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Introduction. xxxi.
ìmportance is often exaggerated.^ The one great elan
which boasts Norse descent is the MacLeods. - It is \ ^
repeatedly asserted by Mary MacLeod : —
Lochlannaich threun toiseach bhur sgèil,
Sliochd solta bh'air freumh Mhànuis.
"Mighty Norsemen are the start of your tale, a stout
stock from the root of Magnus." The MacLeods are
De shloinneadh nan rìghrean
Leis na chìosaicheadh Manainn
— "of the name of the kings who put Man under
tribute." They are , ^T''''^
sliochd Olghair is Ochraidh ■-^->^ '^ ^lffi^
O bhaile na Boirbhe
— "the descendants of Olghar and of Ochra from the
city of Bergen" {Boirbhe is used metri causa, instead
of the usual Beirbhe). The classic poetry has the same
tradition: MacLeod is "ùa Maghnuis 6 mhur
Manuinn," seion of Magnus from the rampart of Man.
It does not mention Ochra, and Olghar is with the
classic poets Olbhur, which is likely to be nearer the
original form, representing the Norse name Olver.
Saxon influence is seen in loan-words borrowed from
the early periods onwards, but it has little, if any,
effect on the hterature till the eighteenth century.
Enghsh or Lowland Scots tunes are stated to be used
1 "Very few of the Irish words for ships, parts of a ship, and
seafaring, are of Celtic origin" — Alexander Bugge, Norse Loans
in Irish : Misceìlany to Kuno Meyer, p. 291. How far this state-
ment is true of Scottish GaeUc may be tested by an analysis of
the vocabulai'y of our sea-poems, e.q., Macdonald's Birlinn. It
wiU be found that the proportion of Norse terms to pure GaeHc
terms is small. In lain Lom's lorram (p. 186 of text). cf the
terms for a ship and parts thereof, 13 are pure Gaehc, 3 are
English loans, 2 are Norse loans. The Duanag Ullamh (p. 259)
has 11 such terms of pure GaeUc origin, and 2 Norse loans.

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