Heroic Titles

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Tue Sep 14 12:16:44 EDT 1999

> Sarah wrote:
>>Does anyone know the meaning behind the "Tan" in Tan Coul, Tan Audel,
> And then Paul wrote:
>>Vaguely reminiscent of ancient hero-type-person Finn MacCoul (or
>>however it's really pronounced).
> I don't think Tan would have any connection with Finn  MacCoul (pronounced
> Fionn Mac Cumhaill - with thanks to the Tough Guide for further
> brain-warping!).  I could be completely and utterly wrong, but I think Finn
> was just his name (it means fair), and his men came to be called the Fianna
> after him.  I tried looking Tam up in the girls' Irish Dictionary, but no
> luck.  Looked it up in my Concise Oxford, and found, after all the stuff
> about leather, that the colour tan probably came from the Breton tann,
> meaning oak.  Hum.  Oak vs. Laurel?  Doubtful.
> Attempting to be really clever, I went looking on a few folklore sites, but
> all I could come up with was a Korean hero called Tan-something or other,
> and that seemed so unlikely that I didn't even write it down.  (In my own
> defense, I must say that the things which I ought to have been doing
> instead, were really, truly boring.)

Interesting.  In Dalemark "Tan" means "younger", but I don't think that helps
here either.  I always just took it as a made up title created by Polly on the
spur of the moment.

> Hallie (in beautiful Co. Doveland, Iran )
> hallieod at indigo.ie
> Yes, I have had letters addressed to both of the above, though mercifully,
> not both in the same letter.


My work address, Ratcliffe-on-Soar, gets plenty of mis-spellings - Radcliff(e)
obviously, but also on Sour, Thor or even at Sea...


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