Sayers (William James Stephen)

Sayers (William): Varia: IV. Three charioteering gifts in Táin bó Cúailnge and Mesca Ulad: immorchor ṅdelend, foscul ṅdíriuch, léim dar boilg.
In Ériu 32 (1981), pp. 163–167.
immorchor ṅdelend: ‘use of charioteer’s wand to sight a straight course and to hold the chariot on this course over long distances’; foscul ṅdíriuch (‘straight / level cleaving or sundering’); léim dar boilg (‘leaping across a gorge / gap / chasm’ as compliment to the other two skills).
Sayers (William): Conall’s welcome to Cet in Scéla mucce Meic Dathó.
In Florilegium 4 (1982), pp. 100–108.
Read fer menoc in §15, 16-20 (as ed. by R. Thurneysen 1935).
Sayers (William): Martial feats in the Old Irish Ulster cycle.
In CJIS/RCÉI 9/1 (1983), pp. 45–80.
Examines the early Irish lists of cles and discusses the individual feats, primarily those associated with Cú Chulainn in Táin bó Cúailnge (cf. TBC 1 ll. 1714-1719): 1. ubullchless; 2. fáeborchless; 3. fáenchless; 4. cless cletenach; 5.téchtless; 6. corpchless; 7. cless caitt; 8. ích n-erred; 9. cor ndeled; 10. léim dar néib/néim; 11. filliud erred náir; 12. gái bolga; 13. bái brasse; 14. rothchless; 15. ochtarchless; 16. cless for análaib; 17. bruud gine; 18. sian caurad; 19. béim co commus; 20. táithbéim; 21. dréim fri fogaist agus agus dírgud crette fora rind co fonnadm níad náir.
Sayers (William): The Old Irish Bóand/Nechtan myth in the light of Scandinavian evidence.
In ScanCan 1 (1983), pp. 63–78.
ad G. Dumézil, Mythe et épopée III (1973), pp. 21-89; examines the aquatic and equine motifs occurring in the dindshenchas of Bóand, and discusses their relation to the Celtic and Scandinavian mythical figure of the water-horse.
Sayers (William): Old Irish fert ‘tie-pole’, fertas ‘swingletree’ and the seeress Fedelm.
In ÉtC 21 (1984), pp. 171–183.
ad D. Greene, The chariot as described in Irish literature, 1972.
Sayers (William): Gilbogus in Manx Latin: Celtic or Norse origin?
In Celtica 17 (1985), pp. 29–32.
Sayers (William): Fergus and the cosmogonic sword.
In HR 25/1 (Aug. 1985), pp. 30–56.
Analyses Fergus’s dismemberment oath in ll. 4009-40016 of Táin bó Cúailnge (as ed. by C. O’Rahily, 1976).
Sayers (William): The mythology of Loch Neagh.
In ManQ 26/1-2 (Fall/Winter 1985), pp. 111–135.
Sayers (William): Konungs skuggsjá: Irish marvels and the king’s justice.
In SS 57/2 (1985), pp. 147–161.
On the influence of Irish material and ideology on a 13th-c. Norwegian speculum principum.
Sayers (William): The smith and the hero: Culann and Cú Chulainn.
In ManQ 25/3 (Spring 1985), pp. 227–260.
Analyses evidence for a close symbolic association of Cú Chulainn and the divine smith.
Sayers (William): Mani maidi an nem …: ringing changes on a cosmic motif.
In Ériu 37 (1986), pp. 99–117.
Discusses the cosmic motif of the three elements (earth, air/sky, water/sea) in early Irish literature. Contains a brief appendix on the deity Núada.
Sayers (William): Bargaining for the life of Bres in Cath Maige Tuired.
In BBCS 34 (1987), pp. 26–40.
Sayers (William): Irish evidence for the De harmonia tonorum of Wulfstan of Winchester.
In Mediaevalia 14 (1988), pp. 23–38.
ad Tochmarc Emire p. 48, §64 (as ed. by A. van Hamel 1933 [Best2 1161]). Argues that the mention of an Ulbecán Saxae is a reference to the musical reputation of Wulfstan the Cantor (fl. 996).
Sayers (William): Kjartan’s choice: the Irish disconnection in the sagas of the Icelanders.
In ScanCan 3 (1988), pp. 89–114.
On the treatment of Irish heritage in Icelandic sagas.
Thomson (R. L.): Manx-Latin gilbogus again.
In Celtica 20 (1988), pp. 141–144.
Rejoinder to W. Sayers, in Celtica 17 (1985), pp. 29-32.
Sayers (William) (ref.)
Sayers (William): An Irish perspective on Ibn Faḍlān’s description of Rūs funeral ceremonial.
