Re: *swesor

From: Ben McGarr
Message: 17806
Date: 2003-01-20

--- In, "Brandon <godanov@...>"
<godanov@...> wrote:
> I do not pretend to be an expert, but my understanding is that this
> one of those times when a historical accident may obscure reality.
> Old Irish "deirfiur" is a contraction of "derb" (true) and
> "siur"(sister) and as with "deartháir" (true-brother), the intention
> was to distinguish between sisters of blood relations and those of
> religious creation. Old Irish "siur", Welsh "chwaer" and Breton
> "c'hoar" all developed from the Common Celtic *swesûr and ultimately
> from Indo-European *swesôr (sister).
> How is that?
> Brandon

Ah! I knew it would be something simple like that! Go raibh maith
agat, a Bhrandon! And I've seen 'derb' in many names, too.

While Gaeilge has Dearthair for true brother, Gaelic has the simpler
But why do we have true sister Deirfiur, why do the Scots have
Piuthar, instead of the simple siur? What new accident do we have
for sister here?

[Don't forget Cornish 'Whor' = sister {! but might there even be a
relationship with the English word? Were Dumnonian whores ever held
in high regard among the Saxons?!}]

As Brandon said, it would be nice if some learned gent could fill us
in on the Common Celtic > OI siur, [Br. *?Seser?] W chwaer, B c'hoar,
C whor...

{{{And thankyou to Alex for the word lists, I do know them, but for
those who don't; have a look, they're very comprehensive - even
including nettles}}}