Translation:A snake.

March 16, 2016



Is 'neidr' related to the older English 'naeder' (with the ae should be written as a single character)? There are several interesting English words where the initial 'n' of the noun or the terminal 'n' of the indefinite article jumps around (a sort of treiglad?): 'a nadder' became 'an adder'; 'a napron' became 'an apron' but 'a napkin' remains 'a napkin'; 'an eedle' became 'a needle'' 'a numpire' became 'an umpire' and 'an ewt' became 'a newt' - although its larval form remains 'an eft'.


Yes, Welsh neidr is apparently related to English "adder"; they're both descended from a Proto-Indo-European root *nētr-.

(Your "needle" is wrong, though, according to http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=needle -- compare also the German cognate "Nadel" which also has n-, so this is not a case of the word gaining an 'n' where there had been none previously. "auger" would be another example of 'n' movement.)

Interesting are also cases where a singular word ending in an -s sound was interpreted as plural and new singular formed, as with "pea" from "pease" (originally a mass noun) or "cherry" from "cherise", from French "cerise", a regular (count) singular noun.


In saying that, you have forged a link in my brain between this word 'neidr' and 'snake' via the word adder. Many thanks!


And cerise itself descended from Latin ceresium, whose plural form, ceresia, was reinterpreted as a feminine singular, so it's gone through two reinterpretations


Thanks. I was wondering why I thought neidr was the correct word for snake...snake has never felt quite fitting, somehow. in the same way one sometimes says "She doesn't look like a Sarah" or "He doesn't look like a Geoff"


And why is Ralph Nader disliked by Welsh people?

[deactivated user]

    The Irish word for snake is Nathair which sounds vaguely similar to "Neidr".
    I wonder if "Neidr" has any connection with the mythological "Naga", a seven-headed serpent, of some Eastern cultures?


    No, but "naga" is related to the English word "snake". Nathair and neidr are related to each other, and also to the English adder (more obvious in the older form "nadder")

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