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Please do not add direct links to this web page from your own web site. Instead, link to Scottish Gaelic Given Names.

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

Iosbail? or Iosobal?
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

As yet, no pre-1600 Scottish Gaelic examples of the name have been found written in standard Gaelic orthography.

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 poems by authors whose names were recorded as follows: [Watson, p. 307; Quiggin, pp. 77-8; M'Lauchlan, OG p. 118] 

"Contissa Ergadien Issobell" ('Countess of Argyll Isabel')
"Yssbell ne v'kellan" ('Isabel daughter of MacCalin')
"Isbell ne vek Callein" ('Isabel daughter of MacCalin')

Pre-1600 Latin Language Evidence

Pre-1600 Scots Language Evidence

Pre-1600 Irish Gaelic Evidence

The Annals of the Four Masters:

O Raghailligh Aodh Conallach mac Maoíl Mhórdha, mic Seain, mic Cathail neach do chaith a ré gan fhresabhra, & a treimsi gan turbhródh, & ro chongaibh an Breifne gan baoghlucchadh tar lamhaibh a chomharsan Gall, & Gaoidhel an c-céin do mhair do écc, & a adhnacal i mainistir An Cabháin, & a bhen Isibél Bernauál d'écc in aon-aimsir ris fein. Mac an Uí Raighallaigh-sin .i. Sean Ruadh do bheith ag dol i c-cendus an tíre a h-úghdarras Gall ar bélaibh Emainn mic Maoíl Mordha baí ina shinnser do reir gnathuighthe Gaoidheal, & táinicc de-sidhe an tír, & an tighearnas do roinn etir Sliocht Mhaoil Mórdha. (Four Masters 5, M1583.20) 

Modern translation of above:

O'Reilly (Hugh Conallagh, the son of Maelmora, son of John, son of Cathal), a man who had passed his time without contests or trouble, and who had preserved Breifny from the invasions of his English and Irish enemies as long as he lived, died, and was buried in the monastery of Cavan. His wife, Isabella Barnewall, died about the same time. The son of this O'Reilly, namely, John Roe, then exerted himself to acquire the chieftainship of the territory, through the power of the English, in opposition to Edmond, the son of Maelmora, who was the senior according to the usage of the Irish. In consequence of this, the country and the lordship were divided between the descendants of Maelmora. (Four Masters 5, trans., M1583.21) 


Isabel, the medieval French form of Elizabeth, first appeared in England in the twelfth century and became extremely popular. It was brought to Ireland by the Anglo-Normans. In Derry, it disappeared in the end of the nineteenth century and was rendered Bella, Anabel and Arabella, while in Omeath it was re-translated Elizabeth and Lizzie. It is also rendered Isabella, Sybil, Sibby, Eliza and Bessie.

Modern Scottish Gaelic Evidence

Speculative Pre-1600 Scottish Gaelic Form

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