út; for sud (sút), q.v. For loss of s, cf. the article.

udabac, outhouse, porch, back-house (ùdabac, Uist); from Norse úti-bak, "out-back"?

udail, cause to shake, waver, remove, Ir. udmhall, quick, stirring (O'Cl.), O. Ir. utmall, unsteady, utmaille, instability: út of sud + tamall (Rhys).

ùdail, inhospitable, churlish, ùdlaidh, gloomy; cf. Norse útlagi, an outlaw, útlagð, outlawry.

udalan, a swivel, Ir. udalán (Fol., O'R.); from udail. Cf. ludnan.

udhar, a boil, ulcer; also othar, q.v.

ùdlaiche, a stag, old hart (Arm.):

ùdrathad, ùtraid, free egress and regress to common pasture; from the Norse - cf. útreið, an expedition, "out-road".

ugan, the upper part of the breast, Ir. ugán, craw of a fowl, ugannn, fish gill (Heb.):

ùghdair, author, Ir. úghdar, E. Ir. ugtar, O. Ir. augtor; from Lat. auctor.

ugsa, coal-fish; see ucas.

uibe, a mass, lump (as of dough), iob; cf. faob: *ud-bio-, "out-being". But cf. Lat. offa, ball.

uibhir, a number, quantity, Ir. uibhir, uimhir, E. Ir. numir, number; from Lat. numerus, Eng. number.

ùidh (uidh), care, heed, Ir. uidh (obs.), O. Ir. oid; see taidhe.

ùidh, a ford, that part of a stream leaving a lake before breaking into a current; also an isthmus (M'Kinnon), uidh, aoi); from Norse eið, an isthmus, neck of land. Hence Eye or Ui near Stornoway, older Ey, Huy, Eie.

uidh, uidhe, a journey, distance, Ir. uidhe, E. Ir. ude, O. Ir. huide, profectio: *odio-n, root pod, ped, go; Lat. pes, pedis, foot; Gr. ποúς, ποδός, foot; Eng. foot; Skr. padyâ, footstep.

uidheam, accoutrements, apparatus, Ir. ughaim, harness, trappings, O. Ir. aidmi, armamenta, W. iau, jugum, O.Cor. iou, Br. geo, ieo, *yougo-, yoke; Eng. yoke, Ger. joch; Gr. ζυγόν; Lat. jugum; Lit. jungas. The Gadelic requires a form *ad-jung-mi. Cf. O. Ir. adim, instrumentum, pl.n. admi.

ùig, a nook, cove; from Norse vík, bay, creek, Eng. wick, -wich. Hence the place name Uig (Skye, Lewis). Hence ùigean, a fugitive, wanderer.

uigheil, pleasant, careful; from aoigh in the first meaning and from ùidh in the second.

uile, all, the whole, Ir. uile, O. Ir. uile, huile: *polio-s, root pol, pel, full, many, Gr. πολλός (= πολιος), much, many; see iol-. Stokes and most philologists refer it to *oljo-s, Eng. all, Ger. all, Got. alls (*olnó-s, Mayhew). Some have derived it from *soli-, Lat. sollus, whole, Gr. ὁλος, whence Stokes deduces the Brittonic words - W. oll, all, Corn. hol, Br. holl, oll (see slàn).

uileann, elbow, Ir. uille, g. uilleann, M. Ir. uille, pl.acc. uillinn, O. Ir. uilin (acc.), W., Cor. elin, Br. ilin, elin: *olên-; Gr. ὠλήν, ὠλένη; Lat. ulna; Ag. S. eln, Eng. ell, elbow.

uilear, enough, etc.; see fuilear.

uill (ùill, H.S.D.), oil thou, uilleadh, oil (n.); see ola.

uilleann, honeysuckle, so Ir. (O'B.), M. Ir. feithlend, woodbine; see under feith.

uilm, coffer (Carm.):

uim-, circum, Ir. uim-, O. Ir. imm-; a composition form of mu, q.v. Hence uime, about him, it, Ir. uime, O. Ir. uimbi; uimpe, about her (= imb-sì or imb-shi).

