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Cedyrn and Prydein correspond in the terms Ynys y Kedyrn and Ynys Prydein? This one is enabled to understand by means of court or ceiri as a middle term. Now cadarn means strong or valiant, and makes the plural cedyrn; but there is another Welsh word cadr1 which has also the meaning of valiant or powerful, and may have yielded some such a medieval form as ceidyr in the plural. Now this cadr is proved by its cognates2 not to have always had the meaning of valiant or strong: its original signification was more nearly' fine, beautiful, or beautified.' Thus what seems to have happened is, that cadarn,' strong, powerful, mighty,' influenced the meaning of cadr, ' beautiful,' and eventually usurped its place in the name of the island, which from being Ynysy Ceidyr became Ynys y Cedyrn. But the former meant the 'Island of the fine or beautiful men,' which was closely enough the meaning also of the words Prydain, Cruithni, and Picts, as names of a people who delighted to beautify their persons by tattooing their skins and making themselves distingue in that savage fashion. That is not all, for on examination it turns out that the word ceiri, which has been treated up to this point as meaning giants, is but a double, so to say, of the word cadr in the plural, both as to etymology and original meaning of beautiful. It is a word in constant use in Carnarvonshire, where it is ironically applied to pretentious men fond of showing themselves off, especially in the matter of clothes. 'Dydinhw 'n geiri! 'Aren't they swells!' Dyna i ch'i gawr! 'There's a fine fellow for you!' and so also with the feminine cawres. Of course the catvr of standard Welsh is familiar enough in the sense of giant to Carnarvonshire people, so the meaning can be best ascertained in the case of the plural ceiri, which they hardly ever meet with in print; and, so far as I have been able to ascertain, by ceiri they mean—in an ironical sense it is true—fine fellows, with reference not to great stature or strength but to their get-up. Thus one arrives at the true interpretation of the name Tre'r Ceiri as the Town of the Prydyn or Cruithni; that is to say, the Town of the Picts or the Aborigines, who showed themselves off decorated with pictures. So far also from Ynysy Ceiri being an echo of Ynys y Cedyrn, it turns out to be really the more original of the two. Such names, when they are closely examined, are apt to prove old beyond all hastily formed expectation.
1 Cadarn and cadr postulate respectively some such early forms as catrno-s and cadro-s, which according to analogy should become cadarn and cadr. Welsh, however, is not fond of dr; so here begins a bifurcation: (i) retaining the d unchanged cadro-s yields cadr, or (3) dr is made into dr, and other changes set in resulting in the air of ceiri, as in Welsh aneirif, 'numberless,' from eirif, ' number,' of the same origin as Irish dram from *act-rim = *ad-rJmd, and Welsh eiliw, 'species, colour,' for ad-liw, in both of which r follows ct combinations; but that is not essential, as shown by cader, eadair, for Old Welsh cateir, 'a chair,' from Latin cat[h]edra. The word that serves as our singular, namely cawr, is far harder to explain; but on the whole I am inclined to regard it as of a different origin, to wit, the Goidelic word caur, 'a giant or hero,' borrowed. The plural cewri or cawri is formed from the singular cawr, which means a giant, though, associated in the plural with ceiri, it has sometimes to follow suit with that vocable in connoting dress.
'The most important of these are the old Breton kaer, now katr, 'beautiful or pretty,' and old Cornish caer of the same meaning; elsewhere we have, as in Greek, the Doric xixatf1cu and xixaSftiros, to be found used in reference to excelling or distinguishing one's self; also xoOf1os, 'good order, ornament,' while in Sanskrit there is the theme fad, 'to excel or surpass.' The old meaning of 'beautiful,' 'decorated,' or 'loudly dressed,' is not yet lost in the case of coin.
Be it remembrid that one Manaman Mack Clere, a paynim, was the first inhabitour of the ysle of Man, who by his Necromancy kept the same, that when he was assaylid or invaded he wold rayse such mystes by land and sea that no man might well fynde owte the ysland, and he would make one of his men seeme to be in nombre a hundred.—The Landsdovme MSS.
