Mani má in talam fue!

Mani má in talam fue!

(if not * break * the * earth * under it(self))

Unless the earth breaks asunder!

Thus Gér, Gabar and Fer Rogain assure Ingcél that the deed will surely be done, in “Togail Bruidne Da Derga”.

Similar expressions are found elsewhere in Irish literature. In the LL Táin, Conchobar says that he will certainly bring back the stolen cattle and the abducted women “munu tháeth in firmimint cona frossaib rétland bar dunadgnúis in talman ná mono máe in talam assa thalamchumscugud ná mono thí inn fhairge eithrech ochorgorm for tulmoing in bethad” (unless the sky with its showers of stars comes down on the surface of the earth, or unless the earth breaks from an earthquake, or unless the fish-finny, blue-bordered sea come over the surface of life).

In the later tale “Cath Maige Léna”, a warrior tells his king “Is briathar dúinne, nó go sluigi an talam síss sinn, nó go tuiti an fhirmaimint anuass oraind, nach béram oired ordlaig tar ar n-ais nó céim ar cúlaib ’gut chosnam-sa!” (It is our word that unless the earth swallow us, or unless the sky fall down upon us, we will not give as much as an inch, or take one step back in defending you!)

Topics: Exclamations Proverbial Sayings Oaths