ùin, ùine, time, Ir. uain, time, opportunity, E. Ir. úine, O. Ir. úain, leisure, time: *ut-nio-, root ut, vet of feith, wait. Strachan gives *ucn- as a reduced form, from euq, Skr. ókas, comfort, εὔκηλος, free from care, at ease.

ùinich, bustle, tumultus; see uainnneart.

uinicionn, lambskin (Carm.); for uainicionn.

uinneag, a window, M. G. fuinneóg, M. Ir. fuindeog, fuindeoc; from Norse windauga, Sc. winnock, Eng. window (= wind-eye). From Ag. S. windaége (Stokes, Lis.).

uinnean, an onion, Ir. uinniun, M. Ir. uinneamain, uindiun, W. wynwynyn; from Lat. union-em, O. Fr. oignon, Eng. onion, from unus, one.

uinnean, ankle:

uinnseann, ash, Ir. uinseann, M. Ir. fuindseog, ash-tree, O. Ir. ind-huinnius, W. on, onen, earlier onn, onnen, Br. ounnenn. Cor. onnen: *osnâ, *osnestu-; Lat. ornus (*osinos); Lit. ůsis, ahs, Russ. jasenǐ. Cf. Eng. ash.

uipear, unhandy craftsman, bungler:

uipinn, a treasure, hoard; cf. uibe.

ùir, mould, dust, earth, Ir., M. Ir. úir, E. Ir. úr, g. úire: *ûrâ; Norse aurr, loam, wet clay, mud, Ag. S. eár, humus. Stokes hesitates between *ûrâ and *ugrâ, Gr. ὑγρός, wet.

uircean, a young pig, Ir. uircín, M. Ir. orcán, porcellus, oircnín (do.), orc, porcus; *porko-s; Lat. porcus; Eng. farrow, pork; Lit. pàrszas, boar.

uiread, as much, amount, Ir. oiread, O. Ir. erat, airet, length of time, distance, cia eret, quamdiu: *are-vet-to-, root vet of feith.

uireas, below, down; see ioras.

uireasbhuidh, need, poverty, so Ir., M. Ir. auresbadh; from air and easbhuidh, q.v.

uirghioll, faculty of speech, speech, Ir. uirghíol, a command (O'B.), uraghall, uradhall, speech (Keat.), E. Ir. uirgill, for ur-fhuigell, M. Ir. urfhoighill:

uiridh, an uiridh, last year, Ir. annuraidh, E. Ir. inn uraid, O. Ir. urid: *peruti; Skr. parut, last year; Gr. πέρυσι, Dor. πέρυτι; root vet of feith.

uirigh, a couch, bed: *air-sed-, root sed of suidhe?

uiriollach, a precipice (H.S.D. from MSS.): *air-ailech, from ail, rock, q.v.

uirisg, offspring of fairy and mortal (M'F.); see ùruisg.

ùirlios, a walled garden, Ir. uirlios (O'B., etc.); from air and lios.

ùirneis, a furnace, Ir. uirnéis, fúirnéis (O'B.), M. Ir. forneis; from Eng. and O. Fr. fornaise, Lat. fornacem, fornax, oven.

ùirneis, tools, implements, Ir. úirnéis (Fol., O'R.), úirlis (Con.); see airneis.

uirsgeil, a spreading (as of dung or hay to dry); from air and sgaoil.

uirsgeul, a fable, romance, so Ir.; from air and sgeul.

ùis, use, utility; from the Eng. use, Lat. ûsus.

uiseag, a lark, Ir. uiseóg, fuiseóg, W. uchedydd, Br. ec'houedez, also W. ucheda, to soar; from *ux, up, as in uas, uasal?

uisg, uisge, water, Ir. uisge, O. Ir. uisce, usce: *ud-s-kio, root ud, ved; Gr. ὕδωρ, ὕδος; Eng. water, etc.; Skr. udán; further Lat. unda, wave. Stokes suggests the possibility of uisge being for *uskio-, and allied to Eng. wash.

uisliginn, disturbance, fury:

uislinn, sport, diversion, Ir. uslainn (Lh., etc.):

uist, hist! whist! Lat. st! Eng. hist!

