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 Post subject: Etymology of "Caróg"
PostPosted: Wed 29 May 2024 8:44 am 
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Hey, weekend old irish enthusiast here.
I'm very interested in the ties of a language to it's previous iterations, while at the same time being not that good at tracing them yet.

So, old Irish texts typicaly use "bran"/"fiach" for raven and "badb"/"tethra" for crow - generaly, including poetic kening. then, where's "Caróg" comes from?
Couldn't find etymology on the internet, decided to ask folks here - is it a semi-modern word? have you ever encountered it in any older context?

Related to that, is this term understood to have the same root as some other words?
From what I gather, the word follows a basic root+dimunitive suffix scheme, basicaly meaning that "Caróg" is a little "car". But what's a "car"?

I think it's probably onomatopoeic, just mimicing crow's... crowing? And then just adding suffix typical for smaller animals. But if its not, what could it be?
I gathered some roots here, feel free to tell me how wrong I am. I have there both short and long vowels, caus I'm not sure the long vowel in the root can be rulled out complitely going just from the modern script - and I only found "Caróg" in modern script - doesn't mean it's not there though, as "Cáoeiróapch" or whatever.

Roots are Old Irish:

car(ae) | little friend?
car | little jaw/mouth, eater?
cárr | one living on a rock?
cáer (caor) | (rowan) berry eater? very Tolkien-esque, probably untrue.
cárn | tomb dweller? where would -n- go?
cuire | little army, army follower? "u>a" sound change is unlikely, but relates it to Badb.
cíar | little black (allready taken by "beetle")
crú | smthng blood related? akin to "cróga"-lively thing? unlikely
gair | one who calls, galts? little whimperer? don't thing "g>с" is possible here.

My writing conventions may be off relatively to the modern script, so I can provide my source for them, if needed.

P.S. I understand this forum is not for Old Irish studies, but it's still probably the best place to ask such a question :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed 29 May 2024 11:14 am 
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At first I thought there might originally have been a lenited consonant that had become silent e.g. 'cardhóg', 'carghóg', 'carbhóg'. But that didn't seem to yield anything.

But if you change the 'a' to an 'o' or 'u', that opens up other possibilities. Significantly, the word 'corr' is given with the following dictionary definitions.

Corr (Dineen): projection, snout, peak, bill
Corróg (Dineen): corner, angle. Alternative form: 'carróg'
Corr (Ó Dónaill):projecting point, angle or edge

Corr (Dineen): Heron, crane, stork, etc.
Corr (Ó Dónaill): Crane, stork, etc.

Coróg (Dineen): Scald-crow. Alternative form: 'corróg'
Caróg (Ó Dónaill): Crow. Alternative form: 'corróg'


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PostPosted: Wed 29 May 2024 12:52 pm 
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Isn't it a borrowing of the English word "crow"+óg?


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PostPosted: Wed 29 May 2024 2:35 pm 
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Dinneen's dictionary from 1904 doesn't have caróg, but it does have crothóg which Teanglann recognises as a variant of caróg. https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/Croth%c3%b3g. My guess (and it is just a guess) would be that Irish speakers emulated the word crow as crothóg (crow + óg as djwebb says) and then it became caróg in the spelling reform in the 50s.


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PostPosted: Thu 30 May 2024 5:25 pm 
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Caoilte wrote:
Coróg (Dineen): Scald-crow. Alternative form: 'corróg'
Caróg (Ó Dónaill): Crow. Alternative form: 'corróg'


Dineen's Coróg - do you have an online version to point at?
I found a 1927 edition and cannot find it there.

The "corr" connection looks very interesting, thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu 30 May 2024 5:34 pm 
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Jamie wrote:
Dinneen's dictionary from 1904 doesn't have caróg, but it does have crothóg which Teanglann recognises as a variant of caróg. https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/Croth%c3%b3g. My guess (and it is just a guess) would be that Irish speakers emulated the word crow as crothóg (crow + óg as djwebb says) and then it became caróg in the spelling reform in the 50s.


Could be. Gotta read on the general principles of the reform, to perhaps back-ingeneer it :pages:

Though, I scoured Dineen's a bit and found an interesting thing:
Second entry for "Crothóg" has a mention of the related "Caróige" - an ill-conditioned coat.
Same dictionary, entry for "Caróg" gives - a long coat. :prof:

Doesn't mean much perhaps, but the connection is interesting..


