CELT document G602001

The Meaning of Birthdays

Witness list

  • H3: Trinity College Dublin, MS H 3 17, col. 850, 851.
  • H: Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Book of Ui Maine, p 103b bottom.

The following text is taken from MS H. 3. 17 (TCD), col. 850, 851, where it occurs without title. There is a slightly mutilated copy, also without title, in the Book of Hūi Maine (RIA), at the bottom of p. 103b. Variants from this version (H) are added in the foot-notes.

Unknown author

Edited by Annie M. Scarre

The Meaning of Birthdays

  1. Neach genes i nDomnach, bid suthain, bid sōinmech a betha, bid imda i ndomun , bid sūairc la rígu ⁊ airchindchiu, bid mōr a chumachta , a leas ina lāmaib .
  2. Neach genis i lLūan, bid maith a ana for cethru , ⁊ biáid anim fora gnūisib , nī ba hailtnide, bid fīal, bid imda cēile Dé ic gabāil a écnairce , ⁊ dónáir aithrige ria mbás.
  3. Neach genes hi mMāirt, bādugh1 dia breith, bid imdai a hana for mincheathra, nī ba trēn a chumachta, bid sūaircc la mná ⁊ la conu .
  4.  p.226
  5. Nech genes a Cētāin, anim for a chlī bās tria fuil atbēla, bidh neimnech a hirlabra, bid miscnech, bid trēn gabāltaig , dogēna gním ndūaircc ria mbāss.
  6. Nech genes i nDardāin, bás a fescur dobēla, taithim bidgad , bid suthain, bid carthanach, bid clannmar, cid bed dán dogēna , bid maith ann, bid crūaid .
  7. Nech genes i nĀine, bās aithrige, bid santach , imed n-ōir ⁊ n-airgit lais, fogēnait a ūa ⁊ a cinēl dó, bid fuilech, bid somāinech do molad a dāenib.
  8. Nech genes hi Sathairn, loscad ⁊ bronngalar dia brith, bid mōr a hordan, bid mígnīmach, bid nemnech, bid fingalach, dogēna mōr duinoirgne, dīlmaineacht beathad dó.

  1. He who is born on Sunday will be longlived, his life will be happy, he will have wealth in the world, he will be in favour with kings and erenaghs, great will be his power, his profit in his own hands.
  2. He who is born on Monday, his wealth in cattle will be good, there will be a blemish on his face, he will not be sharp, he will be generous, many culdees will sing his requiem, and repentance will come to him before death.
  3. He who is born on Tuesday, drowning will carry him off, great will be his wealth in small cattle, his power will not be strong, he will be a favourite with women and dogs.
  4. He who is born on Wednesday, a blemish on his body, he will die a bloody death, his speech will be venomous, he will be hated, he will be a powerful plunderer, he will do a dire deed before death.
  5.  p.227
  6. He who is born on Thursday will die at Vespers, either by a swoon (?) or a fright, he will be longlived, he will be loving, he will have many children, whatever may be the art he may exercise, he will be good in it, he will be harsh.
  7. He who is born on Friday, he will have a death of repentance, he will be covetous, he will have wealth of gold and silver, his tribe 2 and race will serve him, he will be bloody, he will be rich in the praise from men.
  8. He who is born on Saturday, fever (?) and a bowel-disease will carry him off, great will be his dignity, he will do evil deeds, he will be venomous, he will be a parricide, he will do many slaughters, he will lead a licentious life.

Liverpool Annie M. Scarre

Document details

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Title statement

Title (uniform): The Meaning of Birthdays

Editor: Annie M. Scarre

Responsibility statement

Electronic edition compiled by: Beatrix Färber

Funded by: University College, Cork and Writers of Ireland II Project

Edition statement

2. Second draft.

Extent: 1135 words

Publication statement

Publisher: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a Department of History project at University College, Cork

Address: College Road, Cork, Ireland—http://www.ucc.ie/celt

Date: 2007

Date: 2011

Distributor: CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.

CELT document ID: G602001

Availability: Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.

Source description

Manuscript Sources

  1. Trinity College Dublin, MS H 3 17, col. 850, 851.
  2. Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, Book of Uí Maine, Stowe, D. 2, 1; p 103b bottom. [A vellum MS, 14th century.]

Further reading

  • Max Förster, Wochentagsgeburtsprognosen, Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 128 296ff.

The edition used in the digital edition

‘The Meaning of Birthdays’ (1915). In: Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie‍ 10. Ed. by Annie M. Scarre, pp. 225–227.

You can add this reference to your bibliographic database by copying or downloading the following:

  editor 	 = {Annie M. Scarre},
  title 	 = {The Meaning of Birthdays},
  journal 	 = {Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie},
  number 	 = {10},
  address 	 = {Halle/Saale},
  publisher 	 = {Max Niemeyer},
  date 	 = {1915},
  pages 	 = {225–227}


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Project description: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

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Correction: Text has been checked and proof-read twice.

Normalization: The electronic text represents the edited text. Names are capitalized in line with CELT practice. In Scarre's edition, the acute accent and macron are used to mark long vowels. Both are retained. Text supplied by the editor is marked sup resp="AS"; editorial notes and expansions are marked note type="auth" n="" and ex respectively.

Quotation: There are no quotations.

Hyphenation: Hyphenation has been introduced.

Segmentation: div0=the whole text; div1= the section. Section 1 contains the Irish text; section 2 the English translation. Page breaks are marked pb n="".

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A canonical reference to a location in this text should be made using “text”, eg text .

Profile description


Date: c.1914 [English translation]

c.1000–1300? [Irish text]

Language usage

  • Text in section 1 is in Middle Irish. (ga)
  • Text in section 2 is in English. (en)

Keywords: astrological; prose; medieval; scholarship

Revision description

(Most recent first)

  1. pre-1998: Text scanned in. (data capture Staff at the CELT/CURIA Project)
  2. 2011-02-03: Header updated; new wordcount made. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  3. 2008-10-15: Header updated; keywords added; file validated. (ed. Beatrix Färber)
  4. 2007-07-11: File converted; header created; translation typed in; file proofed (2); structural and content markup applied; file parsed; SGML and HTML versions created. (ed. Beatrix Färber)

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  1. H omits this phrase here, but adds at the end: robadud dia breith. 🢀

  2. I translate tūath H. 🢀


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