ula, ulachan (pl.), beard, Ir., E. Ir. ulcha, g. ulchain: *ulukon-; *pulu-, beard; Skr. pula, pulaka, horripilation; Gr. πúλιγγες, hair of chairs (Hes.). Hence Ulaid, Ulster. It may be root ul, vel, cover (see olann).

ulag, block, pulley, "snowball" (Wh.); from Eng. pulley, L. Lat. polanus?

ulag, oatmeal and water mixed:

ulaidh, a treasure, Ir. uladh, charnel-house, E. Ir. ulud, stone tomb; root ul, vel, cover? A Gadelic *alveto-, allied to Lat. alvus, a belly, alveus, channel, has been suggested.

ulbh, you brute! (Sutherland); from Norse úlfr, wolf.

ulbhach (ul'ach), ashes, W. ulw, pl. ulwyn: *polviko-, *pôlven-; Lat. pulvis, dust, pollen, pollen.

ulartaich, ulfhartaich, howling; from *ul, bark (Gr. ὑλάω, bark, Lat. ulula, owl, etc.), and art of comhart, q.v.

ullachadh, preparation, preparing, Ir. ullmhuighim, I prepare; from ullamh, ready.

ullag, a mouthful of meal (Sh.); cf. ulag.

ullamh, ready, Ir. ullamh, for urlamh, E. Ir. erlam, paratus; from air and lam, the latter being from làmh, hand: "to hand, handy". Usually referred to root las, desire, Lat. lascivus, Eng. lascivious.

ultach, a lapful, armful, Ir. ullthach (O'B.), M. Ir. utlach, lapful, urtlach, lap: *ar-tḷ-ac-; root tol, tel, lift (see toil, tlàth). G. ulathach, burden in one's arms = ultach (Wh.).

ùmaidh, dolt, blockhead; see umpaidh.

umha, copper, brass, Ir. umha, O. Ir. humæ, ume, copper, brass, umaide, humide, aeneus, W. efydd, O. W. emid, aere; *umâjo- (Stokes), *omja (Ascoli), *um-ajo-, -ajo- = aes (Bez.).

umhail, heed, attention, Ir. umhail, úmhail (O'B., Con.); cf. next word.

ùmhal, obedient (umhailt, Dial.), Ir. umhal, E. Ir., O. Ir. umal, W. ufyll, Corn. huvel, Br. vuel; from Lat. humilis, Eng. humble.

ùmlagh, a fine, unlagh (Arg.); from Sc. unlaw, unlach, a fine, transgression, un-law.

umpaidh, a boor, clown, idiot (Sh., O'R.); see ùmaidh.

ung, anoint, Ir. ungaim, O. Ir. ongim; from Lat. unguo. W. has enenio from *oinj-.

unnsa, an ounce, Ir. únsa, W. wns; from Eng. The O. Ir. is unga, from Lat. uncia.

unradh, adversity (Campbell's Tales, II. Mac-a-rusgaich); a form of an-rath?

ùp, push, ùpag, a push; cf. W. hwp, a push, effort. Cf. pùc. Onomatopoetic.

ùr, fresh, new, Ir., E. Ir. úr, O. Ir. húrde, vividarium, W. ir, fresh, green: *ûro-s, *pûro-s; Lat. pûros, Eng. pure. Usually referred to *ugro-s, Gr. ὑγρóς, wet, Lat. uvidus, moist, root veg.

urcag, thole pin (N. Lochaber). Cf. àrcan, a cork.

urchair, a shot, cast, Ir. urchur, E. Ir. urchur, aurchor, erchor, W. ergyr, O. B. ercor, ictum: *are-koru-, a cast; from cuir, send, q.v.

urchall, fetters, shackles, so Ir. (Lh., etc.): *are-col-, root col, cel of timchioll?

urchasg, physic, antidote, Ir. urchosg, preservative, antidote: *air-chosg, from cosg, casg, stop, q.v.

urchoid, hurt, mischief, Ir. urchóid, O. Ir. erchoit: *are-kkonti-, Gr. κεντέω, stick, prick, καίνω, kill. Stokes prefers *skonti-, as stem, allied to Eng. scathe.

urla, face, hair, breast, Ir. urla, lock of hair, long hair of the head, E. Ir. urla, irla: *air-la-, where la is for vla, root vel of falt?

