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The Ogham (pronounced "ohm") alphabet was used by the Irish in the first centuries AD. It consists of vertical lines with dots and dashes. Ogham inscriptions are found in Spain and Portugal as well as Ireland.

I wonder why this is here?
*Septegram*Talk*Contributions* 14:40, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

It would be appropriate for someone to reference standard writing directions explicitly; the article mentions multiple orientations but not directionality of writing/inscribing. Wfh (talk) 15:50, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Conspicuously absent from this paragraph are Ogham inscriptions found on tombs and monuments in Vermont( Joseph D. Germano), and on a rock face on Turkey Mountain near Tulsa, Oklahoma by Gloria Farley, and in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Innwood, New York, Texas, Arkansas and the Caribbean (B. Fell). To this day ignored by the archeological orthodoxy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 11 October 2014 (UTC)


All of the links are dead! ~ FriedMilk 4/2/04 @ 13:02 EST

Image Request[edit]

There should be an image here, of both vertical and horizontal Ogham...

Added photo of ogham stone Jaqian (talk) 08:07, 6 April 2009 (UTC)


The image represents a log of wood with a metalic tool on it. The image has nothing to do with any alphabet and the ugly user who put it on wikipedia has chopped it off his ugly garden piper tree. Bogdan188.25.28.82 (talk) 14:34, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


There was actually more than one Ogham alphabet. Although one is best known, the Book of Ballymote notes a number of ogham alphabets, quite different in style.

No, there's only one alphabet, with letters Beith, Luis, Fearn, Sail, Nion and so on. Ballymote does give a number of "cryptic" Oghams, which are properly treated as font variants of Ogham. I've dabbled with some cryptic Ogham fonts myself. (This is a bit interesting, and perhaps should be in the article.) Evertype 10:36, 2004 Dec 13 (UTC)

"Celtic Tree Alphabet" is not a synonym[edit]

I dislike this a lot. Ogham is not traditionally called the "Celtic Tree Alphabet", and indeed the Ogham letter-names did not originally all refer to trees. I'd like to see this deleted from the first line. Perhaps we could talk about Ogham folklore, including the trees, at some stage. But this "synonym" is not really a gloss, and shouldn't be in bold in the first line. Evertype 15:45, 2005 Mar 3 (UTC)

  • I've moved it to the bottom, the term seems to be in use, so it should be mentioned somewhere. Kappa 17:47, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I am no expert, but I think the problem is that this is a one-way sort of synonym. In my experience, people who talk/write about the "Celtic tree alphabet" are generally referring to Ogham (of some variety); but people referring to Ogham do not specifically mean a Celtic tree alphabet. They mean the marks on stones. Would people agree that this is a reasonable generalisation?
If so, can we change the article away from "is also called" or "is traditionally known as" to reflect that? Or perhaps add "a term popularised by Robert Graves in his book The White Goddess" (which I think is what happened, although I will admit that I don't have a reference for that)? I actually came to this article because I was trying to remember what it was that Graves claimed as a source for his collection of different tree alphabets, and thought that typing "Celtic tree alphabet" into the search box would be faster than looking for the book on the shelves. However, that string redirects you straight to the Ogham article. I am not sure that this redirect is entirely ideal, for the same reasons User:Evertype gives.
Telsa 11:28, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Please feel free to undo the redirect and turn it into a fuller description. Kappa 22:04, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Several books use "Celtic Tree" as a synonym of Ogham in adjectival use, mostly from the neopagan tradition, as exemplified by The Celtic Tree Oracle, (ISBN-13: 978-0312020323). Wfh (talk) 15:48, 17 August 2011 (UTC)


I don't remember giving anyone permission to copy the image (which I hand drew with a mouse in MS paint in 1998; hence the astounding quality) from my website[[1]]. Creative Commons licensing still requires that the "author" grant permission... Not a big deal, and I don't mind it being here, but still, there's the principle of the thing.... p.s. Listen to Evertype; he knows what he's talking about! lyberty 12 May 2005

No offence, but it's not a very good image anyway. I'll find something nicer. Evertype 08:03, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
No offence taken -- see the ironic reference to "astounding quality". :-) (though I do think it has kind of an appropriate roughly carved look to it). lyberty 13 May 2005
I note with some frustration that none of the letters how up on a Mac -- with either Safari or Firefox. --anonymous IP contributor
If you are using the latest Mac OS, should be no problem AFAIK. I see them show up on OS X outside of my office.
--P.MacUidhir (t) (c) 07:48, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Ogam is of course supported system wide by Mac OS X's unicode support. You problem is most likely you don't have a font with Ogam characters (Are you seeing boxes?) Go to and install that font! Bob's your Auntie's husband – Ogam works! 11:46, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Whence the tree names[edit]

What do you think about this discussion of the Origin? Original research?

patent nonsense. It reposes entirely on the letter names (attested no earlier than AD 1390). The script arises in the 5th century, around the Irish sea. The letter values are designed for Primitive Irish phonology. That the letter names have "Indo European" names is due to the simple fact that Irish is an Indo-European language. End of story, no connection ot Old Europe, no connection to the Pontic steppe. dab () 19:48, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm glad you deleted the link, but you've misconstrued it. Perhaps a better interpretation is that Graves disproved his own middle eastern hypotheses by his letter names, which, if taken at face value, point to an Old Celtic origin. The page itself argues against connections to Old Europe and the Pontic steppe. I'm starting to wonder now where the tree glosses came from in the first place.--Curtis Clark 00:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The "arboreal" interpretation clearly still dates to Old Irish times. It seems it is connected with the letters being called feda (be cause they look like branches on a trunk), and because a few were actually named after trees. See also Nion (letter). If the letter names date to AD 400, and the "tree idea" to AD 900, that's still half a millennium in between. dab () 08:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
So then my question is, why does the set of trees include trees not found in Ireland, but common in central Europe? Or alternately, which trees were really included in the original set? Graves was postulating (iirc; it's been a while since I read White Goddess) that the mythic tradition went back to Middle Eastern precedents. I'm simply suggesting that the set of trees is more consistent with an Old Celtic origin.--Curtis Clark 15:26, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

well, we can reconstruct birch, alder, willow, oak, hazel, pine(?) and ash. Add to this generic "bush", and that makes maybe 8 out of 20. The other trees are later additions by scholars (note that scholars will have heard of all sorts of trees that grow not in their backyard, e.g. from the bible). Note that even in AD 400, the "Primitive Irish" will have heard of snakes, dragons and lions, seeing that travellers at all times reached Ireland from the continent. dab () 15:45, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

