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A chuisle mo chroí!: Irish Gaelic, a term of endearment meaning "o pulse of my heart".

Áes Sidhe: The people of the hills.  It was one of the names given to the old Irish gods, the Tuatha de Danaan, when they retreated under the hills (sidhe) after their defeat by the Milesians.

A ghrá!:  Irish Gaelic for "O love!"

A ghrá mo chroí: Irish Gaelic for “Love of my heart.”

Anu: In Celtic lore, an alternate name for the goddess Danu, from whom the Tuatha de Danaan take their name. The names are used interchangeably throughout the mythology, though there is some debate as to whether these were one and the same goddess, or two separate. In the author's fabricated legend of Danu's time before arriving in Ireland Anu is not a variant on the name Danu but a person in her own right, Danu's older twin. For the purpose of this fiction Anu sacrifices herself to allow Danu to escape the clutches of the Namhaid, the enemy. In reverence Danu uses both names after the crossing to Ireland, ensuring that her beloved sister will ever be remembered (thus explaining the presence of both names in the actual Celtic mythology).

Ard Namhaid: a combination of the Irish Gaelic words for High (Ard) and enemy (Namhaid). These are a fictitious caste of a race created by the author to explain several key points in Celtic myth of which no details are known. The Ard are all male and dominate the Namhaid. In appearance they are similar to the Namhaid Conairt, a fine, velvety white pelt and a dagger-like teeth in a blood-red mouth, however, their hair and eyes are deepest black. Also, though their hands are likewise clawed, they are nowhere as pronounced as those of the Namhaid Conairt. (See also Bás; Namhaid Conairt.)

Ard Ri: Irish Gaelic for High King.



Beag Scath: A combination of the Irish Gaelic words meaning Little (beag) and Shadow (scath). The name Maggie gave the sprite that became attached to her long ago in Eire.

Bean Fianna: For the purpose of this story, the women warriors of the Sidhe Fianna.

Bean Sidhe: translating into woman of the hills, the bean sidhe, or banshee, is a faery harbinger of death. Appearing as a woman in a green dress and grey cloak, with eyes fiery red from weeping, she is seen scrubbing bloody garments in a stream, or heard wailing outside a household where a family member is doomed to die. If the bean sidhe is caught, she must relinquish the name of the doomed. When multiple bean sidhe wail together they are heralding the death of a great or holy person. Cliodna, the goddess of beauty, is Bean Sidhe to the Clan O'Keefe.

Beyond the Veil: a Celtic euphemism for dying.

Bodhran: Pronounced bow-rawn, a Celtic framedrum made of cured goat skin stretched taut over a wooden frame, played either by the tapping of the fingers or with a double-headed stick called a cipín, tipper, or beater.

Bodega: A Spanish word meaning "store" or "grocery store."  The term is commonly used in the ethnic neighborhoods of New York.

Brian Boru: (960-1014) The last High King, or Ard Ri, of Ireland. He defended Ireland against the attacks of the Vikings and ended that race's hopes of ever taking the island.

Brownie: In Scottish Celtic Mythology a domestic fairy known for doing nightly deeds for those who treat them kindly. Their coloring is representative of their name.

By the silver hand o' Nuada!:  A curse used by Maggie.  It is a reference to Nuada of the Silver Hand, the first ruler of the Dé Danaan, who lost his hand in a battle with the Firbolg (one of the many groups that inhabited Ireland before the Dé Danaan arrived).  The injury lost him his rule because no king could rule who was not whole and able to defend his people.  He was presented with his silver hand by Dian Cécht, the god of medicine, but it was not enough for him to take up his kingship.  Later, Dian Cécht's son, Miach, made him a hand of flesh and blood and Nuada once again ruled the De Danaan.  The basic implication of the curse was "our greatest efforts sometimes fail at great cost."



Calma: Irish Gaelic for valiant. In some accounts, this is also the name of one of the three sons of the Athenian goddess Carmán.

Cara: Irish Gaelic for friend.

