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Scottish Gaelic Given Names for Women:
Names of Scottish Gaels from Scottish Gaelic Sources

Draft Edition

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Last updated 6 Nov 2001

This is a draft edition! It is very incomplete! See the first part of this article. You have been warned!


Pre-1600 Scottish Gaelic Evidence

The 1467 manuscript, a collection of genealogies of Scottish Gaelic families written in Ireland by a Scottish Gael and dated 1467 A.D., gives "Ealusaid" as the mother of the third man named (i.e., the third generation) in the genealogy of Mac Lachlan oig.[1467 MS]

Pre-1600 Scottish Gaelic Evidence (from Documents written in Gaelic but using Scots Orthography)

The Book of the Dean of Lismore, a collection of Gaelic poetry collected in the early 16th century and recorded in Gaelic but using Scots language style spelling rather than standard Gaelic spelling, includes a poem that names a woman as "Allissaid". Watson's and M'Lauchlan's modern Gaelic versions of the poem render this name as "Ealasaid".[Watson, p. 146; M'Lauchlan, OG pp. 88-9] Another poem refers to the same woman twice as "Ellissait", which is likewise rendered in Watson's modern Gaelic version as "Ealasaid".[Watson, p. 156; Quiggin, p. 51] 

Pre-1600 Latin Language Evidence

Pre-1600 Scots Language Evidence

Entries in the late 16th century Burgh Court Books for Inverness record the names of a number of women who, based on their full names, were apparently Gaels (although, since they appear in a burgh/town, at least some of them may have been bi-cultural). Examples include:

But these names are being recorded in Scots, not Gaelic.

So while this shows that late 16th century Scottish Gaels were using a name that was recorded in Scots language documents as <Elspet>, it does not tell us what the medieval Gaelic form of that name was.

Pre-1600 Irish Gaelic Evidence

Modern Scottish Gaelic Evidence

"Ealasaid ... Common and biblical. Derived from the Hebrew Elishêba, meaning oath of God, and cognate with Elizabeth. First adopted as a personal name in the Eastern Church before spreading to th eWest. See Beitidh, Iseabail, Lili, Lìosaidh, Lìsidh."[Morgan, s.n. Ealasaid]

Pre-1600 Scottish Gaelic Form

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