Archive | February 2, 2012

Imbolc does not mean “in the belly!

The curse of Wikipedia strikes again. Now I’m seeing that Imbolc means “in the belly” all over the blogs for today’s holiday and I couldn’t figure out where the hell it was coming from until I looked in Wikipedia.

So I went to my handy Gaelic dictionaries. Number one the word Imbolc or any derivation there of does not appear in either Dwelly’s or MacClennan’s. Two very comprehensive Gaelic dictionaries which might explain why the holiday in Scotland is Fheill Bride not Imbolc.

The nearest words I could find were Im or Imb which are words for butter and the other words using those prefixes all have to do with milk or things done with milk. Normally you used to see that Imbolc had to do with ewe’s milk and that would make sense.

Bolg is a word for belly but if you use the logic of the two words together that would make the holiday butter belly and I sincerely doubt that.

So I looked at the alleged references used in Wikipedia. Most of them are New Age sources and not a Gaelic Dictionary in sight. Don’t you think if you are going to define a Celtic holiday with an allegedly Gaelic name you should at least consult a Gaelic dictionary?

So as I’m concerned Imbolc does not mean “in the belly” and how they got there mystifies me. It probably does have some thing to do with sheep and milk which makes a hell of a lot more sense.