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etymology of seanmháthair
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Author:  s1m0n [ Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:53 am ]
Post subject:  etymology of seanmháthair

I just ran into seanmháthair, glossed as grandmother, in a novel and it started me pondering indo-european cognate words. The second element is clearly mother/mater/madre/etc., (possibly the 'first' word in indo-european - the literal mother word of the mother tongue). Does the first element (sean~) mean something like old/venerated/senior, which would make it cognate with other IE words like señor/senile/senator, etc? My examples all came through Latin, and I can't think of a good non-latinate germanic example. Do the gaelic languages have a branch of this limb? Is this it?

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