See, that's what I'm getting at. The "primitive Irish" had a culture (or cultures, if the Lebor Gabála Érenn is to be believed) going back millennia. Like all cultures, they had relationships both practical and mythical with plants, and to the extent that the origins of these relationships can be hypothesized, they provide a more or less independent evidence of history from that provided by tool assemblages, language, and even genetics (I just yesterday read an account of how the Patwin Wintu words for a number of plants are borrowed from Miwok, and how that can be used to hypothesize the "ancestral" Wintu homeland). And of course the issue with later scholars is not only which trees did they know, but which trees were they actually naming.
My treatise was heavily weakened because at the time I didn't realize how little I knew of ogham, but the basic principles are firmly established in the ethnobotanical literature.--Curtis Clark 16:16, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Names generally[edit]

How long have letter names been attested for ogham at all? (Or how much farther back can they be reconstructed, e.g. if they were obsolete words etc.?)

Reason for this question is, the naming scheme looks a lot like that of the futhark and that of the Wulfila alphabet for Gothic. Looking only at alphabets descended from the Phoenician one and used in Western/Central Europe, I am aware of three basic naming schemes:

  1. Name = sound represented, plus a vowel if necessary (e.g. Cyrillic, Roman)
  2. Names borrowed from Phoenician (e.g. Greek)
  3. Name = word starting with the letter when written (chiefly Gothic, runes, and ogham)

It must be kept in mind that that won't tell us where ogham "came from". Cf. how the Gothic alphabet is an eclectic mix of Greek, runes, and some Roman -- but its letter shapes mostly come from Greek, while its letter names mostly come from runic. --green ink (t) 13:24, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Cipher origins (ostensibly)[edit]

There's a rather cryptic remark in the article that ogham may have originally been a cipher of a more letter-like alphabet, "according to some" --

  1. That reference ought to be made explicit (if necessary, with a caveat or so), does anyone know it?
  2. By way of explanation, I've added a link to Germanic cipher runes.


  1. Previous editors have found it appropriate to include a link to Germanic runes more generally.
  2. Similarly, the article contains a comparison of the aicmí of ogham to the aettar (aetts?) of runes.
  3. Cipher runes work in a rather similar way to ogham.

Ad (c): Granted, ogham is more sophisticated in that a cipher rune consists of two numbers, while ogham distinguishes among aicmí by stroke/dot direction. Presumably, that made it practical as a script by itself, superseding the original alphabet (if there was any). I hope that doesn't lead to people blindly claiming that ogham were derived from Germanic runes or such a thing ;-)

--green ink (t) 20:18, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Spelling of Ogham letter names[edit]

The spellings I give in the "letter names" section are the normalized ones of McManus (1986, 1991). Actual manuscript readings vary widely. What is the rationale of the spellings chosen for the Unicode names? And how do they map to the names as used in the template (Úr, but Uath (vs. Úath))? Old Irish orthography is a messy business, and I don't care too much about the spellings in the template, but neither do I care for being called a vandal for making good faith improvements [2].dab () 12:51, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

The spellings given previously were the standardized names. Ogham letter names have modern, standardized forms, which should be used in preference to normalized Old Irish names. Discussions began in 1994 to add Ogham to the Unicode Standard. In 1997, a public enquiry was held in Ireland to determine the proper spelling for the names, and these are the names published in the Unicode Standard and in Irish Standard 434:1999. That is what I mean by "standardized". Damien McManus, by the way, was consulted during the enquiry. The point is that modern letter names should be used in the Wikipedia. We spell "Thorn", "Eth", "Wynn", "Yogh" though there were many other spellings of all of these in antiquity. And for consistency with Wikipedia practice, the pages about the letters themselves should be "Lettername (letter)" uniformly. Evertype 13:31, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
this is very well, and I encourage you to add this information to the "encodings" section. The article is not necessarily about computer encodings, of course, but should focus on the Primitive Irish and Old Irish periods. The spellings in the template may well remain in "Modern Irish", I have no preference there. I argue that this is no issue of typographical standards, but one of Irish philology, typesetting Ogham is a very marginal concern, and certainly not the main topic of this article. As for the "(letter)" extension in article names, to the best of my knowledge this is used for disambiguation, so it may be necessary for gort or sail, but not for beithe or epsilon. But I won't throw a fit if you insist on the "(letter)", no problem. For the runes, the case is very similar. Discussing runes is much more a philological issue than one of typesetting. Thus we have a discussion of the M rune at Mannaz (the Proto-Germanic name), but the T rune is discussed at Tyr, because it is named after this god, and Peordh is at its Old English name, because the Proto-Germanic form is too uncertain. This has nothing to do with Unicode Standards, which are properly and exhaustively addressed at Runic alphabet. My point is that articles on individual letters are not articles about Unicode glyphs. The letter may have an Unicode encoding, but the topic of its article goes far beyond that. dab () 13:41, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
In Ireland we went to a lot of trouble to determine the correct modern form of the names of the letters. It's not just the International Standard ISO/IEC 10646; it's also and Irish Standard 434. I maintain my view that these are tbe appropriate names for the letters in all domains, not just coded character set names. Evertype 14:03, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
[3] gives only upper case names. what about the diacritics? Why do you insist it is Uath, not Úath? Is this part of the "Irish Standard"? dab () 13:45, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
You can see the results of the names enquiry at Accents are stripped in the formal Unicode names in English; in I.S. 434, the English names are accentless and the Irish names have their proper accents. (Note also LITIR OGHAIM nGÉADAL.) Regarding ÚA, the accent in modern orthography is redundant (and not used) because UA is always [u:ə]. Evertype 14:03, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
Whatever the articles on the letters are called, please be sure there are sufficient redirects and disambig messages in place. For example, in addition to nGéadal (letter) (where the article is), there should be redirects from nGéadal, Gétal (letter), and Gétal. And for letters like sail where an unrelated article already exists at sail, please be sure there's a note at the top pointing people to sail (letter) in case that's what they're looking for. And on disambig pages like Luis make sure the link to Luis (letter) is there (which in this case, it is). --Angr (t·c) 10:46, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Your wish is my command. I will be using this page as a bit of a sandbox for a while. Beith, Beithe, Beithe (letter), Luis, Fern, Fern (letter), Sail, Saille, Saille (letter), Nion, Nuin, Nuin (letter), Nin, Nin (letter), Úath, hÚath, Úath (letter), hÚath (letter), Uath, hUath, Dair, Tinne, Coll, Ceirt, Cert (letter), Cert, Muin, Gort, Straif. Straiph, Straiph (letter), Sraiph, Sraiph (letter), Ruis, Ailm, Onn, Úr, Ur, Ur (letter), Úir, Úir (letter), Uir, Uir (letter), Eadhadh, Edad, Edad (letter), Iodhadh, Idad, Idad (letter). Evertype 17:18, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
I do intend to improve on the Forfeda article, but I humbly suggest that the individual letters do not need their own articles; or, if they do, that we remove them from the template until somebody writes them. dab () 14:34, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Ogham used to represent...[edit]