Carmán: An Athenian goddess (possibly rooted in the Greek goddess Demeter) who, with her three sons: Calma (Valiant), Dubh (Black), and Olcas (Evil), terrorized early Ireland.  They were eventually defeated by the Tuatha de Danaan.  She was bound in chains and her three sons destroyed.  It is said Carmán died of grief. Carmán is portrayed as a goddess of black magick, destroying anything by chanting a spell three times. 

Connemara marble: A type of marble found only in Ireland, noted for its varied range of colors and the fact that it is a true marble.

The Cosaint: Irish Gaelic for safeguard. A legend of the author’s creation, developed to support her extrapolation of why the Sidhe are called Tuatha De Danaan (The Children of Danu). The Cosaint is a Sidhe woman hidden at birth so that not even she knows what she is. Raised as human, she is meant to be a safeguard against the Sidhe race being destroyed without a means of the souls returning to the earth, as nearly happened in the author’s myth when Danu herself was the last of her kind and had to hid from the Namhaid.

Cúchulainn (the Hound of Culann): One of the most famous heroes in Irish mythology.  Originally called Sétanta, Cúchulainn got his name from defending himself and slaying the hound that defended the fortress of Culann, after which he vowed to defend the fortress himself until a new hound could be found and trained, thus becoming known as the Hound of Culann.  Though his achievements are many, he is chiefly known for his single-handed defense of Ulster during the war of the Táin.

Cuimhnigh: Irish Gaelic for “remember”. For the purpose of this story Goibhniu, the Smithgod, has used this word, along with a touch at three key points on the Cosaint’s person, to release the hidden memories of her true nature.

Curragh of Kildare: The lake that Earl Gerald is said to ride his horse around every seven years.



Daoine Maité: Irish Gaelic for Good People, one of the names by which the Sidhe are called. In the author's created mythology, this is also the name by which the Sidhe originally called themselves, before coming to Ireland and becoming the Tuatha de Danaan.

Dubh: Irish Gaelic for black. In some accounts, this is also the name of one of the three sons of the Athenian goddess Carmán.Danu: In Irish Celtic mythology, the goddess from whom the Tuatha de Danaan take their name; for the purpose of this story, the birth mother of every Sidhe born in Ireland. The sole survivor of a concerted attack on the Sidhe in their homelands she alone remained to give birth to the Sidhe souls returning for their next incarnation.



Earl Gerard: See Gearoidh Iarla

Eire: The original Celtic name for Ireland.



Falias, Finias, Gorias, and Murias: Four great cities said to be the former home of the Tuatha de Danaan, before they arrived in Ireland. Nothing more specific is mentioned of their original homeland. Each city contained a magical artifact that the Tuatha De Danaan carried with them to Ireland.

Fear Fianna: For the purpose of this story, the men warriors of the Sidhe Fianna.

 The Fe-Fiada: In Irish Celtic Mythology, a supernatural mist or fog.

Fianna: In Ireland's far past these were the warriors who were the royal bodyguard for the Ard Ri, the High King. (Also See, Sidhe Fianna)

Fionn Mac Cumhail (Finn Mac Cool): One of the most celebrated heroes in Irish myth.  Born Demna, he gained the name of Fionn (the Fair One) when he burnt his finger on the flesh of the Salmon of Knowledge, which he was cooking for his master.  Sucking his thumb to cool it, he obtained wisdom from the magical fish.  He went on to become leader of the Fianna, the royal bodyguard.  His wife was the goddess Sadb, who was originally transformed into a fawn by a spurned Druid and who then whisks away and transforms her back into a fawn again while she was pregnant with Fionn's son.  Fionn never found his wife, but his son, whom he named Oisín (fawn), eventually was discovered and came to be with him.

Fledh Ghoibhnenn: The Otherworld feast held by the god Goibhniu.  Any mortal to take part in the feast and the drink served becomes immortal.



Garda Faoi Rún: A combination of the Irish Gaelic words Garda (guard) and Faoi Rún (in secret). The name given to the sprite answering to Aí, who left it with Agnieszka to look over her until she could be brought to safety. Also called Rex by Agnieszka.

Geal leanbh: Irish Gaelic for cherished child.

Geal leannán: Irish Gaelic for cherished lover.

