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What's in a name?

Asked on David Boxenhorn's blog:

Amritas: What kind of name is Bill de hÓra?

Not sure. O'Hora is probably the same name.

Update: not much in a name, or so I thought. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Jon Hanna:

- It clearly seems to be an Anglo-Norman name given the "de". However the "de" was an 18th century variation on the name ("de Hore" and "de Hora", later still "de Hora" was Gaelicised into "de hÓra"). Earlier variations include "le Hore", "la Hore", "le Horhe" and "the Hore".
The "de" invention was done with some knowledge of genealogy though, for the name is indeed Norman. The earliest example of the name in Ireland traditionally being Phillipe le Hore, who was one of Strongbow's men.
However some of those names also came to Ireland as Cromwellian officers or adventurers, the Co. Cork line in particular are more likely to be descendents of later arrivals to the country.
"O'Hora is probably the same name"
- Probably not. The O'Horas are related to the Haras, Harras, Ó Haras and O'Haras. Of course given the similarity of the names and the relative frequency with which we alter our surnames here it's likely that some O'Horas are really from the le Hore/la Hore/le Horhe/the Hore/de Hore/de Hora/de hÓra line and some de hÓras are really from the Haras/Harras/Ó Haras/O'Haras line.
"Northern Ireland, where the Normans (with a huge French influence) "colonised"."
- The Normans colonised throughout the island. Northern Ireland doesn't really become differentiated in terms of where one can trace one's ancestors to until the Ulster Plantation under Elizabeth I when Scottish Protestants were imported in great numbers. Ironically the motivation for this was that at the time Ulster was the province with the least loyalty to the English Crown. Today Ulster-Scots names (like mine) are found throughout the island.
"Why is the Ó cApitalized?"
- Irish orthography distinguishes between letters that are always part of a word and letters that are part of a word mutating depending on how it's used. The word is being written as if it were an irish word "Óra" which is mutated when following "de" to "de hÓra" (in all lower-case it would be "de h-óra", and if one were using a Gaelic like those at http://www.evertype.com/celtscript/csmain.html then it would be "de h-Óra" in that case as well).
The distinction can be significant, "ár nAthair" means "our Father", "ár Nathair" means "our Snake", the lower-case difference between "ár n-athair" and "ár nathair" making this a bit clearer.
In this case though it is a deliberate Gaelicisation of de Hóra in this case, rather than the effects of an Irish etymology.
"you will see buttons for adding letters with fadas. They are not capitalized"
They don't need to be given that it's the UI of a case-insensitive search. Irish never adopted the practice of omitting diacriticals on capitals to cope with technical limitations like the French did (and this became the normal French orthography, though diacriticals on capitals are making a tentative comeback). However Irish did completely lose the dot on some consonants, replacing it with a following h (hence the name Saḋḃ became Sadhbh, and so on).

I'm speechless.


April 22, 2004 12:17 AM

Comments

David Boxenhorn
(April 22, 2004 01:00 AM #)

Am I having a font problem? The Ó comes out on my screen as a capital O with an accent.

Anyway, you have an extra < in the link to my site, so it doesn't work. (BTW I just started blogging two days ago. Look for it to get better.)

Bill de hÓra
(April 22, 2004 01:17 AM #)

"Am I having a font problem?"

I don't think so. The little tick above the O is meant to to be there - it's call a fada in Irish.

The link is fixed.

Bo
(April 22, 2004 02:15 AM #)

It is a strange name, I think. Where else do you see a 'de' with Irish names?

Robert Watkins
(April 22, 2004 03:09 AM #)

I'll hazard a guess...

Northern Ireland, where the Normans (with a huge French influence) "colonised".

David Boxenhorn
(April 22, 2004 07:26 AM #)

The fada isn't what drove me to comment.

Why is the Ó cApitalized?

This is the URL of an English-Irish dictionary:

http://www.englishirishdictionary.com/ie

Go there and you will see buttons for adding letters with fadas. They are not capitalized. BTW the definition of fada is: long, far, lengthy, protracted. It doesn't have one for hÓra.

Perhaps it is Irish orthography for names?

Bill de hÓra
(April 22, 2004 10:42 AM #)

"Where else do you see a 'de' with Irish names?"

