Table of the tree names and ‘ranking’ in the Auraicept following Fenius and Ogma

 

Font Times new Roman thin : Fenius’ Ogam (4 groups)

Font Book Antiqua fat : Ogma’s Ogam (3 groups claimed, two explicitely given)

 

In parentheses Ogma’s grouping of trees when it differs from Fenius’. All the trees named by Ogma also are by Fenius. When no tree name is given in the font Book Antiqua, this means it is not in Ogma’s list.

 

Irish

Calder’s translation

Comments on the Irish words

airigh (aire)

 

n-airigh

Chieftain trees

 

Chieftain trees

airigh: ‘has value’, ‘free man’, chief 

dur

 

dur

oak

 

oak

dair or daur or daire or doire: oak, thicket of oaks, dense thicket

coll

coll

hazel

hazel

also : destruction ; neck

cuileand

tinne

 holly

(Peasant in Ogma’s ranking)

cuilenn or cuilend

tinne = metal bar, mass of molten metal, salted pork, holly or alder, a music instrument.

abhull

quert

apple

(Peasant)

aball : apple-tree ; ubull : apple

ceirt = pommier ou chiffon.

cert = correct, exact or small or cooking stone.

uindsiu

 

 

nin

ash

 

 

(Peasant)

uinnius = ash; in the text (lines 648, 705) unnsi or uindsi = female gender

 

nin = ash-ree, letter n, any of the Ogam’s letter, part of a weaver’s beam, a wave, a cloud ?

ibur

yew

ibar or ibor = yew (tree and wood)

See also [note 1].

gius

fir

giús = pine-tree, fir-tree

gort

ivy

gort = un champ, lierre

muin

vine

muin = upper par of the back, any ‘upper part’, vine, cunning.

athaig(-)fedha

n-athaigh

Peasant trees

Peasant trees

aithech or aithig = peasant, paid with wages. fedha = tree-letters

fern

fernn

alder

(chieftain)

alder, also (poetry) a man; also : good

sail

sail

willow

willow

also : beam

bethi

 

bethi

birch

 

birch

beithe or beith = birch ; betha means : life, lifetime

lemh

elm

lem = elm ; also : weak, impotent, worthless

sce

huath

white thorn

scé = thorny bush, hawthorn

úath: horror, terror or whitethorn, or else a color, a small number, the earth (mold).

crithach

aspen

crith = shaking

caerthand

 

luis

mountain-ash

 

rowan-tree

cáer = berry, ball ; cáerthann = rowan (sorbus gender) [note 1]

luis = rowan-tree

 

 

 

fodhla fedha

 

fidlosa

Shrub trees

fedach = branch or fodelg =  small thorn

 

lus = herb, genitive losa. fidlosa = letter-herbs

draighen

straif

black-thorn

(chieftain)

 

straif = plant used for dyeing. The meaning blackthorn  is not found elsewhere than in the auraicept.

trom

elder

also : heavy, difficult

feorus

spindle-tree

as said by the dictionary: ‘possible meaning’

crand fir

test-tree

True tree

fedlend

 

 

honeysuckle

I guess this is the bush species. féith = sinew, fiber, ore vein

fidhat

bird-cherry

fid = tree ; fidot = aspen or  cudgel

finncholl

white-hazel

fín = vine ; finn or find = white; coll = hazel; the word finncoll (or findcholl) does not exist elsewhere than in the  Auraicept

 

 

 

lossa fedha

Herb trees

lus = herb, genitive losa

aitean

furze

áith = sharp

fraech

 

or

heather

 

(chieftain)

fráech = heath ; also fury

 

or = frontier or mane or heath (ur) . ór = gold or incantation?

gilcach

onn

broom

(chieftain)

 

onn = pine-tree  or gorse or perhaps the ash-tree.

raid

bog-myrtle

raideóg = “name of a plant”

luachair

rushes

lúachair = rushes; also: the shine

 

 

 

 

 

 

[note 1]: Native to the British isles, there exist three kinds of sorbus, all called “service-tree.” This creates a confusion with the yew-tree, sometimes also called a ‘service-tree’. Remember that Calder always uses this last meaning.

These ‘sorbus’ are different by their size, the size and disposition of their fruits (sized from a small berry to a small pear).

1. Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) or Mountain Ash or ‘True Service Tree’. Modern Irish : caorthann

2. Whitebeam (Sorbus aria)

3. Wild Service Tree (Sorbus torminalis) Chequers