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Carmina Gadelica, Volume 2, by Alexander Carmicheal, [1900], at


Rachd, emotion, vexation, stoppage of speech. 'Thainig rachd orm'--Emotion came upon me; 'Thainig rachd am mhuineal'--Choking came in my throat, a lump came in my throat. The vocal cords having become enlarged through emotion, failed in their functions. 'Rachd feirge,' fit of passion.


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Rachd, strength, toughness, emulation--

'Bhrist air mo rachd,
Chaill mi mo dhreach.'


My strength broke down,
I lost my appearance.

A derivative is 'rachdaid,' a strong blow--

Thug mi rachdaid dha ’s a chluais.'


I gave him a hard blow in the ear.


Ran, noble, very noble. 'Rigean ran,' noble queen.


Rath, luck, fortune, success, prosperity. The word occurs in many of the sayings and phrases of the people, as--

'Tus ratha ragha dealbh,
Uirghil mhaith is deagh labhraidh.'


Origin of success, good form,
Good speech and good oratory.

'Gruag ruadh boirionnaich,
Fiasag liath firionnaich,
Ruth agus rath dh’an leirist
Gheobh an nead a chlacharain.'


The red hair of a woman,
The grey beard of a man,
Progeny and prosperity to the hussy,
Who gets them in the nest of the wheatear.

Birds cunningly contrive to line their nests in harmony with their surroundings. How the wheatear obtains the filaments of hair occasionally found forming its nest is curious. This and the fact of its being found dormant during winter causes the wheatear to be looked upon as 'sianta,' sained.

When a man enters a human habitation he evokes peace and prosperity upon the dwelling and the dwellers. When he enters a fairy bower the man invokes strife and confusion upon the bower and the people therein.

'Rath gun ealdhain air an treubh,
Rath gun ruth, gun fheart, gun fheum.'


Luck without skill upon the tribe,
Luck without seed, without efficacy, without worth.

If a man enters a fairy bower he inserts a knife, a nail, or a bit of iron of some kind, in the lintel or corner of the doorway to safeguard his return--fairies being unable to overcome iron.

Derivatives are 'rathail,' prosperous, astute; 'rathach,' forward, pushing, prosperous. 'Rath' is used as a suffix, as 'cuilidh rath,' fortune's store, fortune's treasury, the ocean. 'Cuilidh Mhoire,' Mary's treasury, is another term applied to the ocean. 'Currachd rath,' lucky cap, lucky cowl, a name applied to the caul or membrane occasionally covering the head of a child at birth. This caul was much sought after in Scotland. It is still sought after in England, Ireland, and in some foreign countries, chiefly by sailors, as a talisman against

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murder on land and drowning at sea. The price ranges from £2 to £20, according to the means or the faith of the buyer.

Sir Duncan Campbell of Loch Awe, who wrested Caisteal Caol-chuirn, Kilchurn Castle, from the Macgregors, was known as 'Donnchadh Dubh a churraichd,' Black Duncan of the cowl, because he had a caul on his head when born. Sir Duncan Campbell is said to have fully justified the faith in the 'currachd rath,' lucky cowl.


Reann, rann, reang, rang, a bar, a rib, a stalk, a rod, a pole, a wand. The royal fern is called 'roinneach reangach,' 'reann roinneach,' from its wand-like stalks.


Reiteach, clear, prepare, remove difficulties, remove obstructions. It was customary in the Highlands to clear the pathways before distinguished persons. Johnson mentions that the people turned out to clear the roadway before Lady Macdonald, one of the celebrated Eglintons.

A burial-place in Glencreran, Appin, is situated 700 feet high on the mountain side. Immediately before a funeral men go up to clear the path, and bestrew it with birch and sycamore branches.

The funeral cortège rushes up the steep hillside at a swinging pace, chanting a weird dirge the while. When the body is laid in the grave and the grave closed in, the bier on which it was carried is broken against a certain tree in the burying-ground to render it unfit for the 'sluagh,' hosts, to use in carrying away the dead in their aërial travelling. This picturesquely situated burying-ground is called 'Cladh Chuiril,' 'Cladh Chuirirlean,' 'Cill Chuirealain,' the burying-ground of Cyril. St Cyril was Bishop of Antioch in the eighth century.

There is a burial-ground in Lochaber, another on Loch Etive, and another on Loch Awe, dedicated to this saint. Cill Choireil in Brae Lochaber is 686 feet above sea-level; that on Loch Etive is not so high, being only 105 feet above the sea; while that on Loch Awe is 700 feet above sea-level. These dedications to St Cyril are situated amid scenery of surpassing beauty, variety, and grandeur. Similar practices obtain or used to obtain at them all, fulfilling the command--'Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make His path straight.' Birch, which is fragrant, and plane-tree or sycamore, which is easily had, are used for want of palm branches. In his Monasteries of the Levant, Curzon mentions

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that burying-places and monasteries are situated in high-places. The situations and customs of these Highland burying-places are suggestive of the East, and with their dedicatory saint seem to connect the West with the East.


Ridean, rigean, queen, a handsome maiden, a beautiful girl.


Ro, rod, roth, pass, passage, way. Occurring in place-names as 'Roglas,' water passage, from 'ro,' pass, and 'glas,' water, in Killdonan, and 'Ro Iochdar,' in South Uist. [Doubtful.]


Rōs, knowledge; 'Ni bheil ros agam,' I have no knowledge; 'Cha d’fhuair mi ros air,' I did not get knowledge of him. A derivative, 'rosal,' is said to mean a place of knowledge, a school, a college. There is a 'rosal' in Mull said to be the site of a collegiate school attached to the abbey of Iona. The name occurs as a place-name also in Caithness in the north of Scotland, and in the neighbour-hood of Eastbourne in the south of England. It is interesting to find that these places from time immemorial have been seats of learning. [Rosal, Rossal in the north and west is Norse 'hross-völlr,' horse-field.]


Rutaidh, surly, butting, bumping, bumptious, ram-like; from 'rut,' a ram.


Ruth, desire, genesis, generation, procreation.


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