Dair is the Irish name of the seventh letter of the Ogham alphabet, ᚇ, meaning "oak", which is related to Welsh derw(en) and to Breton derv(enn). Its Proto-Indo-European root was *deru- 'oak'. Its phonetic value is [d].[1]

Aicme Beithe Aicme Muine
[b]Beith [m]Muin
[l]Luis [ɡ]Gort
[f]Fearn [ŋ]nGéadal
[s]Sail [z]Straif
[n]Nion [r]Ruis
Aicme hÚatha Aicme Ailme
[j]Uath [a]Ailm
[d]Dair [o]Onn
[t]Tinne [u]Úr
[k]Coll [e]Eadhadh
[kʷ]Ceirt [i]Iodhadh
Ifín [p]Peith

Dair forms the basis of some first names in Irish Gaelic such as Daire, Dara, Darragh and Daragh.


In the medieval kennings, called Bríatharogam or Word Ogham the verses associated with Dair are:

ardam dosae - "highest tree" in the Word Ogham of Morann mic Moín

grés soír - "handicraft of a craftsman" in the Word Ogham of Mac ind Óc

slechtam soíre - "most carved of craftsmanship" in the Word Ogham of Culainn.[2]


  1. McManus, Damian (1991). A Guide to Ogam. Maynooth Monographs. 4. Co. Kildare, Ireland: An Sagart. p. 37. ISBN 1-870684-75-3. ISSN 0790-8806. This letter name clearly corresponds to Old Irish dair/daur, gen. daro 'oak-tree', Welsh derw(en) 'oak-tree(s)' from the root *deru-, whence the value /d/.
  2. Auraicept na n-Éces Calder, George, Edinburgh, John Grant (1917), reprint Four Courts Press (1995), ISBN 1-85182-181-3

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