Quote from the article: "Ogham (Old Irish Ogam) was an alphabet used primarily to represent Gaelic languages."

This assertion is written in the past tense, so my first assumption is that the article is primarily concerned with Ogham as it was once used rather than that plus the modern usages. Well and good. In that light- I am unaware of the alphabet being used to represent languages outside of the Celtic family. Is there a particular reason to use 'primarily' in this context? P.MacUidhir (t) (c) 21:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Ogham was used for Pictish which is either incomprehensible non-Indo-European, or, according to one interesting theory, Norse. Evertype 22:41, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I never heard the Norse theory. I thought Pictish was either non-Indo-European, or Indo-European non-Celtic, or Celtic non-Goidelic/non-Brythonic, or Brythonic. --Angr (tɔk) 06:50, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
The Norse is a theory expounded in a book which was someone't thesis. He gives examples. It's weird, but it's interesting. I'm travelling and don't have the details here. I do have the book. Evertype 07:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Please let us know some details when you next have a chance to take a breather. My reaction echoes Angr's here, and I would love to see a new approach for both the Picts and ogham, as found in the thesis you mention here. → P.MacUidhir (t) (c) 07:56, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

In any case, Pictish is enough to justify the "primarily". But maybe it would be correct to say that "Ogham was used to represent Gaelic languages, and Pictish". "Used to" of course referring to the period of monumental inscriptions, 5th to 7th centuries or so, today, you can use Ogham for anything you like, I don't know any "modern usage" except for "fun" (even the 19th c. gravestone, I suppose), and you may use Ogham for anything you please, of course, that's beside the point. dab () 15:42, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

For those interested, the Norse Ogham hpothesis is described in the thesis, "The Language of Ogham Inscriptions of Scotland" by Richard A. V. Cox. It is apparently available from the Aberdeen University's Department of Celtic. -- Derek Ross | Talk 04:34, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I object strongly to the recent redirection made of Ogham letternames[edit]

This was not discussed, but see the thread above in this Talk page. I spent a considerable amount of time normalizing the conventions for Ogham Letternames and standardizing the links and redirects, after discussing the matter at length. Now Dbenbenn has changed unilaterally. I object to this, and I would like the lot reverted. Evertype 22:46, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

To clarify: I removed the "(letter)" disambiguator from many of the letter articles. I didn't change any of the letter names. Anyway, article titles typically don't contain disambiguators unless they're necessary. Since there is no alternative meaning of Straif, for example, that article doesn't need to be called Straif (letter). dbenbenn | talk 23:22, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and I object to this. Wikipedia practice has been debated on this point and the safest and most sensible thing to do is to INCLUDE the word "(letter)" in these names. You moved these articles unilaterally, and we had already discussed this and settled on the longer names for all of the articles. I would like your changes reverted. Evertype 16:09, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
Sorry Evertype, in this case I believe you're incorrect. The sensible thing to do is NOT use the disambiguator unless needed, because it simplifies the need for redirects/dsiambiguation of links later. If I'm going to connect to Straif, I don't need to have memorized the fact that someone decided every letter needed to have the (letter) disambiguation after it. If you can present examples where we MAY someday have an article at those names, let's hear it, but an appeal to fear is a logical misstep here. -- nae'blis (talk) 21:09, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Evertype, I would never edit-war about whether a '(letter)' should or should not be in an article name, so count me neutral on this. But would you mind pointing us to the discussion where this alleged Wikipedia practice was decided? To the best of my knowledge, we have specification in brackets in article titles only where required for disambiguation. It is manifestly not true that all articles on letters have '(letter)', just see Lamedh or Sigma or Alif or Laukaz (etc. etc.) dab () 21:30, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
There was a great deal of discussion about Thorn (letter) vs Þ, and on this very page we discussed the letter names, and I went to a good deal of trouble to standardize their representation with their modern names, with a very wide variety of sensible redirects from ambiguous sources. Everything was quite fine and there was no need for Dbenbenn to make the changes, certainly not unilaterally, and without discussion on this page, because naming is an issue for this topic. Googling yields potential conflicts with Úr and Nion, certainly, and Straif is a family name, and the point is that there was no advantage to this having been done apart from the introduction of inconsistency in naming conventions. The titles as they were also have the advantage of assisting Wikipedians who are translating into other languages. The Breton Wikipedia uses (lizherenn) for instance. I re-iterate my request that all of these be reverted for consistency, rather than for an abstract view that the parenthetical is only useful in the case of established conflict. Evertype 08:45, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Thorn (letter) versus Þ is a completely different issue. I didn't move Straif (letter) to , I moved it to Straif. User:dbenbenn 20:34, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
what he said; this is entirely about the "brackets in article titles for disambiguation", not about "should articles on letters be at their name, or at their unicode glyph". Ultimately, you seem to insist that there be brackets in every article title not just Thorn (letter) but also Lamedh (letter), therefore also not just Georgia (country) but also Germany (country); Goths (people) for Goths, rune (grapheme) for rune, eventually, the only titles without brackets will be dab pages. dab () 21:02, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Northern Ireland template[edit]

