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Eight-legged wild little ox

What are we to make of the word damhán alla? Let’s try and shed some light on its origins in today’s episode of Spreading the Words.

The Irish term for a spider has long been a source of puzzlement. Can it really mean ‘little wild ox’ or is damhán alla just a corruption of the insect’s real name? Listen now for at least some of the answers…

Episode 11: Damhán alla (spider). Listen to the podcast here.

Spreading the Words is a new series by MoLi on the histories of Irish words from literature and everyday life. The episodes are written by Sharon Arbuthnot and Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, authors of A History of Ireland in 100 Words, and produced in association with the book and the electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language. Read by Aidan O’Sullivan.