Horthmen as 'mGall'

Brian M. Scott BMScott at stratos.net
Tue Aug 24 07:45:24 UTC 1999

X99Lynx at aol.com wrote:

> As far as the borrowing, "galc = thicken cloth, fulling;
> from the English walk, waulk" (McBain's Etym Dict - Scot
> Gaelic) would be likely a loan from AS.

Just to keep the record straight, the OED s.v. walk(2) observes that the
word is not found in English in this sense until the 14th c.  So far as
I can discover, <galc> is a specifically Sc.Gael. borrowing.

> B_T_W, I just noticed that MacFarlaine gives a different,
> much more local explanation for "Gall" as foreigner -
> "Gall: foreigner, a Scottish Lowlander

The Dict. of the Irish Lang. gives the following senses in Old and
Middle Ir., of which the first is earliest: (1) a Gaul, (apparently
sometimes equated with Frank); (2) a Scandinavian invader; (3) an
Anglo-Norman, an Irishman of Norman descent; (d) a foreigner.  Dinneen
says that it was applied in succession to Gauls, Franks, Danes, Normans,
and English.  There appears to be no reason to think that <Gall> is
anything other than 'a Gaul' in origin.

Brian M. Scott

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