OK, why is this relevant to Northern Ireland? Most Ogham stones are in Kerry. Are we going to have to have this talk page festooned with a similar over-large template for Wales, and the Isle of Man next? Evertype 12:47, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Templatomania. I think a lot of editors make templates just because they can, and then add them to pages that don't need them in order to justify their existence. At least it wasn't added to the article page.

SFriendly.gif--Curtis Clark 14:48, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

and Cornwall! I want a Cornwall template, at least four inscriptions were found there! :p dab () 07:02, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to delete the template again. The article has no mention at all of Northern Ireland, and unless some reason can be given as to why editors interested in Northern Ireland should have a claim to this article, there should not be a template. Evertype 17:41, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

see User_talk:Setanta747#scope: these templates say "this article is part of Wikiproject X", i.e. the claim is that Ogham is pertinent to Northern Ireland, not vice versa. This is a little confusing. The problem is that there is no Wikiproject Ireland at present! If there was, obviously our template of choice would be that. Until there is, Wikiproject Northern Ireland is the closest regional Wikiproject we have. Note that there can well be several such project templates for one article (e.g. Talk:Scythia), in this case maybe "Writing systems" and "Ireland", or "Writing system" and "history of the British Isles" or something like that. dab () 18:28, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

These templates are excessive. Djegan 21:34, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't like them myself. Just categories would suffice. But I don't think it is worth an effort to campaign for fewer templates on talk pages, it's bad enough to try keeping the articles themselves uncluttered :\ dab () 07:00, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Please stop removing this template - it is considered Vandalism. Ogham is within the scope of the Northern Ireland Project. The template is useful in that it is used by the Mathbot semi-automated bot in compiling lists of articles for assessment.

Some points:

  • Relevance of Irish things to Northern Ireland should be obvious. For more specific relevance, I can inform you that Ogham inscriptions have been found in Northern Ireland.
  • Why wouldn't editors (and readers) "interested in" Northern Ireland have "claim" to this article? Or to an article on the Irish language, for example?
  • This template was not "created just because" I could. It is part of a project which is concerned with the improvement of articles for Wikipedia. I thought that was one of the main reasons all of us were editors!
  • If you wish to add a Cornwall template, and Ogham is relevant to Cornwall, then add the template. I assume the Cornwall Project is progressing well..?
  • I can't speak for all templates and their usefullness or lack of same. Are templates excessive? Possibly. But in the case of WikiProjects, I think they will prove to be invaluable. Please note that a tagging of an article's talk page by any given WikiProject does not mean that project has established any kind of ownership of that article.

--Mal 12:17, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

it is not 'considered vandalism'. Evertype has a point. So do you. Find a solution. (the best being, someone create a Wikiproject Ireland!) Also, your template is huge (clutter). Why does it need to be twice the size of the "Writing systems" one? I see you haven't tagged Talk:Ireland. Why? Would you defend it there the same way you defend it here? dab () 12:27, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

It is considered vandalism when an editor has been informed of its usage, but persists in deleting the template anyway. At least, that's what I would have thought. Certainly, its a waste of my time, and others' time also.

Creating an Ireland WikiProject is not necessarily a solution. That project will actually compound the problem as it will undoubtedly add another template to this talk page, on top of the two that already exist.

The template is as concise as it can be really. It is the same size as, for example, the Adelaide Project's tag, which it was modelled on, and I believe its smaller than the Beatles Project's tag. It is larger than the language one because it has some extra functionality.

I don't understand the logic in tagging the Ireland article. As we discussed on my talk page, Ireland is a parent to Northern Ireland, and therefore outside the scope. It will most likely not be tagged for the NI Project. Nor will the project be tagging Europe, Earth or Solar system! --Mal 13:22, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

you are not making sense. If 'Ireland' or 'Earth' shouldn't be tagged because they have a larger scope than just NI, why should Ogham? Also, you cannot just 'inform' editors of your intentions and call them vandals if they disagree with you. And no, your template is not as concise as it can be. It could be as concise as
This page is part of WikiProject Northern Ireland.
-- let those interested in further detail click on the link. dab () 13:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

I believe I'm making perfectly logical sense. Ogham relates to the culture and history of Northern Ireland and its people and places therein. You said it yourself: "Ogham is pertinent to Northern Ireland, not vice versa".

As for informing people, I believe I can, and have. I suggested that removing the template is considered vandalism. Please consider the WP:VAND page where it states:

Abuse of tags
Bad-faith placing of {{afd}} or speedy-deletion tags on articles that do not meet such criteria, or deceptively placing protected-page tags on articles.
Template vandalism
Any vandalism to templates. Examples include blanking the template, adding an image to the template which is unrelated to its use, et cetera. Edits which cause a template to display improperly are not vandalism if the mistake was unintentional.
Talk page vandalism
Deleting the comments of other users from article Talk pages