ùrlabhairt, eloquence, Ir. urlabhair, elocution, E. Ir. erlabra: *air-labhair; see labhair.

ùrlach, stag (R.D.):

ùrlaich, turn from in disgust (Arg.):

ùrlaim, readiness (M'F.), Ir. úrlamh, ready; see ullamh. Hence also ùrlaimh, expert, O. Ir. erlam, irlam.

ùrlamhas, possession, Ir. úrlámhus, forlamhus; from for, super, and làmh, hand: "upper-handed-ness".

ùrlann, a staff, Ir. úrlann, a staff, spear staff, M. Ir. urlannn, staff of a spear: *air-lann, from lann: also E. Ir. irlond, hinder end of a spear or ship.

ùrlar, a floor, lowest part, Ir. urlár: *air-lár, from làr, floor, q.v.

ùrnuigh, a prayer, Ir. urnuighe, O. G. ernacde (B.of Deer), O. Ir. irnigde, irnichte: *are-nakô, I strive for, root nak, enk, as in thig? Zimmer gives the root igh, desire, Gr. ἰχανᾶν, desire, Lit. igiju, strive after, Skr. îh, long for, dividing it into *air-con-ig (*air-in-ig?). O.? Ir. arnigim: ig = Gr. ἰχαρ; arn = *paran, Gr. παρά (St. Zeit. 36).

urra, a person, infant; cf. next word.

urradh, urrainn, authority, guarantee, author, Ir. urra(dh), surety, author, defendant, urrain, stay, prop, M. Ir. errudus, responsibility; from ràth, ràthan, surety. Urradha were a chief's "gentlemen" paying rent or servic (Sil. Gad.).

urrainn, power, is urrainn, can; Ir. urra, power, urrain, stay. See above word.

urrail, forward, bold, urranta, Ir. urránta, bold, confident in one's might; from urradh.

urram, honour, respect, Ir. urram, urraim, honour, deference, submission, M. Ir. urraim, homage: *air-réim?

urras, surety, guarantee, Ir. urrúdhas, urrús; from urradh.

ursainn, a door-post, Ir. ursa, g. ursann, E. Ir. ursa, aursa, irsa, d. ursaind, W. gorsin: *are-stan-, root sta, stand.

ùruisg, a Brownie; from uisge, air+uisg.

us, impudence (M'A.):

usa, easier, Ir. usa, O. Ir. assu, facilius, asse, facilis; cf. W. haws, from hawdd, easy; further Fr. aisé, Eng. easy, Got. azets, easy.

usaid, querulousness (M'A. and Wh.):

usgar, a jewel, bell on liquor:

usga(r), holy, sacred (Carm.):

uspag, a push, pang, Ir. uspóg; cf. ospag.

uspair, an ugly or lumpish fellow, Ir. uspán, a shapeless lump, chaos, clumsy fellow. See uspan.

uspairn, strife, Ir. uspairneachd: *ud-spairn, from spàirn.

uspan, a shapeless mass, Ir. uspán: also usp (ùsp); cf. uibe, *uibs-?

ut! ut! interjection of disapprobation, Eng. tut, hoot, W. hwt, etc.

utag, ùtag (Arg.), strife, confusion; also "push, jostle", ut, push. Cf. put, putag.

ùtan, a knuckle (Sh., O'R.), better utan:

ùth, an udder, E. Ir. uth. Stokes gives the stem as *(p)utu-, Lit. suputimas, a swelling, putlùs, swollen. Lat. ûber, Gr. οὖθαρ, Eng. udder have been compared, but the Gadelic lacks the terminal -er, and the consonant is t rather than d or dh. Cf. Lat. uter, skin-bag.

uthard, above, on high, Ir. ós, árd. Gaelic is for *for-ard, "on high"; see air and àrd.

utraid, district road (Carm.); see udrathad.

ùtrais, a confused mass of anything, a fidgeting.