Raven Born & Wolf Singer: Some Old Irish Names from Ogham Stones

Ogham Stone, Kilmalkedar, Co. Kerry

These Old Irish names are taken from the country’s corpus of ogham stones. Consisting of a series of incised linear lines, ogham represents Ireland’s very earliest form of writing. It is typically found on standing stones, especially in the the south and southwest of the country, where there is a remarkable concentration of these monuments. The monoliths generally commemorate named individuals and it is likely that the stones originally marked burials spots or tribal boundaries. Most of the ogham stones were erected between the 5th and 6th centuries AD, a period when Ireland was only gradually becoming a Christian country. This is reflected in the personal names found on the stones, some of which contain references to pagan gods and totem animals/trees.


Name: Champion of Wolves/Hounds (Cun[a]netas). Ogham Stone: Island, Co. Waterford

Wolf (Photo: Public Domain)



Name: Thunder (Brusccos). Ogham stone: Emlagh East, Co. Kerry

Thunder & Lightning (photo Walid Mahfoudh (CC BY-NC 2.0)



Name: Black Raven (Branaddov). Ogham stone: Gearha South, Co. Cork

Raven (photo Brian Ralphs CC BY-SA 2.0)



Name: Battle Man (Cattuvir). Ogham Stone: Dromore III, Co. Waterford

Warrior (Photo Patricia A. Casal CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)



Name: Champion of (the god) Segamo (Neta Segamonas). Ogham Stone: Ardmore, Co. Waterford.

Figure on the Gundestrup Cauldron (photo Xuan Che CC BY 2.0)



Name: Son/Devotee of the Rowan Tree (Maqi-Carattinn). Ogham stone: Cloghanecarhan, Co. Kerry

Rowan Tree (photo John Johnston CC BY-SA 2.0)



Name: Wolf Singer (Quanacanos). Ogham stone:  Island, Co. Mayo

Wolf howling (Photo: Public Domain)



Name: Respecter of (the god) Lugh (Lugudeccas). Ogham stone: Ardmore, Co. Waterford

A triple faced ‘Celtic’ deity, possibly representing Lugh/Lugus (own photo)



Name: Little Seal (Ronann). Ogham stone: Arraglen, Co. Kerry

Seal (photo Tony Grover CC BY 2.0)



Name: Living Fire/Fire Alive (Bivodon). Ogham stone: Kilbeg, Co. Waterford

Burning Wicker Man (from the Wicker Man film, 1973, source)



Name: Little Badger (Broccan). Ogham Stone: Kilmalkedar, Co. Kerry

Badger (photo Sally Longstaff CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)



Name: Raven Born (Branogenos). Ogham Stone: Barnaveddoge, Co. Louth

Raven (Public Domain)



Name: (he who has ) The Strength of a Wolf/Hound (CUNOGUSSU). Ogham Stone: Ahalisky, Co. Cork

Wolf (Photo Jethro Taylor CC BY-NC 2.0)



Name: Son of the Yew Tree (Ivageni). Ogham stone: Mount Russell, Co. Tipperary

Yew Tree (photo CC BY-SA 3.0)



Name: Heron (Corre). Ogham Stone: Coolinheagh. Ogham stone: Glebe, Co. Cork

Heron (photo ExDigita CC BY-NC 2.0)



Name: Devotee/Son of the deity Erc , possible a cow goddess (Maqi-Ercias). Ogham Stone: Coumeenole North, Co. Kerry

White Park cow (Photo Marilyn Peddle CC BY 2.0)



Name: Flame (Dego[s]). Ogham Stone: Coolmagort, Co. Kerry

Photo: Andrea Parrish-Geyer CC BY-ND 2.0



Name: Chief in Battle (Catabar). Ogham stone: Ballyquin, Co. Waterford 

Photo Jakub Jankiewicz CC BY-SA 2.0



Name: Winter Wolf/Hound (Gamicunus). Ogham Stone: Lugnagappul,  Co. Kerry.

Wolf (Photo Public Domain)



McManus, D (1991) A Guide to Ogham. Maynooth Monographs No. 4. 

Swift, C. Markers of Historic Deaths  (Academia.edu paper)

Ogham in 3D project (Website)


12 thoughts on “Raven Born & Wolf Singer: Some Old Irish Names from Ogham Stones

  1. A fascinating subject, I never realised the ancient Irish had such names. Similar to the Native Americans? Thank you for this.

    1. Irish langauge comes from proto indo European source, gauls are celts who came from steppe bringing indo aryan language with them.
      So if you can imagine the same people who were proto European are the same who made the journey to America. Native americans share most dna with the people of Mongolia.

  2. Excellent. Many thanks. Is it not more likely that corre refers to a crane (corr na móna) than corr riasc? From little horse.

  3. I didn’t think that Irish had the letters ‘Q’ or ‘V’, so would this report suggest otherwise during an earlier time.

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