Gearoidh Iarla (Earl Gerard): A great man of the Fitzgeralds, he had a rath (fortress) at Mullaghmast.  He was known for standing against injustice and for his abilities to transform himself to any form.  It is said that he and his warriors now sleep in a long cavern under the Rath of Mullaghmast.  Every seven years the Earl rides round the Curagh of Kildare on a steed with silver hooves.  At a time when those hooves are worn thin as a cat's ear, the miller's son with six fingers to each hand will blow his trumpet to wake the warriors and Gearoidh Iarla will return to the land of the living.  He will defend Ireland against the English, and reign as Ireland's king for two-score years.

The Gentry: One of the names given to the Sidhe by the common folk so that they could be referred to without invoking their name or drawing their uncomfortable attention.

Glamory: A spell to make whatever the caster wishes—himself, an object, or another person—appear other than it really is.

Goibhniu the Smith: An Irish/Celtic blacksmith god. Son of the goddess Danu. He manufactures swords that always strike true, and he possesses the mead (ale) of eternal life.  He is also considered the god of healing due to the role of iron in Celtic life and the magical properties it is said to have.  Goibhniu presides over an Otherworld feast (Fledh Ghoibhnenn) where any mortal to take part becomes immortal; exempt from common death and disease. In some accounts this is attributed to the food, and in most others it is attributed to the ale or mead given to drink at the Feast.

Gorgio: In England, the term the Romani use for nonGypsy folk.

Grimoires: ancient, mystical texts, usually full of dark occult knowledge.  These texts contain the spells and references that represent painstaking research and experimentation, often of the dark arts, though the term has come to imply any book of spells, be they Black or White magic.




Imeacht gan teacht ort: An Irish Gaelic curse meaning "may you leave without returning".




Lamai/lamiai: In Greek myth, this is a vampiric woman, half woman and half serpent. She lives in caves and gets sustenance from drinking the blood of children.

Leanbh: Irish Gaelic for child.

Leprechaun: In Irish Celtic Mythology a diminutive member of the fairy folk known for making shoes, but only one at a time, never in pairs.

Lhiannon: Irish Gaelic for Sweetheart.




Mamó: Irish Gaelic for Grandma.

Manannan Mac Lir: Ruler of Tír Tairnigiri (The Land of Promise) A shape-changer, he is depicted with a mantle and helmet of invisibility (or flames), and an unfailing sword. He was also attributed with bring fertility and prosperity and was associated with the cauldron of regeneration.

Mathair: Irish Gaelic for Mother.

The Miller's Son: It is said in the legend of Gearoidh Iarla, that the miller's son, who will be born with six fingers on each hand, will blow his trumpet and wake those who sleep beneath the Rath of Mullaghmast.




Namhaid: Irish Gaelic for "enemy". A fictitious race created by the author, they are the reason for the people who would come to be known as the Sidhe fleeing their original homes in Falias, Finias, Gorias, and Murias. The Enemy slay all but one of the Sidhe, a young elf named Danu. She escapes and flees to Ireland, there to bear her children, who from that day forward are known by the name Tuatha de Danaan, or the Children (People) of Danu.

The Namhaid Conairt: a combination of the Irish Gaelic words for enemy (Namhaid) and pack (Conairt). As created by the author, these are the hunter caste of the Namhaid, responsible for hunting down the elves and either capturing or killing them. They are all female, with a fine, velvety white pelt and flowing deep, red hair. Their eyes are likewise red, and their teeth like dainty daggers in their blood-red mouths. Each hand is clawed with dagger-like nails, while those on the feet are blunted from running and capable of gouging, not slicing. The Conairt do not eat when they are breeding and they do not bear their own young. When they mate the sperm and eggs are stored in a sack at the base of the spine. Once a suitable host is found, the eggs are extruded through a barb that extends like a retractable tail from the female. Jabbed into the body of the victim, the eggs are seated in the abdomen. The individual so implanted is for all intensive purposes dead as a chemical injected with the sack inhibits the thought centers of the brain, allowing only the autonomous impulses to operate, and those only barely.




Olcas:  Irish Gaelic for evil.  This is also the name of one of the three sons of the Athenian goddess Carmán.