The template was designed after much work, and its functionality is helpful to the assessment of articles. --Mal 13:55, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

none of the points you cite apply to this case, surely you must recognize this? I repeatedly recognized that you have a point, but your attitude is obstinate and uncollaborative (as other editors seem to agree, judging from your talkpage). If people think your template is clutter, that's a content dispute (the content of the template). If people don't think the template should be here, this is also a content dispute (you did not link to the template in a comment of yours, you insist that it permanently grace the top of this page, while your comments will be archived). Try to AGF and respect other editors. I am tempted to remove the template just because I find your attitude irritating and irrational, but I said I would not template-war, and I won't. dab () 09:01, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Just to address your points again:
Talk page vandalism and reverting without due discourse are quite relevant points Dab. That's besides the fact that removing the template is contrary to the purpose of WikiProjects and the improvement of Wikipedia itself.
You did indeed appear to recognise my points on my talk page and I thought the matter had ended with your queries and my replies. Yet you have "obstinately" persisted going over the same points again here. Contrary to your assertion, WikiProjects are a 'collaborative effort.
The problems that I have had recently, which have been discussed at length on my talk page, have little relevance to this. Indeed, one might expect to face problems such as this from time to time regarding such a contentious issue as Northern Ireland. And, after all, a lot of my edits and contributions are due to an interest in the place in which I was born and grew up. I'm not infallible, and I will argue my point if I'm convinced I'm right .. until such time as someone can convince me otherwise.. just like most people really.
I do tend to Assume Good Faith, which is why I was more than happy to address your concerns when you first raised them on my talk page, and I certainly give others as much respect as I feel I have been given.
I don't see anything irrational about my "attitude", and I can't do anything about how easily "irritated" you get I'm afraid.
If you have a problem with the size of templates (and some are larger than the WPNI one, as I've said), I suggest the best place to discuss it would be somewhere like the talk pages of here: Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team; here: Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Work via Wikiprojects or here: Wikipedia:Article assessment.. and particularly here: Wikipedia talk:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Index. --Mal 00:34, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
The template is gigantic and completely out of place in this article. Ogham's place in the Writing Systems Project is prominent, and important. Ogham's relevance to the Northern Ireland Project is iffy at best (considering the absence of information about Northern Ireland Ogham stones in the article itself). We don't NEED to know whether the NI project has evaluated the page for quality, and I don't think there are oodles of people associated with that project interested in this page. Please leave the small link alone above. That should be adequate compromise. In good faith, Evertype 11:50, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Once again, absence of information in the article does not mean that the subject is not pertinent to any given project. Ogham inscriptions have been found in Northern Ireland, and Ogham is relevant to Northern Ireland given that it is part of the history of the people of the region. You may not "need" to know whether the NI Project has evaluated any given page but other editors may want to know. The template as it stands includes special code which has functionality relating to the Mathbot. That is one of the main points of tagging talk pages with it. I don't see the problem with the tags on talk pages in any case - for a start, talk pages are notoriously untidy and don't have to conform to tidiness anyway. There is a scroll bar to the right hand side by which people can get to the TOC and discussions. --Mal 00:34, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
You could, out of courtesy to others, edit your template so that it was smaller. The section on article grading section is pointless. It repeats information given above, and adds a link to edit the Talk Page that the user is already on. This section could be removed without any loss of value. And the last section is just spam. It should also be removed. Could you not delete those two sections? Evertype 09:32, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I feel I have to make this clear: it is not my template - it is a template which is part of a WikiProject. It belongs to Wikipedians.
The article grading section at the bottom, once the article has been graded/assessed, is replaced with other templates that actually makes the template bigger (I will temporarily assess this article to show you what I mean).
The last section is only about one line in height, and will hopefully be of use once another template is created for the project (see the Belfast and Adelaide WikiProjects.
Please note that I am not rejecting your suggestions off-hand. I will take a look at the template next week to see if I can make it any smaller without affecting its functionality. --Mal 15:49, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

J. H. Christ, this is getting ridiculous. the NI project is a daughter of the Ireland project. Ogham is within the scope of the parent. There is no need to add the daughter template as well. Why the hell cannot this article be "evaluated" once and for all, by the "writing system" people (who will have likely more expertise on the subject than editors interested in "Northern Ireland" in general). And how about you, Mal, spent some time improving articles instead of annoying people with your obstinate template-mongery? How about people spent more time in general writing articles rather than building impressive "assessment" bureaucracies nobody is interested in? What are your constructive contributions to the content of this article, Mal? In the name of sanity and clutter-free talkpages, I will remove the NI template after all. If you are unhappy with this, Mal, I suggest you bring the matter to WP:VP/P for community opinion. dab () 15:34, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