In JIES 16/1-2 (Spring/Summer 1988), pp. 173–181.
ad Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaib §55 (as ed. by J. H. Todd, 1867).
Sayers (William): Ludarius: slang and symbol in the life of St. Máedóc of Ferns.
In Studia monastica 30 (1988), pp. 291–304.
Discusses the etymology of Hib.-Lat. ludarius (only attested in Máedóc’s vita), and its relationship to the phrase mart maol-odhar occurring in the second Irish life.
Sayers (William): Cerrce, an archaic epithet of the Dagda, Cernunnos and Conall Cernach.
In JIES 16/3-4 (Fall/Winter 1988), pp. 341–364.
ad Cath Maige Tuired §93 (as ed. by E. A. Gray, 1982). Discusses the various epithets of the Dagda, focusing on Cerrce and its etymology.
Sayers (William): The bound and the binding: the lyre in early Ireland.
In NACCS 1 (1988), pp. 365–385.
Discusses the conception, status and role of stringed music in early Irish society.
Sayers (William): Portraits of the ruler: Óláfr pái Hǫskuldsson and Cormac mac Airt.
In JIES 17/1-2 (Spring/Summer 1989), pp. 77–97.
Sayers (William): Warrior initiation and some short Celtic spears in the Irish and learned Latin traditions.
In SMRH 11 (1989), pp. 89–108.
Offers a detailed discussion of Cú Chulainn’s deil chlis..
Sayers (William): An Irish descriptive topos in Laxdœla saga.
In ScI 41 (1990), pp. 18–34.
Discusses an occurrence of the watchman motif, suggesting it may be part of a general Celtic theme in this saga and not a direct Irish influence.
Sayers (William): The three wounds: tripartition as narrative tool in Ireland and Iceland.
In Incognita 1 (1990), pp. 50–90.
Irish examples drawn from Táin bó Cúailnge.
Sayers (William): Women’s work and words: setting the stage for strife in medieval Irish and Icelandic narrative.
In ManQ 31/1-2 (Fall/Winter 1990), pp. 59–86.
Sayers (William): A cut above: ration and station in an Irish king’s hall.
In FoF 4/2 (1990), pp. 89–110.
Studies the organization of the king’s banquet as described in Suidigud Tigi Midchúarta, discussing in particular the carving sequence and the hierarchically distributed cuts of meat: 1. lónchrúachait; 2. leschrúachait; 3. loarg; 4. muc formuin; 5. colpthae; 6. crúachait medóin; 7. cunn; 8. mael; 9. midimir; 10. milgetan; 11. camchnáim; 12. colpthae muc; 13. remor n-imdae; 14. dronn.
Sayers (William): The motif of wrestling in early Irish and Mongolian epic.
In Mongolian studies 13 (1990), pp. 153–168.
Sayers (William): Images of enchainment in the Hisperica famina and vernacular Irish texts.
In ÉtC 27 (1990), pp. 221–234.
Discusses chain symbolism in early Irish texts.
Sayers (William): Úath mac Imomain (Fled Bricrend), Óðinn, and why the Green Knight is green.
In ManQ 30/4 (Summer 1990), pp. 307–316.
Sayers (William): Serial defamation in two medieval tales: the Icelandic Ölkofra Þáttr and the Irish Scéla mucce Meic Datho.
In OT 6/1 (1991), pp. 35–57.
Compares the flyting passages in the two narratives.
Sayers (William): Airdrech, sirite, and other early Irish battlefield spirits.
In Éigse 25 (1991), pp. 45–55.
With discussion of related terms.
Sayers (William): Cú Chulainn, the heroic imposition of meaning on signs, and the revenge of the sign.
In Incognita 2 (1991), pp. 79–105.
Provides a semiotic analysis of Macgnímrada Con Culainn.
Sayers (William): Concepts of eloquence in Tochmarc Emire.
In StC 26–27 (1991–1992), pp. 125–154.
Sayers (William): Early Irish attitudes toward hair and beards, baldness and tonsure.
In ZCP 44 (1991), pp. 154–189.
Examines the social and legal importance associated with facial and head hair, as can be demonstrated by its treatment in early Irish literature.
Sayers (William): Clontarf, and the Irish destinies of Sigurðr digri, Earl of Orkney and Þorsteinn Síðu-Hallsson.
In SS 61/3 (1991), pp. 164–186.
On the adaptation of Irish source material into Njáls saga and other Norse literary works.
Sayers (William): Bragi Boddason, the first skald, and the problem of Celtic origins.
In ScanCan 5 (1992), pp. 1–18.
On Irish affinities in the Norse legend of the origin of poetic art.
