I’ve got a new Manx speaking friend, and she asked me this. Not wanting to just guess and get it wrong, I thought 'd go to higher authorities.

‘Just looking at Ardderchog Sam and it makes me think of the Manx word ‘ard’ which can be applied at the beginning of another word to give it extra importance or to show high rank/status e.g. ‘ard-laa’ is a high day; ‘ard-ainle’ is an archangel. Is the word ‘ardderchog’ formed in a similar way?’

Any thoughts?

'Elo Sam!

The prefix “ar”, “on, over” in Welsh can be used in such a way. Whether it is related to “ard”, I don’t know, but I’ve read “ar” is derived from “gwar”, so perhaps not. (Though not sure, as I say!)

“Derch” is one of the old forms of “dyrchu”, “dyrchafu”, “to raise up”.

Thus, it means that which is greatly raised up or exhalted.

Ar causes soft mutation, thus ar+derchog gives “ardderchog”.

I know not of this Ardderchog Sam of which you speak, but hope that helps!

Bit of further (too much! :wink: information) - “Ardd” is an (old) word in Welsh meaning “hill” (or even ‘high’, by the looks of it!) which is presumably related to “ard”. “Ard” appears in Gaelic place names meaning hill, or height, I believe? Rooted in high, so “ard ri”, “high king” in Irish, and the examples you give in Manx.

But the equivalent prefix in Welsh is “ar” from “gwar”, which is, according to an etymological dictionary of Old Welsh, related to the Irish “for”.

So the similarity between manx “ard” and Welsh “ar” looks to be definitely coincidental.

That’s brilliant , thanks so much for your help Owain. I’ve passed it all on to my friend, and I’ll let you know what she says.

Mmmm… Manx-speaking friend? What’s her recording voice like?..:smile:

I don’t know but I can ask. She’s on Facebook as ‘As Manx as the Hills’ and has been very helpful with my book efforts. Seems like a good sort and is passionate about Celtic languages, especially Manx.


We’re thinking in terms of running a Kickstarter project to get some funding to take SSiW out into the other Celtic languages, so we might at some point in the next few months be on the look out for confident speakers…:smile:

Sounds like a cracking idea. Good luck.

Incidentally Aran. I’d be keen to have a go at any/all Celtic languages you decide to offer. I was going to have a go at the Cornish after I’ve mastered Welsh( no laughing please) but am especially interested in Irish Gaelic.

…and me too!
After I’ve completed the available Welsh lessons on both the old and new courses, I also want to pursue the Irish Gaelic language.
I’m currently running through the final lesson of course 3 now, and intend to run through course 2 vocabs once again afterwards. But after that, I want to start learning Irish Gaelic.
It would be interesting, as well as quite lovely, to see all the Celtic languages available here on SSi. looking forward to seeing this happen already! :smile:

1 Like

Me too…:smile:

Aran, fyi, there’s a Manx-language group class near me in Virginia. I have a friend of Manx background whose brother is or has been in it. Here’s the contact info, for anyone who’s interested…

1 Like

Just out of interest - My brother is taking a short break in the IoM. He is not heavily into languages so take this as an unbiased appraisal after a couple of days.

He says that although he hasn’t heard any Manx spoken yet,. There is a feel of a language revival about - mainly from the official signs etc.

1 Like