[Namron] Dumb question about Beltane/Beltain
Donnchadh Beag mac Griogair
donnchadh at cornelius.norman.ok.us
Sun Apr 22 14:25:32 PDT 2007
Isobel de Kirkbryde wrote:
> Does anyone know which is the correct spelling? Yes, I know in
> medieval times that spelling accuracy was optional. However, I am
> wanting to put a link on the Skorragardr website to the
> Beltane/Beltain games website and want to know which spelling to use.
> Lady Isobel de Kirkbryde
> Guild Head of the Guild of St. Camillus de Lellis, Kingdom of Ansteorra
> V-Scribe Canton of Skorragardr
> Member of Clann Lochlan
> Member of Clann Haddock
> Member of House MOO
Beltane is how I've always known it, and that is how it is spelled on
the Namron website and the Kingdom Calendar. I just realized that in
the event announcement it is spelled in the old Irish form of Beltain.
Although both are correct spellings, I would say to just stick with the
Beltane spelling so the websites match.
For you language junkies, here's the etymology of the word:
/Beltane/ has a complex etymology and a resultant variety of different
The word /Beltane/ derives directly from the Old Irish
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Irish> /Beltain/, which later evolved
into the Modern Irish <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_language>
/Bealtaine/. In Scottish Gaelic
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Gaelic> it is spelled
/Bealltainn/.^ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane#_note-SMO> Both
are from Old Irish <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Irish> /Beltene/
('bright fire') from /belo-te(p)niâ/. Beltane was formerly spelled
'Bealtuinn' in Scottish Gaelic; in Manx it is spelt 'Boaltinn' or 'Boaldyn'.
In Modern Irish, /Oíche Bealtaine/ is May Eve, and /Lá Bealtaine/ is May
Day. /Mí na Bealtaine/, or simply /Bealtaine/ is the name of the month
In the word /belo-te(p)niâ/) the element /belo-/ is cognate with the
English word /bale/ (as in 'bale-fire'), the Anglo-Saxon
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Saxon_language> /bael/, and also the
Lithuanian <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_language> /baltas/,
meaning 'white' or 'shining' and from which the Baltic Sea
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Sea> takes its name.
In Gaelic <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goidelic_languages> the terminal
vowel /-o/ (from /Belo/) was dropped, as shown by numerous other
transformations from early or Proto-Celtic to Early Irish
thus the Gaulish deity names Belenos
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belenos> ('bright one') and Belisama
From the same Proto-Celtic <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Celtic>
roots we get a wide range of other words: the verb /beothaich/, from
Early Celtic /belo-thaich/ ('to kindle, light, revive, or re-animate');
/baos/, from /baelos/ ('shining'); /beòlach/ ('ashes with hot embers')
from /beò///belo/ + /luathach/, ('shiny-ashes' or 'live-ashes').
Similarly /boil///boile/ ('fiery madness'), through Irish /buile/ and
Early Irish /baile///boillsg/ ('gleam'), and /bolg-s-cio-/, related to
Latin <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin> /fulgeo/ ('shine'), and
Hmm, maybe we should go with the old Scottish Gaelic spelling of
Bealtuinn and really mess with people... Nah, just kidding.
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