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Cailleach, also known as Beara, was a goddess in Ancient Celtic mythology. She is often portrayed as the founding deity of Scotland. Cailleach is sometimes regarded as the daughter of the Irish moon god, Elier mac Delbáed. She was worshipped as a heavenly hag, and supreme being.

Name[change | change source]

Cailleach ('old woman' or 'hag' in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic) [1] comes from the Old Irish Caillech ('veiled one'), an adjectival form of caille ('veil'), an early loan from Latin pallium,[2] 'woollen cloak'.[3][4][5][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Ó Dónaill, Niall (1992). Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla. Mount Salus Press. p. 172. ISBN 1-85791-037-0.
  2. Displaying the expected /p/ > /c/ change of early Latin loans in Irish.
  3. Thurneysen, Rudolph; A Grammar of Old Irish, Vol. 1; Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, 1946, p. 568.
  4. Ó Cathasaigh, T. "The eponym of Cnogba", Éigse 23, 1989, pp. 27–38.
  5. Ó hÓgáin, D. Myth, Legend & Romance: An Encyclopaedia of the Irish Folk Tradition, Prentice Hall Press, 1991, p. 67.
  6. Macbain, Alexander (1998) Etymological Dictionary Of Scottish-Gaelic. New York: Hippocrene Books, ISBN 0-7818-0632-1, p. 63.