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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

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 a poem that twice refers to a man as the 'son of Seonaid' (as a poetical description, not as a byname). Where Watson's modern Gaelic version has "Mac Seónaide" and M'Lauchlan's modern Gaelic version has "Mac Sheonaid", the original manuscript has "Mak soonayd" and "v'soynoid".[Watson, pp. 22-4; M'Lauchlan, OG pp. 106-7] 

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 <Jonat> and other spelling variants, it does not tell us what the medieval Gaelic form of that name was.

Pre-1600 Irish Gaelic Evidence

Modern Scottish Gaelic Evidence

"Seònaid ... Common. A female derivative of the Hebrew Johanan, meaning either God is gracious or the grace of God. Cognate with Janet and Janice. See Deònaid, Seas, Seasaidh, Seòna, Seonag, Teasaidh."[Morgan, s.n. Seònaid]

Speculative Pre-1600 Scottish Gaelic Form

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