Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: Drochtech

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

© 2000-2007 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.0, updated 10 April 2007

Descriptive Bynames: Drochtech


"[the] Bridgemaker"


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: 747, 752

Research Notes:

FM (vol. 1, p. 350, under the year 747, footnote "k") says:

Cilleni Droigthech: recte, Droichteach, i. e. Cillini the Bridge-maker. These entries are given in the Annals of Ulster at the year 651. Fiachna, son of Aedh Roin, King of Ulidia, was called Fiachna Dub Droichtech, i. e. Black Fiachna of the Bridges, because he built Droiched-na-Feirse and Droiched-Mona-Damh. - See Reeve's Eccclesiastical Antiquities of Down and Connor, &c., p. 359.

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

The OIr nom. sing. is drochtech; as a sobriquet it's glossed 'bridgemaker' in the DIL; I have the impression that the meaning is actually explained in one or more of the early sources. It also occurs at least once in a non-sobriquet context, but it's apparently rare enough that the meaning in this sense is uncertain; the DIL offers 'furnished with bridges' with a question mark. This is the obvious meaning (see below), and I assume that it fits the context.

The gen. sing. should be drochtig.

The word is from OIr drochet 'a bridge; a causeway (e.g., over a marsh)'. It looks to me like an adjectival formation in -ach, or rather -ech after the palatalized -t of drochet: *drochetech, with syncope of the weak middle vowel to yield drochtech. The expected sense of such an adjective would indeed be 'furnished with bridges'. [email from Talan Gwynek - 10 Apr 2007]


Further information about the byname Drochtech, 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. 747-752)
UU752.1RCilleine Droctigh anchorite Ie [Note: name is in genitive case due to sentence structure.]
TT752.1RCillíne Droichtigh ancorítae Iae [Note: name is in genitive case due to sentence structure.]
AM747.2RS. Cileni Droigthech, abb Iae, & angcoire

Medieval Scotland | Medieval Names Archive | Index of Names in Irish Annals
Feminine Given Names | Feminine Descriptive Bynames | Masculine Given Names | Masculine Descriptive Bynames