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The beithir is a lairge snakelike craitur or draigon in Scots fowklore, likely oreeginating frae sichtins o lairge grass snakes (Natrix natrix) or European eels (Anguilla anguilla).

Etymology[eedit | eedit soorce]

The Scots Gaelic wird beithir haes been defined variously as "serpent", "lichtning", an "thunnerbolt".[1][2][3] It is awso referred tae as beithir-nimh ("venomous serpent")[4] an nathair ("serpent" an "adder").[5] The wird mae awso mean "wild beast" an mae be derived frae the Norse for "bear" accuirdin tae Celtic meethology scholar James MacKillop.[6]

See also[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. Briggs, Katharine (1976). An Encyclopedia of Fairies. Pantheon Books. p. 20.
  2. Mackenzie, Donald (1935). Scottish Folklore and Folk Life. Blackie & Son Limited. p. 247.
  3. Carmichael, Alexander (1900). Carmina Gadelica (Vol. 2). Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable. p. 228.
  4. Campbell, John Francis (auth.) and Henderson, George (trans.) (1911). The Celtic Dragon Myth. Edinburgh: John Grant. Introduction, p. xxiv.
  5. Carmichael (1900). p. 312.
  6. MacKillop, James (2004), "beithir", A Dictionary of Celtic Mythology (online ed.), Oxford University Press, retrieved 8 December 2014