Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: Cerr / Cearr

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

© 2000-2006 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.0, updated 24 August 2006

Descriptive Bynames: Cerr / Cearr


"Crooked / Wry / Maimed"


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: 4
Found in Years: 591, 595, 624, 627, 629, 721, 1406

Research Notes:

[Answering a question about a standardized form of this byname:]

We just had it as part of the compound cerrbél: cerr 'crooked, wry, maimed'. Your forms are correct. The DIL has an example in which the byname is clearly in the genitive; it's also lenited, so it appears as Chirr, but the plain genitive would be cirr, which is what I'd expect. Dinneen says that cearr is indeclinable, while the Sc.Gaelic cognate has genitives cearra and ciorra; this suggests that the declension was unstable, and I couldn't tell you what form of the genitive was most common generally in the EMIr period. (My guess is that it changed over time.) [email from Talan Gwynek - 13 Jul 2006]


Further information about the byname Cerr / Cearr 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)
(d. 591)
TT595.3Aed Cerr mac Colmain rí Laigen
AM591.2Aodh Cerr, mac Colmain, mic Coirpre, ri Laighen
(d. 624-630)
UU629.1Conid Cerr, rex Dal Riati
TT627.1Connadh Cerr ríg Dal Ríada
AM624.6Condaidh Cerr, tigherna Dail Riada
TT629.1Condadh Cerr rí Dal Riada
CSCS630Connaidh Chirr
UU694.5Fercair m. Connaeth Cirr
[] (d. 721)
AM721.16Cathal Cerr, toisech Descert Bregh
(d. 1406)
MCB3MCB1406.17ANNicol Cerr mac Seadhan Dalatuan

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