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PostPosted: Thu 30 May 2024 5:47 pm 
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Sabaga wrote:
Jamie wrote:
Dinneen's dictionary from 1904 doesn't have caróg, but it does have crothóg which Teanglann recognises as a variant of caróg. https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/Croth%c3%b3g. My guess (and it is just a guess) would be that Irish speakers emulated the word crow as crothóg (crow + óg as djwebb says) and then it became caróg in the spelling reform in the 50s.


Could be. Gotta read on the general principles of the reform, to perhaps back-ingeneer it :pages:

Though, I scoured Dineen's a bit and found an interesting thing:
Second entry for "Crothóg" has a mention of the related "Caróige" - an ill-conditioned coat.
Same dictionary, entry for "Caróg" gives - a long coat. :prof:

Doesn't mean much perhaps, but the connection is interesting..

No, casóg has an s.


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PostPosted: Thu 30 May 2024 6:21 pm 
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djwebb2021 wrote:
Sabaga wrote:
Jamie wrote:
Dinneen's dictionary from 1904 doesn't have caróg, but it does have crothóg which Teanglann recognises as a variant of caróg. https://www.teanglann.ie/en/fgb/Croth%c3%b3g. My guess (and it is just a guess) would be that Irish speakers emulated the word crow as crothóg (crow + óg as djwebb says) and then it became caróg in the spelling reform in the 50s.


Could be. Gotta read on the general principles of the reform, to perhaps back-ingeneer it :pages:

Though, I scoured Dineen's a bit and found an interesting thing:
Second entry for "Crothóg" has a mention of the related "Caróige" - an ill-conditioned coat.
Same dictionary, entry for "Caróg" gives - a long coat. :prof:

Doesn't mean much perhaps, but the connection is interesting..

No, casóg has an s.


Ah, my bad, I've mistaken "s" for "r"


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PostPosted: Sat 01 Jun 2024 3:59 pm 
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Sabaga wrote:
Caoilte wrote:
Coróg (Dineen): Scald-crow. Alternative form: 'corróg'
Caróg (Ó Dónaill): Crow. Alternative form: 'corróg'


Dineen's Coróg - do you have an online version to point at?
I found a 1927 edition and cannot find it there.

The "corr" connection looks very interesting, thanks!

The 1927 edition is available here https://archive.org/details/dinneen-gae ... onary-1927
The 1904 edition is available here https://archive.org/details/irishenglishdict011837mbp

I had suspected that 'corr' meaning 'projection', 'snout' etc. could have given rise to 'corr' meaning 'heron', 'crane', 'stork', etc. through synecdoche (where the name of part of something becomes the name of the whole thing) since the beak of a heron, crane or stork can be seen as a projection.

However, that apparently isn't the case after all since, per Wiktionary.org, these two 'corr' words have unrelated etymologies:

Corr (projecting point, angle, rounded hill) is cognate with Latin 'curvus' (bent, crooked, curved), from which incidentally comes the English 'curve'. Wiktionary states the following: "From Middle Irish corr (“protruding, pointed”), from Proto-Celtic *kurros (“pointed, angled”), possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“bend, curve”), if the development were similar to *kew-ro- >> *ku-ro- >> Proto-Celtic *kur-so- >> *kurros (“pointed, angled”); see also Latin curvus. Cognate with Welsh cwr (“corner, edge”)"

Corr (heron, crane, stork): Wiktionary states: "From Middle Irish corr, from Proto-Celtic *korxsā (compare Welsh crychydd (“heron”). Ultimately onomatopoeic in origin; possibly related to cearc (“hen”)". The Welsh crychydd come from Proto-British *körxɨð, for which the following etymology is given: "From an underlying Proto-Celtic *korkiyos, perhaps onomatopoeic in origin. Frequently compared with Old Irish corr (“heron”) (< *korxsV?), but Schrijver reasons that this cannot produce the Brythonic form and argues that this may be a descriptive name arising within Goidelic".

Wiktionary doesn't give an etymology for caróg/corróg, although its tempting to think there might be a connection between 'corr' (heron, crane, stork) and caróg/corróg (crow).

Note there are also a couple of other 'corr' words: corr meaning sand-eel (listed in Wiktionary but without an etymology); and corr meaning odd, occasional (not listed in Wiktionary).

Incidentally, Wiktionary indicates that English 'crow' is also onomatopoeic in origin.


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PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun 2024 10:40 am 
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A thought just occurred to me. If you start to regularly feed a crow, it's liable to keep returning to you i.e. it can in a sense become friendly. So maybe the answer is a lot more straightforward. What if caróg = cara + óg i.e. little friend.


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