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Fomóir (singular) Fomóire (plural)

Personal Notes

References to Fomóire are largely shallow in nature suggesting a popular baddie in medieval works. That said a few stories suggest this term may simply have referred to a demographic of peoples in the early ages.

Annotations such as "darkly beautiful", notes of intermarriage between then and other bodies of people and at least one leader said to have ruled over both parties.

As to translation of the word this does lean into the notion of them being a popular negative figure. The inital part of the word "Fo" translating roughly as negative, no, down, under, neither, etc. I think of it a bit like the prefix anti, re, de, or similar

The second part of the word is where the debate comes in. It seems a fairly large group of researches like the idea of "Móir" or similar being related to "Mare" as in nightmare. Mare roots from Germanic and Slavic though not Celtic though the two do share a lot of sounds so its possible.

If maer or mare is the root; then the old meaning isn't "bad spirt" as its sometimes translated ... its "Crushing, pressing or oppressing" e.g. a weight or foreboding. mare is the root used in various northern language sets to mean pressing, crushing, etc. ... for example martröð is the Icelandic word for trample (pressing walk). In all other uses of the word even in "nightmare" the "mare" portion refers to an oppressive or weight that causes exhaustion. Monsters and demons that use the word are negative entities that oppress the chest as in hard of breathing, laborious, exhaustion.

It is my opinion then that the attempt to tie "Fomóire" and "Morrígan" and other terms and phrases to "mare" as in night mare and then thus to translate those words as "Phantom Queen" or "Lesser Demon" ... is just another attempt at reconciling with the concept of daemons from Abrahamic lore while there is no direct association with daemons in northern traditions as far as I have found.

Daemon is its self an abused term, originally daemon referred to simply a lesser supernatural entity or concept e.g. not a god. Demon is just crude misspelling and misunderstanding as "demon" has come to mean specifically a negative or malevolent spirt or being. There are so many reasons the mare should not be thought of as "negative spirt / demon / etc" when found in various old Irish words even for peoples of the middle ages daemon wouldn't have quite meant what it does today so this is not a useful English translation even if it once was.

In short I think its a romantic ideal that would make a happy connection between the two that just isn't there.

I think the sound "more" as it would appear in English is far more commonly meant "great" or "large" or was otherwise a reference to status or stature being significant. While I am not an etymologist to me this suggests the "Fomóire" to possibly mean "prior significant people".

That said we do not know and smarter people cant agree the fundamental point is this is a demographic that existed in a larger society of multiple demographics. That is all we can really be certain of so far.

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