As with many articles and subjects (as I have explained to you on my talk page), there will be many overlaps between parent, child, grandparent, sister etc WikiProjects.
I'm not sure you can claim that editors interested in Northern Ireland wouldn't have useful input in X, Y or Z articles. Northern Ireland has many centres of learning and many people who are interested in, and are experts on, subjects such as history and linguistics.
As for my time, and how I spend it...
  • I have made major contributions to dozens of articles, created by now over forty articles, created two WikiProjects, one notice board, and one Portal.
  • Six months ago I had made well over 3,000 total edits.
  • Currently I am working on two rather large projects that I have created (Belfast and Northern Ireland).
I would appreciate it if you stop making personal remarks and suggestions about me. Stick to the matter at hand.
As for the "writing system people" - the point of WikiProjects is to increase collaboration - to increase the number of people working on articles, and to make them aware of work that needs done. --Mal 15:49, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
my remarks aren't "personal" at all. At this point, being reverted by two editors in good standing, you are simply revert warring, and I have little respect for that. (also, "start"? we have probably the most complete coverage of Ogham to be found online. is it "start" quality because Northern Ireland isn't mentioned enough?) dab () 16:11, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Do you actually bother to read peoples' dialogue?
The article grading section at the bottom, once the article has been graded/assessed, is replaced with other templates that actually makes the template bigger (I will temporarily assess this article to show you what I mean).
What is this is it "start" quality because Northern Ireland isn't mentioned enough? about..? What an odd question to ask. I honestly don't know how to go about answering it tbh - perhaps if you expand on the question I will understand it better.
You remark refers to me, regards events outside of this discussion, and is opinionated. Therefore, it is personal. --Mal 08:39, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I second the request to remove the unnecessary daughter template. But as the template belongs to Wikipedians, perhaps we should just edit it so it is not so large and imposing, Dab? -- Evertype· 16:53, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm here to create content, not pretty talkspace templates, and am annoyed that I've invested even as much time in this as I did already. Mal could have reduced the template's size as a compromise suggestion / show of GF, which would have made me sympathize with his cause a bit more, but as it is I won't do that for him. dab () 17:20, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
The excesses of templates, we do not really need that Northern Ireland template here. Remove it. Djegan 17:14, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
I went to the Template:WPNI page and saw that someone else had called for a "massive trimming". Mal trimmed it some, but I have trimmed it massively, and, while I do think it is redundant on the Ogham page, at least it is as unobtrusive as the others. -- Evertype· 17:18, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
right. now could you be bothered to "assess" this article on behalf of Wsproj? I think "start" is not really a good description, seeing that I've already had to branch out material to various sub-articles. Imho, it is B-class (if not a GA, but I haven't payed attention to the developments of the GA nomination process this week :\) dab () 17:21, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I protest at Mal's reversion of the edits which I made to the bloated and unwelcome Northern Ireland Template. I protest at his characterization of my edits as vandalism, and I would like to see this dealt with in some way. Clearly discussion is not achieving consensus. -- Evertype· 08:44, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I have requested that the Northern Ireland WikiProject deal with the problem of the design of their template. Link here. -- Evertype· 08:56, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
I have rated Ogham as of Mid importance for both the Ireland and the Writing Systems projects. I think that's a fair assessment. I have asked Mal to ensure that the NI template is no larger than either of these. Surely this is not an unreasonable request. -- Evertype· 14:35, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
from the pov of writing systems in general, Ogam is hardly even of 'mid' importance. I would admit that it is definitely a minor quirk (and a dead alley) in the history of writing. I am into the topic, obviously, and hence am not inclined to contest what I suppose is over-rating, I'm just saying this for the record. dab () 12:08, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Ogham is Old or Primitive Irish[edit]

Exactly what it says, Ogham is the old Irish alphabeth and it is nothing else. Any other claim is just pure blatent POV. Sadly WP is full of it. 21:43, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

There appears to be one ogham written in Old Norse (in the Northern Isles) and possibly Pictish too - although all "Pictish" ogham inscriptions that have been deciphered turned out to be Old Irish. Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 21:51, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
BTW, the info Primitive Irish (only) and period 4th-6th century are completely wrong. Much Ogham dates into the 9th and 10th centuries. Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 22:01, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
The facts are simple. Trying to say Ogham is Pictish too, is just off the wall. Alice in wonderland stuff, my mind sometimes boggles with WP. 22:31, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I never said it was. Just responding to your comment. Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 23:40, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Mr. 82.42, Ogham is a script, not a language. The vast majority of 'orthodox' Ogham inscriptions are in Primitive Irish, and a handful are in Pictish. Now please observe WP:CITE, and try to read up on the topic before blundering. You are free to ask for references. You are not free to remove cited information, such edits will be considered vandalism. dab () 07:37, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Ogham is an old Irish script. 12:48, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Pity, WP should keep withe facts. Otherwise it will become one big POV-pushing experience!! It's the same as claiming that the Roman alphabeth is French, because it's used in France, or German, or English. What a load of "---" 13:54, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
imagine how WP would turn out if we let every angry anonymous editor have their way... Of course Ogham was designed for Primitive Irish, just like the Latin alphabet was designed for Latin. And what do you find in the "languages:" entry at Latin alphabet? maybe "Latin, and Latin only"? or rather (the admittedly clumsy) "Some variation exists for almost all existing languages"? dab () 15:03, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Anonymous, LOL, I don't know who you are either, of if you have pov bias or not!! Angry? NO!! Though I am a bit too direct at times. Bur rarely PC. 16:19, 16 November 2006 (UTC)—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I don't want your phonenumber or home address. You should just behave according to the rules if you want to change articles. I don't care about political correctness, you can even call me names without my blood pressure rising, but you should try to understand a point, then do some research, and finally explain and source your point, in this order. It appears you didn't even get as far as the first stage, meaning, you seem to have failed to note that the "languages" entry describes "which languages were written in Ogam", not "who invented Ogam". If you would have invested two minutes in reading and reflection, you could have avoided wasting ten minutes of my time. dab () 09:42, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Come off it. There is no written record of the Pictish language. It's a totally unknown language. We don't even know how they wrote anything down, whether it was pictures or symbols. We do know that Ogham was used by Irish/Scotti after they reached Caledonia. That wouldn't mean that the Picts generally used Ogham, as you would imply from the article. In anycase, have you any Pictish translations, and how many? I fundamentally disagree with your approach, and you are blatantly in error. Alas for WP. 12:43, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
yes, Pictish is attested extremely fragmentarily. Your point being? You are free to emphasize that point. "Alas for WP"? how melodramatic, 'come off it' to you too. dab () 12:49, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Look! One can get citations for almost anything. Even that Hitler was one hell of a nice sweet guy. Citations mean nothing, they must be truly credible in the first instance. Beware citations!! 21:31, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Godwin's Law--Curtis Clark 04:55, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
that. and if it's so easy to find quotable sources for anything, you are welcome to add one claiming the Picts never used Ogham. Just removing stuff shouting "cockoo cloud" will not do. dab () 07:54, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
There are over 30 ogham inscriptions in Pictland, and around 10 in Argyll. It is the most popular Pictish form of writing. However, the Pictish language, which has never been identified, cannot be positively identified in these inscriptions, and many of them have been identified as Old Gaelic. Moreover, no scholar so far as I'm aware has ever put a case for a Pictish origin to ogham, and even with the people who argue that one incription is in Norse, there is no (and prolly can be no) attempt to change its Irish origins. Although several things once thought of as Irish in origin have been shown to originate in northern Britain, ogham is not one of them. This does not mean though that Ogham was used only for Irish; in at least one inscription Norse is used, and if Pictish was a distinct language, it is probable that a few are in some for of Pictish. Regards, Calgacus (ΚΑΛΓΑΚΟΣ) 20:33, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
One thesis has it that the Pictish Oghams are in Norse. I've got a copy of this. It's at least tempting, though I don't know if it's a verifiable decipherment. -- Evertype· 21:04, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh ye, "astral forces" built the pyramids and extra terrestrials put the statues in Easter Island, and English actually originated in Kerry. Well everyone else seems half-crazy, I may as well join the club. I'm going to get stoned tonight. Slainte (that's Chinese letters). Just in case you didn't know!!! 21:28, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
mate, I know all about kook-fighting on Wikipedia. The status of the Pictish language may be debatable, but at least debatable in academic literature. Saying the handful of garbled inscriptions from Scotland/Orkney are in 'Pictish' is nothing like saying the pyramids were built by aliens. If you're into joining crank-proofing Wikipedia, you have an ample field to pick from, but this article isn't in it. dab () 08:55, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Agree, let's write an encyclopedia that's credible. 13:40, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
so, just in case you are in a mood to get active, may I suggest a few pearls from my watchlist, like Out of India theory, Assyrian people or Racial characteristics of ancient Egyptians. If you can credibilify these, you have all my respect :) dab () 17:13, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Check out "America BC' by Barry Fell. He says that Ogham was also used by Iberian Celts (who wrote in Punic) and shows up in New England via Carthaginian voyages (mining or trading for Copper before its conquest by the Romans). If that's the case, Ogham was probably more widespread than just Ireland and Britain. (comment posted at 02:28, 28 June 2007 by

