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#119424 - 01/10/04 03:17 PM withershins and deasil  
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jheem Offline
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Much less prosaic than the old counterclockwise and clockwise. The former is also spelled widdershins, and the latter is from Scottish Gaelic: deiseil cognate with Latin dexter 'right hand' and Sanskrit daksina 'right hand, south'.


#119425 - 01/10/04 03:50 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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those have to be characters in a book, somewhere, sometime.



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#119426 - 01/10/04 03:57 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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Widdershins is good old English and deasil, as you say, Gaelic. Is there a Gaelic version of widdershins and an English version of deasil?


#119427 - 01/10/04 04:30 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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Is there a Gaelic version of widdershins?

Well, I don't have a Scottish Gaelic dictionary, but there is a term in Irish (Gaelic): tuathal 'direction against the sun, wrong direction'; dul tuathal 'to go against the direction of the sun, anti-clockwise'. Irish forms of the Scottish Gaelic term: deiseal 'righhand direction, direction of the sun' dul deiseal 'to follow the direction of the sun, to go clockwise. The left hand in Irish is cle and the right is deis; there's also an older form deas which also means 'south'. Tuath also means 'left' or 'north' in Old Irish.

So, I guess, a good word could be tuathal.


#119428 - 01/10/04 04:40 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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an English version of deasil?

Clockwise seems to be it. BTW, the shins in widdershins means sun also. So the meaning in Germanic is 'against the sun' like in the Gaelic.


#119429 - 01/10/04 04:45 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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I'm sure you have found similar things, but here are some resources:
http://www.cas.usf.edu/languages/flresource.html#gaelic
and
http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/index.html
fun to peruse!



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#119430 - 01/10/04 04:51 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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etaoin-- Thanks, I'd forgotten about the Scottish Gaelic dictionaries being on line. I was using print copies for the Irish. I see in MacBains that a gloss for deiseil is 'sun-ward', so I guess that's a good term for clockwise in English.



#119431 - 01/10/04 06:39 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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It just dawned on me that this might have something to do with the Irish blessing about the wind being at your back and the sun in your face.


#119432 - 01/10/04 07:40 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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If one stands on the north pole and looks at the earth spinning below, it looks like it's moving counter-clockwise under one's feet. If one is facing north at the equator the sun appears to be moving counter-clockwise... did someone from the southern hemisphere decide what *wise meant in order to redefine up? crossthreading-e


#119433 - 01/10/04 09:41 PM Re: withershins and deasil  
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Widdershins reminds me of German "wieder" meaning against, and "Schein" = appearance. But I could find no German word
combinging them.


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