Sayers (William): Soundboxes of the divine: Hœnir, Sencha, Gwalchmai.
In ManQ 33/1 (Fall 1992), pp. 57–67.
Sayers (William): Guin & crochad & gólad: the earliest Irish threefold death.
In NACCS 2 (1992), pp. 65–82.
On the recasting of the original threefold death motif due to the reservation of crochad ‘hanging’ for exclusive Christian use.
Sayers (William): Games, sport and para-military exercise in early Ireland.
In Aethlon 10/1 (Fall 1992), pp. 105–123.
Reviews D. Binchy's discussion (in Celtica 8.144) of the terms for games and sports named in Mellbretha: 1. lúb, líathróit; 2. corthe críche; 3. tochailt trebán; 4. lém; 5. snám; 6. sraenán; 7. brandub; 8. fidchell; 9. buanfach; 10. folach migán; 11. immarchor uanán; 12. ardchless co n-ublaib; 13. bocluasc; 14. echréim; 15. cor cloiche; 16. dréim; 17. léim; 18. díbirciud; 19. uathad fri hilar; 20. crosdibirciud; 21. táithe tuilche; 22. bundsach i n-airecht.

Appendix: A synthetic version of the lists of martial feats (cles) as found in the Ulster cycle of tales.
Sayers (William): Varia: VII. The deficient ruler as avian exile: Nebuchadnezzar and Suibhne Geilt.
In Ériu 43 (1992), pp. 217–220.
Sayers (William): Cláen Temair: sloping Tara.
In ManQ 32/3 (Spring 1992), pp. 241–260.
Expands on B. Ó Buachalla, Aodh Eanghach and the Irish king-hero, in FS Carney, pp. 200-232. Discusses the motif of the ‘inclination of Tara’, resulting from the collapse of one side of the royal fortress at Tara during the reign of Lugaid mac Con as a punishment for unjust rule.
Sayers (William): Vinland, the Irish, “obvious fictions and apocrypha” .
In Skandinavistik 23/1 (1993), pp. 1–15.
Sayers (William): Irish perspectives on Heimdallr.
In Alvíssmál 2 (1993), pp. 3–30.
Compares the Nordic god to the Irish hero Conall Cernach.
Sayers (William): Charting conceptual space: Dumezil’s tripartition and the fatal hostel in early Irish literature.
In ManQ 34/1-2 (Fall/Winter 1993), pp. 27–64.
Analyses the structure of Togail bruidne Da Derga with the aim of verifying D. Miller's analysis (in Shadow 9 (1992), pp. 13-22) of G. Dumézil’s trifunctional model.
Sayers (William): Spiritual navigation in the Western Sea: Sturlunga saga and Adomnán’s Hinba.
In ScI 44 (1993), pp. 30–42.
Suggests an equation of ON Hirtir with the place name Hinba, interpreted as a penitential colony and identified with Colonsay.
Sayers (William): Diet and fantasy in eleventh-century Ireland: The vision of Mac Con Glinne.
In FoF 6/1 (1994), pp. 1–17.
Sayers (William): Vífill: captive Gael, freeman settler, Icelandic forbear.
In Ainm 6 (1994), pp. 46–55.
Suggests it is a calque on an Irish name containing dóel or cíar.
Sayers (William): Supernatural pseudonyms.
In Emania 12 (1994), pp. 49–60.
Discusses the significance of lists of personal names within narratives, culminating in suggestion that alliteration and syllable count are used to help build up background atmosphere foreshadowing narrative and may illustrate aspects of pre-Christian heritage.
Sayers (William): Deployment of an Irish loan: ON verða at gjalti ‘to go mad with terror’.
In JEGP 93/2 (Apr. 1994), pp. 157–182.
Sayers (William): Conventional descriptions of the horse in the Ulster cycle.
In ÉtC 30 (1994), pp. 233–249.
Argues that the early Irish tradition of descriptions of chariot and team was influenced by Isidore’s authoritative account on horses. Includes an appendix listing the Old Irish terms used in the descriptions, with references to texts.
Sayers (William): Severed heads under Conall’s knee.
In ManQ 34/4 (Summer 1994), pp. 369–378.
Sayers (William): The nickname of Björn Buna and the Celtic interlude in the settlement of Iceland.
In Ainm 7 (1996), pp. 51–66.
Suggests Irish origin.
Sayers (William): Homeric echoes in Táin bó Cúailnge?
In Emania 14 (1996), pp. 65–73.
Sayers (William): The etymology and semantics of Old Norse knorr ‘cargo ship’: the Irish and English Evidence.
In SS 68/3 (Summer 1996), pp. 279–290.
