Index of Names in Irish Annals: Descriptive Bynames: Puirt Láirce

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

© 2000-2006 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 2.0, updated 17 September 2006

Descriptive Bynames: Puirt Láirce


"[of] Waterford"

NOTE: So far, the only person found with this byname in the annals is Ímar, a Norse king of Waterford. In this case, this byname is used to indicate the location where he is king.


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: 981, 982, 983, 999, 1000

Research Notes:

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

[T]he second element is found in the DIL s.v. lárac with the statement that the word is also found as láarg, loarc, lorac, larac, and ládairg! There's a reference to a paper that discusses the word. Hogan's Onomasticon Goedelicum uses Port Láircc as the normalized form (well, actually p. láircc) and lists forms P. Largi, P. Large, P. Láirge, and P. Loairge, P. Láirge being by far the most common.

If the final consonant is in OIr, which (pace Hogan) seems likely, given that the modern language has g, then the normalized MIr should be Port Láirce (nom.) and Puirt Láirce (gen.).

Normally I'd explain the consistent g of the annals spellings as the result of modernization, and that's certainly a possibility. But this is clearly a very odd word, with a very strange (and apparently not well-understood) history, so perhaps it was Láirge in MIr. The obvious problem with that is that MIr g in that context is lenited, so that MIr Láirge ought to become EMIr Láirghe, and it doesn't: the modern name is Port Láirge.

On the whole I think that I'd give the MIr as Port Láirce, gen. Puirt Láirce, but I might add a brief note explaining the uncertainty. [email from Talan Gwynek - 09 Jul 2006]


Further information about the byname Puirt Láirce, 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)
[Ímar Puirt Láirce] (d. 999-1000)
UU982.4NImhur Phuirt Lairce
TT982.2NImur Puirt Lairge
BM981.9Nh-Iomhar Puirt Láirge
UU983.2NImhar Puirt Lairge
TT983.1NÍmur Phuirt Lairge
BM982.5NIomhar Phuirt Láirge
UU1000.3NImhar, ri Puirt Lairgi
TT1000.2Nh-Ímur Puirt Lairge
BM999.7NIomhar Puirt Láirge
TT1022.2NSitriuc mac Ímuir, rí Puirt Lairge
TT1031.4NRagnall mac Raghnaill meic Ímuir, rí Puirt Lairge

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