Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: Caircheach

by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O'Brien)

© 2000-2006 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.0, updated 12 November 2006

Descriptive Bynames: Caircheach


"[the] Hairy/Tufted"


What we know as a set of Irish Annals are manuscripts that were each compiled during a particular time period, usually using older material as sources. For example, when the Annals of the Four Masters were written from 1632 to 1636, they covered events that occurred centuries and millenia before (including legendary history). So, when an entry in this set of annals refers to a person who lived in the year 738, the spelling used for that person's name is very likely not using the spelling that would have been used in 738.

Standard forms of this name (based on spelling systems of different periods) would be:

Frequency & Dates:

Number of men found in the annals with this name: 1
Found in Years: 1257

Research Notes:

[Answering a question about standardized forms for this byname:]

The word is in the DIL as cairchech, for which the EMIr form would be caircheach, which is in fact in Dinneen, glossed 'hairy' and as a noun 'tail'. The OIr word is glossed 'tufted(?)', and the byname is translated 'the Hairy or Tufted'. It seems to be an adjectival form of cairche, a word whose exact meaning is uncertain; the DIL notes that 'hair, tongue of flame' would suit many instances. Cairchech is also a noun 'tail, tuft'.

I'd have expected the EMIr gen. to be cairchigh, but Dineen gives caircigh; lack of a dot over the second c could conceivably be a typo, but if so, it's repeated. I'm not sure what's going on here, but it seems possible that c and ch forms have coexisted for some time.
[email from Talan Gwynek - 14 Nov 2006]


Further information about the byname Caircheach, may be found in:

The Sources page lists the Annals referenced below. Information about secondary sources is included on that page as well.

Raw Data

In the table below, I have separated individuals with a blank line. That is, when there are multiple entries in the annals that refer to a single person, those entries are grouped together.

Within the list of entries refering to a single person, I have sorted the entries primarily by orthography when it is obvious that what I am seeing is the same entry showing up in multiple annals. The entries that tend to use older spellings are listed first.

NOTE: The Annals referenced below under the code letters A, B, C, E, & F tend to use later spellings than the other Annals. In some cases, the spellings listed in these Annals may not be appropriate for the year referenced in the Annal entry.

In some Gaelic scripts, there is a character that looks approximately like a lowercase f, but without the crossbar. This character (represented by an underscored , e, in the entries below) sometimes represents e and sometimes ea depending upon the context of the text.

[Standardized form of this man's name]
AnnalsEntryContextCitation (formatting preserved)
[Cathal Caircheach Ua Conchobhair] (d. ?)
U2U1257.7Cathal Cuircec O Concubair ["Cathal O'Concubair the Long-haired"]
Co1257.3Cathal Curcech mac Aeda meic Cathail Crobdeirg ["Cathal Cuircech (the Hairy or Tufted), son of Aed mac Cathail Chrobdeirg"]
LCLC1257.2Cathal cuirrcech, mac Aodha, mic Cathail Croibh Derg
CM1257.7Cathal Cairceach mac Aedha mic Cathail Croibhdeirg

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