The following paper exhausts no part of the subject: it simply embodies the substance of my notes of conversations which I have had with Manx men and Manx women, whose names, together with such other particulars as I could get, are in my possession. I have mostly avoided reading up the subject in printed books; but those who wish to see it exhaustively treated may be directed to Mr. Arthur W. Moore's book on The Folklore of the Isle of Man, to which may now be added Mr. C. Roeder's Contributions to the Folklore of the Isle of Man in the Lioar Manninagh for 1897, pp. 129-91.
For the student of folklore the Isle of Man is very fairly stocked with inhabitants of the imaginary order. She has her fairies and her giants, her mermen and brownies, her kelpies and water-bulls.
The water-bull or tarroo ushtey, as he is called in Manx, is a creature about which I have not been able to learn much, but he is described as a sort of bull disporting himself about the pools and swamps. For instance, I was told at the village of Andreas, in the flat country forming the northern end of the island, and known as the Ayre, that there used to be a tarroo ushtey between Andreas and the sea to the west: it was before the ground had been drained as it is now. And an octogenarian captain at Peel related to me how he had once when a boy heard a tarroo ushtey: the bellowings of the brute made the ground tremble, but otherwise the captain was unable to give me any very intelligible description. This bull is by no means of the same breed as the bull that comes out of the lakes of Wales to mix with the farmers' cattle, for there the result used to be great fertility among the stock, and an overflow of milk and dairy produce, but in the Isle of Man the tarroo ushtey only begets monsters and strangely formed beasts.
The kelpie, or, rather, what I take to be a kelpie, was called by my informants a glashtyn; and Kelly, in his Manx Dictionary, describes the object meant as 'a goblin, an imaginary animal which rises out of the water.' One or two of my informants confused the glashtyn with the Manx brownie. On the other hand, one of them was very definite in his belief that it had nothing human about it, but was a sort of grey colt, frequenting the banks of lakes at night, and never seen except at night.
Mermen and mermaids disport themselves on the coasts of Man, but I have to confess that I have made no careful inquiry into what is related about them; and my information about the giants of the island is equally scanty. To confess the truth, I do not recollect hearing of more than one giant, but that was a giant: I have seen the marks of his huge hands impressed on the top of two massive monoliths. They stand in a field at Balla Keeill Pherick, on the way down from the Sloc to Colby. I was told there were originally five of these stones standing in a circle, all of them marked in the. same way by the same giant as he hurled them down there from where he stood, miles away on the top of the mountain called Cronk yn Irree Laa. Here I may mention that the Manx word for a giant is for, in which a vowel-flanked m has been spirited away, as shown by the modern Irish spelling, fomhor. This, in the plural in old Irish, appears as the name of the Fomori, so well known in Irish legend, which, however, does not always represent them as giants, but rather as monsters. I have been in the habit of explaining the word as meaning submarini; but no more are they invariably connected with the sea. So another etymology recommends itself, namely, one which comes from Dr. Whitley Stokes, and makes the mor mfomori to be of the same origin as the mare in the English nightmare, French cauchewar, German mahr, 'an elf,' and cognate words. I may mention that with the Fomori of mythic origin have doubtless been confounded and identified certain invaders of Ireland, especially the Dumnonians from the country between Galloway and the mouth of the Clyde, some of whom may be inferred to have coasted the north of Ireland and landed in the west, for example in Erris, the north-west of Mayo, called after them Irrus (or Erris) Domnann.
The Manx brownie is called the fenodyree, and he is described as a hairy and apparently clumsy fellow, who would, for instance, thrash a whole barnful of corn in a single night for the people to whom he felt well disposed; and once on a time he undertook to bring down for the farmer his wethers from Snaefell. When the fenodyree had safely put them in an outhouse, he said that he had some trouble with the little ram, as it had run three times round Snaefell that morning. The farmer did not quite understand him, but on going to look at the sheep, he found, to his infinite surprise, that