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[albanach] Re: Annals of Connacht and a bit more

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  • Diana Cosby
    Sharon L. Krossa wrote: Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything depends on exactly which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason to believe
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 2, 2000
      "Sharon L. Krossa" wrote: Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything
      depends on exactly which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason
      to believe that Etain was used by Scottish Gaels. As for Rois -- I am
      not so sure. A lot depends on exact period, even for Scotland.
      ~I found the name Rois listed under from the document dated 1200-1300
      list of names used in Scotland.

      >Rois isn't a native Gaelic name, and so not only is it limited to certain dates in Ireland, it may or may not have made it to Gaelic Scotland.
      ~Thanks.

      >>So, would it be safe to have an English maiden refer to a Scot in 1296
      as a pirate?
      > Not based on the Julius Caesar evidence (Julius Caesar was a *long*
      time before 1296!). Of course, this doesn't mean that it *is*
      unreasonable, just that Caesar doesn't help. What you need is 13th or
      14th century evidence. Unfortunately, the Concise Scots Dictionary
      indicates that "pirate" in Scots is a 16th century and later term. Note,
      however, that if the person using "pirate" is *English*, the question is
      whether the word was used in the sense you mean in England -- there you
      want to go to the OED (rather than Websters) which will give you dated
      examples.
      ~Thanks. The person who would use it is English, and she calls a
      Scottish knight it when he abducts her a 'pirate.' The year--1296. I
      found a site with a Scottish legend that says:
      Scottish law once required fishermen to wear a gold earring, which was
      used to pay for funeral expenses if they were drowned and washed ashore.
      http://tqjunior.advanced.org/5391/legends.html

      I found this interesting and thought maybe this was where the
      introduction of putting the gold earring and pirate together.

      Thank you very much for your help!
      Diana Cosby
      cosby@...
    • Sharon L. Krossa
      ... You found the name Rois where? I m not clear on what document you are refering to above. ... Scottish law may not have required it -- I d want a citation
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 2, 2000
        At 4:17 PM -0500 3/2/2000, Diana Cosby wrote:
        >"Sharon L. Krossa" wrote: Well, keep in mind that in Scotland everything
        >depends on exactly which kind of Scots you mean and when. I have reason
        >to believe that Etain was used by Scottish Gaels. As for Rois -- I am
        >not so sure. A lot depends on exact period, even for Scotland.
        >~I found the name Rois listed under from the document dated 1200-1300
        >list of names used in Scotland.

        You found the name "Rois" where? I'm not clear on what document you
        are refering to above.

        >>Rois isn't a native Gaelic name, and so not only is it limited to
        >>certain dates in Ireland, it may or may not have made it to Gaelic
        >>Scotland.
        >~Thanks.
        >
        >>>So, would it be safe to have an English maiden refer to a Scot in 1296
        >as a pirate?
        >> Not based on the Julius Caesar evidence (Julius Caesar was a *long*
        >time before 1296!). Of course, this doesn't mean that it *is*
        >unreasonable, just that Caesar doesn't help. What you need is 13th or
        >14th century evidence. Unfortunately, the Concise Scots Dictionary
        >indicates that "pirate" in Scots is a 16th century and later term. Note,
        >however, that if the person using "pirate" is *English*, the question is
        >whether the word was used in the sense you mean in England -- there you
        >want to go to the OED (rather than Websters) which will give you dated
        >examples.
        >~Thanks. The person who would use it is English, and she calls a
        >Scottish knight it when he abducts her a 'pirate.' The year--1296. I
        >found a site with a Scottish legend that says:
        >Scottish law once required fishermen to wear a gold earring, which was
        >used to pay for funeral expenses if they were drowned and washed ashore.
        >http://tqjunior.advanced.org/5391/legends.html
        >
        > I found this interesting and thought maybe this was where the
        >introduction of putting the gold earring and pirate together.

        Scottish law may not have required it -- I'd want a citation of the
        evidence before believing that. However, the idea that there was a
        custom (tradition, not law) of sailors wearing earrings in order to
        be able to pay for something should they die and/or become injured I
        expect is true. I recall being told of some such tradition (and I
        cannot recall what I was told the gold was to pay for, I'm afraid,
        nor can I recall whether it was an earring or some other form of
        jewelry) by a scholar who studied Scottish maritime matters. I cannot
        recall in what time period, either, unfortunately.