Off the top of my head:

de Burca
de Paor
de Bruin

Bill de hÓra
(April 22, 2004 10:50 AM #)

I don't think about it very much - it's just a name. The last time I gave it any great thought was for removing the fada for the benefit of computers. I decided the computers would catch up eventually. People do ask about my name from time to time tho'.

"Why is the Ó cApitalized?"

Same answer - not sure. And there a number of Irish dialects and idiolects.

I'm not sure there's any such orthography for Irish names. There's been continual mutation of names for hundreds of years in Ireland, mainly with roundtripping between English to Irish but also with France and Spain. It's very possible some ancestor made it up or simply mispelled it at some time - mass literacy in Ireland is relatively new.

Jon Hanna
(April 22, 2004 04:32 PM #)

"What kind of name is Bill de hÓra?"

- It clearly seems to be an Anglo-Norman name given the "de". However the "de" was an 18th century variation on the name ("de Hore" and "de Hora", later still "de Hora" was Gaelicised into "de hÓra"). Earlier variations include "le Hore", "la Hore", "le Horhe" and "the Hore".
The "de" invention was done with some knowledge of genealogy though, for the name is indeed Norman. The earliest example of the name in Ireland traditionally being Phillipe le Hore, who was one of Strongbow's men.
However some of those names also came to Ireland as Cromwellian officers or adventurers, the Co. Cork line in particular are more likely to be descendents of later arrivals to the country.

"O'Hora is probably the same name"
- Probably not. The O'Horas are related to the Haras, Harras, Ó Haras and O'Haras. Of course given the similarity of the names and the relative frequency with which we alter our surnames here it's likely that some O'Horas are really from the le Hore/la Hore/le Horhe/the Hore/de Hore/de Hora/de hÓra line and some de hÓras are really from the Haras/Harras/Ó Haras/O'Haras line.

"Northern Ireland, where the Normans (with a huge French influence) "colonised"."
- The Normans colonised throughout the island. Northern Ireland doesn't really become differentiated in terms of where one can trace one's ancestors to until the Ulster Plantation under Elizabeth I when Scottish Protestants were imported in great numbers. Ironically the motivation for this was that at the time Ulster was the province with the least loyalty to the English Crown. Today Ulster-Scots names (like mine) are found throughout the island.

"Why is the Ó cApitalized?"
- Irish orthography distinguishes between letters that are always part of a word and letters that are part of a word mutating depending on how it's used. The word is being written as if it were an irish word "Óra" which is mutated when following "de" to "de hÓra" (in all lower-case it would be "de h-óra", and if one were using a Gaelic like those at http://www.evertype.com/celtscript/csmain.html then it would be "de h-Óra" in that case as well).
The distinction can be significant, "ár nAthair" means "our Father", "ár Nathair" means "our Snake", the lower-case difference between "ár n-athair" and "ár nathair" making this a bit clearer.

In this case though it is a deliberate Gaelicisation of de Hóra in this case, rather than the effects of an Irish etymology.

"you will see buttons for adding letters with fadas. They are not capitalized"

They don't need to be given that it's the UI of a case-insensitive search. Irish never adopted the practice of omitting diacriticals on capitals to cope with technical limitations like the French did (and this became the normal French orthography, though diacriticals on capitals are making a tentative comeback). However Irish did completely lose the dot on some consonants, replacing it with a following h (hence the name Saḋḃ became Sadhbh, and so on).

"BTW the definition of fada is: long, far, lengthy, protracted"

The fada lengthens the vowel it is applied to.

Bill de hÓra
(April 22, 2004 08:00 PM #)

Jon,

:-o

Jon Hanna
(April 23, 2004 12:01 PM #)

I'll admit I did have to hit the web to fill out the details about de hÓra, starting out my thoughts on that bit where "de hÓra sounds semi-Norman, semi-Gaelic and not much like O'Hora". But I was once coded and wrote for the site I checked, so it wasn't really cheating :)

The rest is just me being an Irish i18n nerd. Annoyingly while I find the little technical differences about languages like those fascinating, I've never been able to pick up much of a vocabuary in anything other than English.

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Tracked on April 22, 2004 07:54 PM