i have checked out Barry Fell's work. he's a loon. there is definitely no ancient ogham in New England. also, please sign your comments. Whateley23 04:28, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

The power of Google, stable URLs, and religious fervor[edit]

I just noticed that my ogham page comes up first in a Google search for "ogham". I was rather appalled, since I wrote the pages a long time ago, and they were based on an incomplete knowledge of the basic literature and were thus rather amateurish (in both the good and bad senses of the word). I attribute the Google ranking to (1) the fact that the URL has been stable since at least 1997, and (2) there are many links to the site from Wiccan and neo-Druid sites. The latter part I understand (being Wiccan myself); it's hard to reconstruct religious traditions that in some cases may never have existed SFriendly.gif, and many people are eager for any sort of connection to a mythical, mystical past.

Nevertheless, I am a scholar (in other disciplines) as well as a mystic, and I've added disclaimers to the pages that point to the Wikipedia article, so that the Googlers can have a chance of finding more complete and accurate information.--Curtis Clark 16:28, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

the WP article at least comes up number two, but I really appreciate your intellectual honesty -- I have in fact invested into building this article because there seemed to be no scholarly discussion of Ogham on the internet at all, and I had to delve into dead-tree literature to unravel the actual sources of the letter names (googling Briatharogam was hopeless). dab () 09:02, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
I haven't checked the article, but perhaps if it's really out of date or inaccurate you could consider a rewrite. --Kathryn NicDhàna 00:14, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Can't see Ogham font[edit]

All the Ogham script versions of the letters are coming up as question marks. I've been meaning to deal with this for a while on an individual level by downloading whatever it is that I don't have that is making this happen, but it occurs to me that if I don't have the proper font, others may not as well. I'm running a fairly up to date system, and have many fonts (including several Ogham ones) loaded, so I figure I'm probably not the only one who's encountering this problem. Thoughts? --Kathryn NicDhàna 00:14, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

I know. The assumption is, per m:Eventualism, that standard systems will come with pre-installed Unicode fonts in due time, say, in a year or two. Because of this, while it would be desirable that somebody fix this article with lots of little png graphics, it is likely that the time invested in this will not be well spent, you will work to make the article accessible to the average reader for the next year or so, but after that year, we'll have to rework the article again to account for the more widespread Unicode font. This is different in the case of Egyptian hieroglyphs, for which Unicode encoding is not even at the horizon, so that people will have to make do with images for several years still. Compare also Gothic alphabet, which shows Unicode alongside images at the moment. You could do something similar for this article, but you'll have to be aware that in a year's time or so, your work will be obsolete. dab () 18:42, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

It is now a few weeks short of a year after the previous comment and I cannot see the letters. I do not intend to upgrade my home computer in the next year and I doubt of my computer at work will be upgraded in the next two years. Images for the script will never be obsolete. Hundreds of years from now they will still represent the script as it was. When everyone's wish lists are satisfied, which could be hundreds of years from now as anyone who has awaited new software developments can attest, they may not be necessary.

Isn't it one of the selling points of WP that errors and omissions are corrected within hours rather than the years it would take to upgrade a paper encyclopedia?

Yes, I could check all the external links and some paper resources and make the images but I came to this article to get information not to give it.

JimCubb 21:30, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

No Ogham font I have found and installed has made visible the ? on this page. Exactly how are you supposed to view it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Ogham divination[edit]

The article doesn't even mention it although it is so notable a form of divination that (at least online) New Age shops sell Ogham divination sticks. There are cartomancy decks that use a symbolic structure based on Ogham [4] [5]. It doesn't matter how old Ogham divination is. It is here, and you shouldn't ignore it. -

