A eoin re n-ossaib!

A eoin re n-ossaib!

(o * bird * in front of * deer)

O bird before deer!

The insult here, besides simply calling someone a bird, may lie in the parody of the usual heroic image of the bull or boar leading the herd. Cú Chulainn says, for example, in the LL Táin:

“Dodechad ré n-ócaib
im t[h]orc trethan trétaig
re cathaib re cétaib.”

I came in front of warriors
as a bold herd-rich boar
before battalions, before hundreds.

See also “A chacc cuirre uidre ittige!” in this collection.

Topics: Curses & Insults