Ní raib úaid acht cairem ⁊ círmaire...

Ní raib úaid acht cairem ⁊ círmaire nó nech bed fíu iad.

(not * may be * from him * but * shoemaker * & * combmaker * or * one * that would be * equivalent to * them)

“May none spring from him but shoemakers and combmakers, or people of that kind.”

That is Kuno Meyer’s translation of Saint Colmán’s curse on those who would turn on him, from Meyer’s 1911 edition and translation of “Betha Colmáin Maic Luachain”. A very similar formula is envoked by the poet Eochaid against the impertinent young Mongán, after Mongán had arranged for his followers to mock Eochaid’s learning (in “Why Mongán was deprived of issue” in Ériu 8, edited by Eleanor Knott from the test in the Yellow Book of Lecan):

Nícon bia acht eachbachlaich uait! = There will be only stable-boys from you!

Topics: Curses & Insults