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Title: Clan Motto - Cnoc Aingeil
Posted by: Rob Livingston
Date: 30 March 2004

I don't see a discussion of the clan's motto anywhere on the web site, so I thought I would share a little about the research I have done on it.  If I am wrong about any of this, please correct me.
Cnoc Aingeal is a massive man-made cairn or hill located just to the north of the MacLea chief's home at Bachuil on the Isle of Lismore.  The pronunciation is "crock ahn-gee-al" and the correct spelling according to MacBain's Dictionary and Carmichael's 'Lismore in Alba' is "aingeal", not "aingeil" as shown on the clan badge.  Since "aingeal" follows "cnoc", it is a plural noun in the genitive case.  As such, it can be translated in several ways - 'hill of fires', 'hill of lights' or 'hill of angles'.  Carmichael suggests that the latter is unlikely because angels are associated with Christianity and the cairn appears to be of much greater antiquity than the arrival of Christians.  So he suggests that the hill was built as a site for a beacon or as a site for cremations and burials.  Lismore has a tradition of being the burial site of kings.  Archeological excavations have never occurred on the site.
As I researched the etymology of the word "aingeal', I came across a peculiar coincidence.  The Manx word for 'fire' and 'light' is "ainle".  Manx is a Gaelic dialect spoken on the Isle of Mann and closely resembles the Gaelic that was spoken long ago in Argyll and Ulster (Northern Ireland).  It just so happens that "Ainle" was the name of one of the three sons of Uisneach - legendary noblemen who fled from Ireland to Scotland with a princess named Deirdre.  They built their first home on the north shore of Loch Etive, which happens to be where many MacLeas once lived.  Could "Cnoc Aingeal" have been the 'hill of Ainle'?  One more thing to play with!
Rob

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Replies

Title:Date:Posted By:
Clan Motto - Cnoc Aingeil30 March 2004Rob Livingston
   Re :Clan Motto - Cnoc Aingeil02 April 2004Kyle MacLea
      Re :Clan Motto - Cnoc Aingeil03 April 2004Rob Livingston
         Re :Clan Motto - Cnoc Aingeil03 April 2004Kyle MacLea
         Cnoc Aingeil03 April 2004Young Bachuil
            Cnoc Aingeil23 March 2005Hector MacKenzie Black
               Spam???24 March 2005Kyle MacLea

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