[From Yn Lioar Manninagh Vol 1 pp216/221]
For the generic term "man," there does not appear to have been any pure Manx word. The modern appellatives are dooney, from the Latin home, and fir, from the Latin ver.
It is remarkable that the word peccagh, which literally means sinner, denotes in the Manx dialect a human being- The appellative "man" was used by the Anglo-Saxons to denote a human being, and, in their language, meant "wickedness." (Palgraves Ang. Sax. p. 55). The Manx peccagh, High Scotch peacach, Welsh and Cornish pechadur or Armoric pecher, sinner, is one of those words which, at first sight, appear to have been introduced into the Erse and Britannic dialects immediately from the Latin. The Latin noun peccatore sinner, has, however, no cognate in the Greek, and is affirmed by John Home Tooke to have been of northern origin. In the Anglo-Saxon verb paec-an and the Latin pecc-are we clearly see the same root. The higher antiquity of the Northern tongue renders it probable that the root pec existed in it before its importation into the Roman language. according to Tooke, etymologists seem to forget that the Latin is a mere modern language compared with the AngloSaxons. * * * The beginning of the Roman language we know, and, can trace its formation step by step; but the Northern origin is totally out off sight; is entirely and completely lost in its deep antquity." (Div. of purl. p. II. ch. IV.)
It not unfrequently happens that verbal roots of rare occurrence in the language to which they properly belong form modern Erse words. In the Manx dialect, ben denotes a woman. In the High Scotch the form is bean; in the Irish ben, and old Irish ban. In the Manx the initial b changes into v, thus y ven The root ben, ban, or ven has been imported into the Erse. it occurs in Ven-us (Kellys Diet. voc Ben). it exists in the Baeotian ban-a. and in the Sanscrit van-itcr (Donalds New Crat. Sec. 133, and note).
Other terms for woman existed in the Erse language, e.g., the Manx bwoirrynagh, female, animal with a womb, woman; the High Scotch borrioach, female, woman; Gruagach in the Scotch Erse denotes a young woman or maiden. What antiquity can be ascribed to these terms it is difficult to determine.
The Erse ben has cognates in the Welsh benyw, and the Cornish ben-en
J. M. JEFFCOTT.