Sayers (William): Gunnarr, his Irish wolfhound Sámr, and the passing of the old heroic order in Njáls saga.
In ANF 112 (1997), pp. 43–66.
Also on the Irish connotations of the Sámr incident in this saga.
Sayers (William): Contracting for combat: flyting and fighting in Táin bó Cúailnge.
In Emania 16 (1997), pp. 49–62.
Sayers (William): Hostellers in Landnámabók: a trial Irish institution?
In Skáldskaparmál 4 (1997), pp. 162–178.
On the possibility that the hospitaller motif in Old Norse-Icelandic literature may be modelled upon the Irish briugu.
Sayers (William): Kingship and the hero’s flaw: disfigurement as ideological vehicle in early Irish narrative.
In DSQ 17/4 (1997), pp. 263–267.
Sayers (William): Old Norse nautical terminology in the ‘sea-runs’ of Middle Irish narrative.
Sayers (William): Grendel’s mother, Icelandic Grýla and Irish Nechta Scéne: eviscerating fear.
In PHCC 16/17 (2003), pp. 256–268.
Sayers (William): Marie de France’s chievrefoil, hazel rods, and the Ogam letters coll and uillenn.
In Arthuriana 14/2 (Summer 2004), pp. 3–16.
A better understanding of the medieval hazel coppice, the inscription of Irish Ogam along the edges of stone or wood, and the Ogam letters coll ‘hazel’ and uillenn 'honeysuckle’ aids in our appreciation of Marie’s `lai as fundamentally concerned with the transformative, commemorative artistic process.
Sayers (William): Róimid rígóinmit, royal fool: onomastics and cultural valence.
In JIES 33/1-2 (Spring/Summer 2005), pp. 41–51.
Discusses the etymology of OIr. óinmit and the signification of the character of the fool in the literature.
Sayers (William): Scones, The Oxford English Dictionary, and the Celtic element in English vocabulary.
In N&Q 52/4 (Dec. 2005), pp. 447–450.
Sayers (William): Portraits of the Ulster hero Conall Cernach: a case for Waardenburg’s syndrome?
In Emania 20 (2006), pp. 75–80.
Sayers (William): What’s in a nonce? Nautical lexis in Orms þáttr Stórólfssonar.
In SS 78/2 (2006), pp. 111–128.
Also comments on Ir. birrling.
Sayers (William): La joie de la cort (Érec et Énide), Mabon, and early Irish síd [‘peace; Otherworld’.]
In Arthuriana 17/2 (Summer 2007), pp. 10–27.
The several anomalies of the Joie de la cort episode in Chrétien de Troyes’s Érec et Énide are addressed through the dual semantics of Irish síd, the equation of radiance and joy in the Celtic languages, and Mabon’s imprisonment in the ‘Bright Fortress’ of Caer Loyw.
Sayers (William): Grendel’s mother (Beowulf) and the Celtic sovereignty goddess.
In JIES 35/1-2 (Spring/Summer 2007), pp. 31–52.
Sayers (William): Medieval Irish language and literature: an orientation for Arthurians.
In Arthuriana 17/4 (Fall 2007), pp. 70–80.
Reasons and means are outlined for students and scholars of Arthurians letters to familiarize themselves with a unique and rich corpus of medieval literature.
Sayers (William): Celtic, Germanic and Romance interaction in the development of some English words in the popular register.
In N&Q 54/2 (Jun. 2007), pp. 132–140.
Sayers (William): Teithi Hen, Gúaire mac Áedáin, Grettir Ásmundarson: the king’s debility, the shore, the blade.
In StC 41 (2007), pp. 163–171.
On a motif cluster appearing in the death narratives of ageing kings in the Celtic and Norse traditions.
Sayers (William): Lubber, landlubber.
In N&Q 54/4 (Dec. 2007), pp. 376–379.
Sayers (William): Avian wild men: Merlin in his mew, Tristan as Picou.
In Mediaevalia 29/2 (2008), pp. 53–73.
Sayers (William): Fusion and fission in the love and lexis of early Ireland.
In Words of love (2008), pp. 95–109.
Examines scenes of love and loss from the mythological cycle, from the Ulster and kings’ cycles, and the Fenian cycle.
Sayers (William): Deficient royal rule: the king’s proxies, judges and the instruments of his fate.
In Essays on the early Irish king tales (2008), pp. 104–126.
Sayers (William): A Swedish traveler’s reception on an Irish stage set: Snorri Sturluson’s Gylfaginning.
In KF 3 (2008), pp. 201–219.
Identifies several specifically Irish elements in Gylfaginning, arguing especially that the hall in Ásgarðr is based on an Irish model.
