Sail (letter)

Sail or Saille is the Irish name of the fourth letter of the Ogham alphabet, ᚄ, meaning "willow". The name is related to Welsh helyg(en) and Latin salix. Its Proto-Indo-European root was *sal-. Its phonetic value is [s].

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

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

lí ambi - "pallor of a lifeless one" (Word Ogham of Morann mic Moín)

lúth bech - "sustenance of bees" (Word Ogham of Mac ind Óc)

tosach mela - "beginning of honey" (Word Ogham of Culainn)[1]


  1. Auraicept na n-Éces Calder, George, Edinburgh, John Grant (1917), reprint Four Courts Press (1995), ISBN 1-85182-181-3

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