Old Irish


Alternative forms




The deuterotonic and future stems are from fo- +‎ Proto-Celtic *kerdeti (to put, lay, move) (compare Middle Welsh kerðet, Welsh cerdded (walk), Breton kerzhet (walk), Cornish kerdhes (walk)), from Proto-Indo-European *kerd- (to swing) (compare Ancient Greek κραδαίνω (kradaínō, to swing), Latin cardō (hinge), Old High German scerdo (hinge)).[1]

The prototonic forms of the present stem (·cuirethar etc.) are thought to be denominative from cor (putting, casting, throwing), from which Matasović reconstructs Proto-Celtic *koros (act of putting, casting, a throw), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn).[2] Le Mair however finds such an immediately denominative origin to be dubious, and reconstructs a Proto-Celtic *korītor instead. She relates this verb to a root *kerH- (to throw) rather than *(s)ker-.[3]

See ro·lá for the etymology of the perfective forms.





fo·ceird (prototonic ·cuirethar, verbal noun cor)

  1. to put, place, set
    • c. 800–825, Diarmait, Milan Glosses on the Psalms, published in Thesaurus Palaeohibernicus (reprinted 1987, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), edited and with translations by Whitley Stokes and John Strachan, vol. I, pp. 7–483, Ml. 68b9
      cia beith ar n‑acathar nech inna rétu inducbaidi in betha so, arnach·corathar i mmoth ⁊ machthad dia seirc ⁊ dia n‑accubur
      though it be that someone sees the glorious things of this world, that he may not be put in stupor and admiration by love for them and by desire for them
  2. to throw, cast



This verb suppletes three verb roots belonging to three separate conjugation classes.

  • The deuterotonic forms, dominated by direct conjugations of fo·ceird itself, are class B I, and form an á-preterite, s-future (the s obscured by fusion with the root cluster -rd-), and s-subjunctive.
  • The prototonic forms in ·cuirethar and the like are class A II (specifically of the W2b subtype), and like almost all weak verbs form an s-preterite and a-subjunctive. The prototonic future surprisingly is derived from the deuterotonic stem instead.
  • The perfective forms in ·lá and the like are class A III and form an s-perfect and an a-subjunctive.

Derived terms

Terms derived from ·cuirethar


  • Middle Irish: cuirid
    • Irish: cuir
    • Manx: cur, cuirr
    • Scottish Gaelic: cuir


Old Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Nasalization
fo·ceird fo·cheird fo·ceird
pronounced with /-ɡ(ʲ)-/
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


  1. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) “*kerd-o-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, pages 202-203
  2. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) “*koro-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 217
  3. ^ Esther Le Mair (2011 September 30) Secondary Verbs in Old Irish: A comparative-historical study of patterns of verbal derivation in the Old Irish Glosses, Galway: National University of Ireland, ·cuirethar, pages 188-190

Further reading