Sayers (William): The etymologies of English ‘dog’ and ‘cur’.
In JIES 36/3-4 (Fall/Winter 2008), pp. 401–410.
Also discusses Celtic terminology for dogs.
Sayers (William): Pest: interaction in English and Scots.
In N&Q 55/4 (Dec. 2008), pp. 406–408.
Sayers (William): Þórgunna of Eyrbyggja saga and the rejection of Christian Celtic models of rule.
In Scotia 33 (2009), pp. 13–24.
Sayers (William): Cei, Unferth, and access to the throne.
In English studies 90/2 (Apr. 2009), pp. 127–141.
Sayers (William): Some ‘Alsatian’ etymologies from Eighteenth-century London.
In N&Q 57/1 (Mar. 2010), pp. 79–83.
Suggests E bamboozle, banter, sham, are of Irish origin.
Sayers (William): Some disputed etymologies: kidney, piskie/pixie, tatting, and slang.
In N&Q 57/2 (Jun. 2010), pp. 172–179.
Suggests Engl. tatting and slang may be from Ir. táth and gnás, respectively.
Sayers (William): Flews ‘the pendulous lips of a hound’.
In N&Q 57/3 (Sep. 2010), pp. 337–339.
< ScG fliuch.
Sayers (William): Irish studies.
In Handbook of medieval studies (2010), pp. 727–738.
Sayers (William): The etymologies of some terms of disparagement: culprit, get (and brat), gull, job, niggle, prig, vagrant.
In N&Q 58/1 (Mar. 2011), pp. 31–42.
Sayers (William): Pre-Christian Cosmogonic lore in medieval Ireland: the exile into royal poetics.
In ARG 13/1 (2011), pp. 109–126.
Sayers (William): Celtic kingship motifs associated with bishop Aidan of Lindisfarne in Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica.
In CSANA annual meeting 2008 (2011), pp. 116–134.
Sayers (William): The ancestry of John Doe: a squib.
In Eolas 5 (2011), pp. 193–198.
Considers a link between OIr. doé ‘human being’ and the English legal fiction John Doe.
Sayers (William): Brose, Atholl brose, spurtle and thivel.
In ScotL 31–32 (2012–2013), pp. 59–63.
Also considers the possibility of a correspondence between unattested early Gaelic *brot athóla and‘Atholl brose’.
Sayers (William): Netherworld and Otherworld in early Irish literature.
In ZCP 59 (2012), pp. 201–230.
Discusses the topographical position of the Irish Otherworld, arguing it was displaced upwards and beyond in a 90º degree shift from an original subterranean and submarine location.
Sayers (William): Dour: etymology.
In N&Q 59/3 (Sep. 2012), pp. 337–338.
Suggests it is a Latin loanword via ScG dùr.
Sayers (William): Extraordinary weapons, heroic ethics, and royal justice in early Irish literature.
In Preternature 2/1 (2013), pp. 1–18.
Sayers (William): Fid and marlinspike: etymologies.
In 99/3 (2013), pp. 334–337.
Suggests fid ‘a conical pin of hard wood ...' < Ir. fiodh.
Sayers (William): Fantastic technology in early Irish literature.
In ÉtC 40 (2014), pp. 85–100.
Examines descriptions of technically complex objects and artefacts occurring in early Irish literature.
Sayers (William): Qualitative and quantitative criteria for prosperous royal rule: notes on Audacht Morainn and a Vedic Indian analogue.
In StC 48 (2014), pp. 93–106.
Sayers (William): Mesocosms and the organization of interior space in early Ireland.
In Traditio 70 (2015), pp. 75–110.
Sayers (William): Birds and brains of forgetfulness: Old Norse óminnis hegri, Old Irish inchinn dermait.
In JIES 43/3-4 (Fall/Winter 2015), pp. 393–422.
Sayers (William): The laconic scar in early Irish literature.
In Wounds and wound repair in medieval culture (2015), pp. 473–495.
Sayers (William): Interpreting narrative/textual difficulties in Bruiden Da Choca: some suggestions.
In Éigse 39 (2016), pp. 160–175.
Complements the information on ideology and material culture in the Introduction and Notes of Gregory Toner's 2007 edition (particularly on points concerning gessa, war chariots and weaponry, sovereignty figures, performative utterances, and the bruiden).
Sayers (William): Irish affinities of De tonitruis, a treatise of prognostication by thunder.
In Eolas 10 (2017), pp. 2–15.
Sayers (William): Bricriu nemthenga (‘poison-tongue’): onomastics and social function in early Irish literature.
In Mediaevistik 30 (2017), pp. 87–102.