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Re: names in conlangs

From:Keith Gaughan <kmgaughan@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 6, 2006, 17:48
Hash: SHA1

Michael Adams wrote:

> Ancestor like a father or mother?
No, further back than that, and the system was patronomic, similarly to the Icelandic system, before surnames became fixed family names, which, in case you make the mistake of thinking otherwise, happened between the 10th and 12th centuries, long before anglicisation.
> Mac, used alot in the US, and often used in Scotland instead of > Mc?
'Mac' is Gaelic (Irish and Scottish) for 'son'. 'Mc' is an abbreviated form of it. Neither are particular to Scotland or Ireland.
> MacDonalds or McDonalds? Seen both. > > Ui/Ni yes, and the O' versus the Ui. Often caused by lazy > officials at Ellis Island and like.
No, you're very wrong. "O'" came about due to English attempts at anglicisation _in Ireland_. The anglicised forms were the only forms that could be used legally. When Irish emigrants when to the US and elsewhere, that's the form they used. It's nothing to do with lazy immigration officials. 'Ó' is and has been a perfectly legal variant of 'Ua' and 'Uí' for a very long time now, and it's now the most prevalent form used when writing names in Irish. For instance, if I was to write the Irish form of my name, it'd be 'Cíat Ó Gaibhtheachain'.
> Or, why my family name went from Ui'Donnabhain to Donovan, cause > of the lazy officials not knowing how they was spelled in > Ireland or cared, and using their own way of spelling. Why you > have like atleast 3 ways to do the same family name.
See above.
> Like the O'Neals named for Nial of the . stories of the heros..
There's many different "O'Neill" families in the world, and not all of them are descended from Niall Noigíallach.
> I forget their name, the sort of Arthurian Irish group of > heros..
You're probably thinking of the Fianna, and they had nothing to do with Niall Noigíallach. Niall was an actual historical figure whereas the Fianna were mythic.
> But also some names was better to be the decendent of someone > famous, especially when the old Brehon law, had where if you was > a decendent of the grandfather of the now-dead king of the local > Tuatha,
No. You could claim to be part of a sept, but you didn't necessarily use the name of that sept as your surname. There was no need to proclaim your ancestry like that: people in your sept knew, and people outside your sept knew what sept you belonged to.
> you had a claim to the throne, even if your birth last > name was one name,
That's not how the system worked. Chiefs and underkings were _elected_. The concept of a 'claim' to a throne is an alien concept. True, they tended to be handed from father to son, but that only happened if that line kept the favour of their electors. If they didn't, they lost their position and a new one could be chosen. I don't believe you necessarily even had to be nobility, it was open to any freeman, but the trend was to elect nobility. Either way, your 'claim' didn't come from some ancestral right, but from the people.
> Or why you have > alot of U'Neals, even if they was not of the main line, but > Irish was lovers of chaos..
Huh? O'Neill isn't even a tremendously common name. The most common surname in Ireland is Ryan. - -- Keith Gaughan | Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -- Leonardo Da Vinci (attributed) -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (MingW32) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - iD8DBQFEhb/gaC1DzM+fZHMRAgR7AJkBqAUUp6iuKt5kfx/aFDvCIFSb9gCdGzpR ijcHQ6kdOfWKDZ0AgLLm1po= =eFqe -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----