beag

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See also: beag-

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Learned borrowing from Old English bēag (circular jewelry worn on the body: ring, armlet, crown, collar), from Proto-Germanic *baugaz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰewgʰ- (to bend). Cognate with dialectal German Baug (ring, collar), Icelandic baugur (ring, circle). Doublet of bee (ring). Related to bagel.

Noun[edit]

beag (plural beags)

  1. (historical) A ring.
    • 1878, Royal Numismatic Society (Great Britain), The Numismatic chronicle and journal of the Numismatic Society:
      It was a mark of nobility among the German races — by some considered the origin of our coronets — and had even about it a quasi-religious character in memory of the "holy beag" (holy ring), the oath upon which was tantamount to the oath upon Thorr's hammer.
    • 1970, William A. Chaney, The cult of kingship in Anglo-Saxon England:
      [...] and the description of that monarch in his anonymous Vita as coronatus lauro probably indicates a beag which was lighter than the formal diadema.

Anagrams[edit]


Irish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Irish bec (small, little) (compare Manx beg, Scottish Gaelic beag), from Proto-Celtic *bikkos (small) (compare Breton bihan and Welsh bach, bychan).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

beag (genitive singular masculine big, genitive singular feminine bige, plural beaga, comparative )

  1. small, little
    1. (size, amount, extent, degree)
    2. junior, lesser, minor
    3. (hypocoristic)
    4. (deprecatory)
    5. (of late, recent, time)
  2. few (often with a singular noun in Irish)
    Is beag áit is deise.There are few places that are nicer.
    le blianta beaga anuasfor the past few years

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

beag m (genitive singular big, nominative plural beaganna)

  1. little; small amount
  2. (with copula) few

Declension[edit]

Mutation[edit]

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
beag bheag mbeag
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]


Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *baugaz, derived from *beuganą (to bend). Cognate with Old Frisian bāg, Old Saxon bōg, Old High German boug, and Old Norse baugr.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /bæ͜ɑːɡ/, [bæ͜ɑːɣ]

Noun[edit]

bēag m

  1. circular object worn on the body, especially one made of gold or silver: ring, armlet, crown, collar
    • c. 897, King Alfred's translation of Pope Gregory's Pastoral Care
      Sē þe ūs ġehǣlþ fram þām stiċe ūrra synna, hē ġeþafode þæt him man sette þyrnenne bēag on þæt hēafod.
      The person who heals us from the stabs of our sins allowed a crown of thorns to be placed on his head.
    • Late 10th century, Ælfric, the Old English Hexateuch, Genesis 38:18
      Þā cwæþ Iūdas, "Hwæt wilt þū tō underwedde niman?" Þā cwæþ hēo, "Þīnne hring and þīnne bēag and þīnne stæf þe þū on handa hæfst."
      Judah asked, "What do you want to take as a pledge?" She said, "Your ring and your armlet and your staff that you have in your hand."

Usage notes[edit]

  • Different kinds of bēag were often disambiguated with compounds: earmbēag (armlet), hēafodbēag (crown), healsbēag (collar). *Fingerbēag is not attested and may not have existed, perhaps because hring was already a specific word for "ring."
  • During the 10th century, cynehelm begins to become the normal word for "crown."

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Middle English: beigh, beiȝ, , biȝ, by
  • English: beag (learned)

Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Irish bec (small, little) (compare Manx beg, Irish beag), from Proto-Celtic *bikkos (small) (compare Breton bic’han and Welsh bach, bychan).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

beag (genitive singular masculine big, genitive singular feminine bige, nominative plural beaga, comparative bige or lugha)

  1. small, little, short, diminutive
    duine beaga small man
    ùine bheaga short time
  2. disagreeable
    Is beag orm thu.I hate you. (literally You are disagreeable to me.)
  3. light, trifling, insignificant
    Is beag seo.This is a trifling thing.
  4. young
    na sionnaich bheagathe young foxes
  5. sordid, miserly, niggardly
    Is beag sin de Ghàidhlig.That is a poor sort of Gaelic.
    Tha e fìor bheag 'n a nàdar.He has a very niggardly disposition.

Declension[edit]

Case Masculine singular Feminine singular Plural
Nominative beag bheag beaga
Vocative bhig bheag beaga
Genitive bhig bige beaga
Dative beag bhig beaga

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Mutation[edit]

Scottish Gaelic mutation
Radical Lenition
beag bheag
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References[edit]

  • Edward Dwelly (1911), “beag”, in Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan [The Illustrated Gaelic–English Dictionary], 10th edition, Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, →ISBN
  • A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (John Grant, Edinburgh, 1925, Compiled by Malcolm MacLennan)
  • G. Toner, M. Ní Mhaonaigh, S. Arbuthnot, D. Wodtko, M.-L. Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “bec”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language