        But the question here is

        1. When did the custom date from (and was it specifically an earring,
        and if not, from when was it specifically an earring?)
        2. When did gold earrings become specifically associated with sailors
        in the minds of those not connected to sailors?
        3. When did the gold earring get associated not generally with
        sailors, but specifically with pirates?

        I have a suspicion that the answer to when people would see a gold
        earring on a man and think "pirate" could date from the 19th or
        perhaps even 20th century. Remember that one of the key elements
        would be that wearing of earrings by men probably had become unusual
        for people to have started associating the wearing of them with a
        specific, disreputable occupation. It may even be that the
        association dates from well after the time when pirates were common,
        even though the tradition of sailors wearing earrings undoubtedly
        existed earlier. (Of course, if we could find some earlier evidence
        that people associated earrings with pirates, we'd be set!)

        Anyway, the point is all pretty moot, anyway, since the earliest
        English example of a form of "pirate" that I can find (in the OED,
        2nd edition) dates from 1426. So even in English the word just wasn't
        around yet in 1296.

        Finally, in general I urge caution when encountering web sites or
        books that relate legends, traditions, and such when they don't give
        specific dates (let alone specific dates and citations). In the year
        2000, something could be only 19th century and still qualify as an
        "old tradition". With so much "Scottish tradition" known to be only a
        couple centuries old (or younger), one especially has to look for the
        dates and the evidence to back it up.

        Regards,
        Sharon
        Sharon Krossa, krossa@...
        Medieval Scotland (including resources for names, clothing & history):
        http://www.stanford.edu/~skrossa/medievalscotland/
        The most complete index of reliable web articles about pre-1600 names:
        The Medieval Names Archive - http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/
        Consultations about re-creating historically accurate pre-1600 names:
        Academy of Saint Gabriel - http://www.s-gabriel.org/
      • Diana Cosby
        Sharon L. Krossa wrote: You found the name Rois where? I m not clear on what document you are referring to above. ~Feminine Given Names in the Annals of
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 3, 2000
          "Sharon L. Krossa" wrote: You found the name "Rois" where? I'm not clear
          on what document you are referring to above.
          ~Feminine Given Names in the Annals of Connacht:
          http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/mari/AnnalsConnacht/FemGivenNamesAlpha.html
          *The entry is dated 1530

          >Scottish law may not have required it -- I'd want a citation of the evidence before believing that. However, the idea that there was a custom (tradition, not law) of sailors wearing earrings in order to be able to pay for something should they die and/or become injured I expect is true. I recall being told of some such tradition (and I cannot recall what I was told the gold was to pay for, I'm afraid, nor can I recall whether it was an earring or some other form of jewelry) by a scholar who studied Scottish maritime matters. I cannot recall in what time period, either, unfortunately.
          ~What I could easily elude to in my story is to not have the English
          maiden call him a pirate, but subtly have her tie in the gold earring
          with the fact that he's a scoundrel. Then I could let the reader assume
          that this is the origin of the earring being tied into a pirate.

          >I have a suspicion that the answer to when people would see a gold earring on a man and think "pirate" could date from the 19th or perhaps even 20th century. Remember that one of the key elements would be that wearing of earrings by men probably had become unusual for people to have started associating the wearing of them with a specific, disreputable occupation. It may even be that the association dates from well after the time when pirates were common, even though the tradition of sailors wearing earrings undoubtedly existed earlier. (Of course, if we could find some earlier evidence that people associated earrings with pirates, we'd be set!)
          ~Very true. Thank you very much for your insight. I think I'll stay
          away from the 'pirate' can of worms. I can achieve the effect I'm
          looking for by subtle implication.

          >Anyway, the point is all pretty moot, anyway, since the earliest
          English example of a form of "pirate" that I can find (in the OED,
          2nd edition) dates from 1426. So even in English the word just wasn't
          around yet in 1296.
          ~True. Thank you very much.

          >Finally, in general I urge caution when encountering web sites or books that relate legends, traditions, and such when they don't give specific dates (let alone specific dates and citations). In the year
          2000, something could be only 19th century and still qualify as an
          "old tradition". With so much "Scottish tradition" known to be only a
          couple centuries old (or younger), one especially has to look for the
          dates and the evidence to back it up.
          ~Excellent point. I have quite a few reference books here that I
          usually refer to. The 'tradition' I found on the net is a 'new,'
          intriguing find, and I didn't have any in-house sources to refer to.
          I'm amazed at the error in dates on the net compared to what I have in
          my research books here.
          Sharon, my sincere thanks again for your explanation and patience in
          explaining this all to me.
          Diana Cosby
          cosby@...
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