gallowglass

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Irish gallóglach ‎(foreign soldier), from Gall ‎(foreigner, non-Gaelic person) + óglách ‎(soldier).

Noun[edit]

gallowglass ‎(plural gallowglass or gallowglasses)

  1. A mercenary warrior élite among Gaelic-Norse clans residing in the Western Isles of Scotland and Scottish Highlands from the mid 13th century to the end of the 16th century.
    • ~1603, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I, scene I:
      The multiplying villanies of nature / Do swarm upon him--from the western isles/ Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied.

Translations[edit]