Seònaid is new to the society, but has thrown herself into it full throttle, and only a few weeks after her first event had designed a device and come up with an authentic name, making my job as herald relatively easy — with just a little fiddling around the edges we were able to get her ideas into registrable shape and submitted.
Per saltire azure and argent, four mullets counterchanged.
The design Seònaid came up with is nice and simple, as were the best period designs.
The fact that there were no conflicts was a pleasant reminder of how much available design space remains open in the society’s armorial.
Seonaid is a Scottish Gaelic female given name attested to the fifteenth century. It is discussed in Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 2120 (Judith Phillips, 2001) which cites Scottish Verse from the Book of the Dean of Lismore (William J., ed., 1937).
Some useful discussion of the interpretation of the source material for Seonaid may be found in the Oct. 2009 LoAR acceptance for Seonaid Upton.
inghean is the Gaelic marker for “daughter of”. It is listed in SENA Appendix A as a standard element of female names when combined with the genetive form of their father’s given name.
inghean is also in shown as a standard name element in “Quick and Easy Gaelic Names” (Sharon L. Krossa, 2007)
mhic Aoidh is the genetive form of Mac Aoidh, a Gaelic male name formed from “Mac” (son of) and “Aoidh” (a common male given name). It is discussed in Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 3038 (Aryanhwy merch Catmael, 2005) which cites Woulfe s.n. mac Aoidh.
The combined form inghean mhic Aoidh is mentioned in Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 1793 as a plausible byname for the daughter of a clan chieftain.
Pronunciation for Gaelic names often requires a bit of puzzling, and this one is no different.
On first glance, some folks might read Seonaid as “Shin-aid,” thanks to the fame of Sinead O’Connor, but the modern pronunciation seems to be “Shoh-nah”, like the name Shona.
The period pronunciation seems to have been similar, but with a soft “t” added to the end. One source describes it as “Shoh-na[tch]”, with the [tch] representing something like a ‘d’ sound but with your tongue against your front teeth instead of the roof of your mouth.
Those of us who aren’t great at making unusual sounds, myself included, can go for something half-way between Shoh-nah and Shaw-nat and they’ll be in the right ballpark.
In the sixteenth century, inghean mhic Aoidh might have been pronounced “Neek Eye”.
In the fifteenth, “inghean mhic” hadn’t yet gotten squashed together, so it would’ve been something more like “Nee-an week Eye” or even “Een-yan veek Eye”
(The h in “mh” is acting as a lenition marker, which softens the sound of the letter that comes before it; I think of “mhic” as trying to say “meek” except that when you say the “m” you’re not allowed to put your lips all the way together the way you normally would for an “m” sound, which leaves you with something closer to a “w” or “v” sound.)
Submitted in December 2017 and accepted on the June 2017 LoAR published that August, with a correction that we’d used the wrong accent on Seónaid.