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Ireland we have a wonderful selection of names to choose from. We have our own Irish versions of biblical names, the names of the Evangelists and of continental saints who have taken our fancy at various stages in our history. The Vikings left us some of their personal names, which either in their Irish or their Anglicised forms have proved to be as hardy a growth as those names given to us by the Anglo-Normans. Lots of them are included in this book. And, of course, we have the great repository of the old Irish tradition from which to choose our children’s names.
From Aaron to Úna, Diarmaid Ó Muirithe provides a gloss on more than four hundred Irish forenames in his inimitable style that mixes scholarship and wit with quirky snippets of interest. Thus, we learn that the name Art has nothing to do with Arthur; that Brendan is originally of Welsh origin and came to Ireland in a Latinised form; that Cathal is usually translated as Charles, although there is no historical connection between the two; and much more.
As with all Diarmaid Ó Muirithe’s work, this book is a model of scholarship lightly worn, informed by a sense of curiosity and fun. It’s the perfect book from which to choose your child’s name.
Dr Diarmaid Ó Muirithe is a retired academic and a distinguished historical lexicographer. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and at the National University of Ireland, he has been Fulbright Professor of English in the United States, and has held the Chair of Irish Studies in St Mary's University, Halifax, Canada and the position of Senior Lecturer Emeritus at UCD’s School of English, Drama and Film Studies. He is the author of many books, including Irish Words and Phrases, Irish Slang, A Dictionary of Anglo-Irish Words, Words We Use and Words We Don’t Use (Much Anymore). He was a consultant contributor to The Encyclopaedia of Ireland and a regular contributor to The Irish Times.