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  5. "Seachdain mhath."

"Seachdain mhath."

Translation:A good week.

May 2, 2020

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael880308

It looks like the word seachdain week is related to the word seachd seven.

Is that the case, or is it just coincidence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silmeth

seachdain is derived from seachd (EDIT: I was wrong, it’s a Latin borrowing derived from its Latin cognate: septem → septimana, see below). I think the fact that a week consists of seven days might have something to do with that. ;-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael880308

Well, that's what you say...

But Wiktionary (without a citation, so pinch of salt time) says that it's an Old Irish borrowing from Latin septimana, which comes from the Latin for seven.

So although seachd and septimana have cognate roots, seachdain apparently isn't from seachd.

EDIT: the derivation via Latin is given in this 1910 Gaelic etymological dictionary.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/silmeth

Oh, wow, you’re right. Didn’t expect that.

But then, the words were still so close in the time of Primitive Irish (when it was borrowed, and that early Prim. Ir. lacked /p/ and borrowed it from Latin as /k(ʷ)/, lenited to /x/, compare Lat. Pascha → Ir. Cáisc, Sc. Gaelic Càisg) that it shouldn’t surprise that a Latin borrowing looks like a derivation of a native word. Interesting nonetheless.

Thanks for verifying it. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael880308

I remember reading how Gaulish, which was less divergent even than Primitive Irish, was so similar to Latin and Greek that even before Western philology people noticed the resemblances.

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