Oisín (fawn): Son of Fionn Mac Cumhail and the goddess Sadb.  Oisín's mother was transformed into a fawn and spirited away from her husband while she was pregnant with him.  She bore him as a human child and raised him in her deer shape until he was a young boy.  Found by his father, Oisín grew up in the midst of the Fianna and became one of their leading champions.




Pharo! Pharo!:  An ancient Celtic battle cry, possibly a corruption of faire ó! (look out, ó!)

Pixie: In Irish Celtic Mythology a cheerful and mischievous fairy that adores music and dancing.

Pucá (Pooka): in Irish Celtic mythology, a fey creature that leads travelers astray and performed other mischievous deeds. By some accounts it appears in the likeness of a fierce black steed that will pull the unwary onto his back run away with them through river and fen, not shaking them off until the grey of dawn.




Rath (fortress): A fortress or earthwork, usually circular, surrounding a chieftain's house.  This has also come to mean the hills where the Tuatha de Danaan retreated beneath after their defeat by the Milesians.

Rath o' Mullaghmast: The fortress of Gearoidh Iarla (Earl Gerald).  This is where legend says the miller's son will blow his trumpet.

Redcap: in Irish Celtic mythology, a fairy known by his red hat and bloodthirsty ways.

The Rom, The Romani: These are the nomadic gypsies most common in Europe but found in one form or another all around the world.  They are known occasionally to settle, though they do not lose their gypsy ways.

The Royal Ulster Constabulary(RUC): the police force in Northern Ireland. Originally over 90% Protestant, this has been a major focus of reform.




Saints Catherine, Florian, Francis, and Lawrence: All said to be saints attributed with protecting against fire.

Selkie: In Irish Celtic mythology a creature of seal-like appearance that, when it sheds its pelt, assumes the likeness of a human. It is said that if anyone capture the shed pelt and hides it away, the selkie will remain with them forever as their mate, but should the selkie find the hidden skin it will return once more to the sea.

The Sidhe: Pronounced “shee,” the Fair Folk, Otherworldly beings that came to live in Ireland in the time before it was invaded by the Milesians. After their defeat they were banished underground, living in Mounds, also called sidhe. They were said to be very long-lived, if not immortal, and possessing of mystical powers. (See Áes Sidhe, Daoine Maité, The Gentry, Tuatha de Danaan)

The Sidhe Fianna: The author’s creation for the purpose of this book. A group of warriors selected by Goibhniu the Smithgod to combat the assaults being perpetuated against the Sidhe in this novel. There are two groups of the Sidhe Fianna: the Bean Fianna, or warrior women, and the Fear Fianna, the warrior men.

Sovranty of Ireland: In Irish Celtic mythology, a female figure transitioning from ugly crone to beautiful maiden. Her role is to bestow the kingship on the man deemed "rightful."

Sowlth/Somhlth: In Irish Celtic mythology, a supernatural being without shape. Refers—for this series only—to Carmán's sons, who, for the author's purposes, were not destroyed but merely disembodied.

Sprite: Spirit fairy. Very creative, sprites are often depicted as muses, artists, and poets. They are some of the most creative fairies and may even decide to bond with a human or Sidhe and stay with them their whole lives.




Tír na mBan (The Land of Women/Land of the Maidens): Part of the Irish Celtic Otherworld, the land ruled by Balor of the Fomorian giants.

Tír na nÓg (The Land of Youth): Part of the Irish Celtic Otherworld, this is where Goibhniu presides over the Fledh Ghoibhnenn.

Tír Tairnigiri (The Land of Promise): Part of the Irish Celtic Otherworld, this is where Manannan  Mac Lir, the major sea-god, held his seat of power.

Tuatha de Danaan: The Children of Danu, also translated in other texts as the People of Danu, another name for the Sidhe, said to be blessed by the goddess Danu, also called Anu or Danaa.




Undine: a elemental creature affiliated with water.




Waterkin: a term originating with the author to describe those of mixed blood, with both a Sidhe and human parent. It is originally a condescending term referring to the fact that the Sidhe blood has been diluted...watered down, thus less than the original, though repeated use has reduced it to merely an identifier.




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Copyright ©2008 Danielle McPhail, All Rights Reserved.


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