I am happy to ignore it. -- Evertype· 00:39, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
You don't have to research a topic which you are not interested in. But no contributor should be happy that article lacks something relevant. Encyclopedic isn't the same thing as having street-cred in your block. I'm so happy that I quit writing to Wikipedia regularly and with my handle. I interpret your comment as the same sort of arrogance I had to bear then. - 11:52, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Inasmuch as Ogham divination may have no more than a superficial connection to the historical ogham, perhaps you should create a new article (which could be "see also"ed from here) rather than complain about its lack of mention.--Curtis Clark 14:35, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I thought about it, too. But I have neither practiced it nor read any books about it. I can't write a detailed article on the methods in detail, or why some popular ideas about its ancient origins are false. But maybe I asked too much for myself. I have now added a little bit of text to the article. Non-registerd users can't create new articles, so someone should volunteer and copy or move my text to a new page. I am ready to add some links, then. -
So let me see if I've got this straight. You feel strongly enough about the subject to castigate other editors for not including it, but you neither know enough to write an article on it, nor are willing to research it further, and you are unwilling to either use an evidently pre-existing account or create a new one in order to create such an article. Is it any wonder that Evertype doesn't take you seriously?--Curtis Clark 15:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
indeed, Mr. anon, you have two options, either go and write Ogham divination, or drop the topic. Nobody else here seems even remotely interested in covering this. dab (𒁳) 17:57, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry for hurting people's feelings. It wasn't my intention. My intention was only to point that article lacks something. I expressed it all in a wrong style. My mother tongue isn't even English, so I don't always understand the tone of my words, which makes the situation even worse.
I am very suspicious of all web sources on Ogham divination (except the strictly how-to pages). No books are available for me. The library of my city has little about Ogham and nothing about Ogham divination, so I would have to buy some books just to write an article to Wikipedia. Only few people are ready for such.
This is terribly out-of topic, but you asked this. "Why don't yout write it yourself?" This is another important reason why I left wikipedia. I tried to write things myself and fix things myself. I did a lot and promised to others to do even more. Then I had several pages long to-do list and felt exhausted just after looking at it. So I won't re-register or restart using my account. - 01:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, that helps to understand where you are coming from. Nice job on the new addition to the article; it shows an attention to scholarship and NPOV.--Curtis Clark 04:52, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree, the present discussion is perfectly fine. dab (𒁳) 12:01, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Alphabet magic is a silly waste of time, and far less interesting than actual alphabets. I am happy to ignore it. -- Evertype· 01:41, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
it has its uses --- and you can do it with any set of symbols whatsoever, it really doesn't matter. I'm really looking forward to the first instance of technopagan Unicode divination using the Unicode charset :) dab (𒁳) 18:04, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I am one who feels that every alphabet has magical uses, the Ogham being no exception. Since the Celts and the Irish are known for a predelection to such things, one can safely assume that the Ogham was and has been used for divination since its beginnings. McManus does not directly deny that Ogham was used for divination in his book, A Guide to Ogam, though he attempts to do so by equating mentions of Ogham tied to magic and divination as being understood as the use of the term Ogham being a word used generically in place of the Irish word for alphabet. He tries to take Ogham out of magic and divination through such an approach (which would be very foreign to its inventors among the Filidh). To me, this is modern, linguistic sleight of hand to justify a personal attitude on the part of McManus that is contradicted in the historical record. I will happily expand this section of the article.Odubhain 14:01, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
I have seen some interesting uses of Ogham divination that uses an Ogham calligraphy style and is based on the symmetries in the letters (e.g. how one letter is often a reflection of another) to produce "answers" from "questions" - of course it all requires interpretation. As far as I am concerned all divination is about taking time to introspect and not really about telling the future in some narrow sense. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:50, 6 February 2007 (UTC).


Which direction is Ogham written? Left to right, right to left, top to bottom or/and bottom to top?

Ogham on upright stones is written bottom to top for scores to the right, to the left, and across the druim (stem-line, stone edge) and left to right along the druim or edge of the stone. Lengthy inscriptions continue the druim on an upright stone from one edge to the other (left to right). On stones that are purposely horizontal (and on paper, parchment, vellum, etc.) Scholastic types of Ogham conventions are used (left to right for lines and top to bottom on a page or surface). While I'm at it, the notches are only used for the vowels on upright stones (or other objects). In Scholastic Ogham, vowels are symbolized by perpendicular strokes to the stem-line. The third aicme is symbolized in both forms by scores or strokes that are usually found athwart or diagonally constructed relative to the stemline.Odubhain 13:41, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

massive interest in Óm[edit]

It says a lot that this commentary and discussion section that it is larger than any other Gaelic section (living language sections) 00:54, 25 March 2007 (UTC)James

Where's the Pictures?[edit]

it says that there's pictures of the characters, and it gives the unicode symbols for them, but the pictures themselves don't show up. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Thedrtaylor (talkcontribs) 00:09, August 21, 2007 (UTC).

this topic has big problems[edit]

For starters as someone who speaks Irish and French this is just wrong. Ór, Old Irish Oir with feorus no edind "spindle-tree or ivy" Ór means gold in Irish and French (from Latin aurum).

Also the article needs pictures... please update... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 24 November 2007 (UTC)


The unicode characters on this page do not display with any font I've found. I have four Ogham fonts, none of them work here. Are they functional with any font? Perhaps a more commonly used one should be in place, since all the fonts I installed conform to MUFI standards. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:08, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I have a Mac 10.4, with the most recent updates, and am using the latest version of Firefox, and I don't see the fonts. From the comments above, it looks like people have been requesting images for this article for years. Is there no chance of images being made? (talk) 12:56, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Or even just replace the mystery unicode with MUFI compliant unicode letters, since there are several free and easy to obtain unicode fonts that will print Ogham and are mutually compatable, meaning if you have any one of these you can type Ogham and read Ogham typed by someone with any of these other fonts. I wonder if the problem isn't that there's nobody around who knows what goes where. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Pictish Oghams are pre-Viking Norse[edit]

This article mentions Dr Richard Cox's discovery of Pict Oghams as being written in Norse. This matches up with recent evidence of pre-viking Norse invasions of Scotland. The Anglo Saxon Chronicles clearly state that the Picts were "Scythians" who had colonised Scotland. Scythian was a general term for any warlike sea farers from across the North Sea. Steven Oppenheimer also points to strong pre-Roman genetic connections of Pictlands specifically to Scandinavia in his book Origins of the British. The DNA evidence came a long time after Dr Cox's book in 1999 so he is to be excused for thinking that all Norse written in Britain must be the traditional Viking Norse and not older pre-Viking Norse. I think that explains why there is confusion that Pict and Old Norse are different when in fact they are probably one and the same. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

He thinks some Pictish Oghams are written in Old Norse (note that 'Old Scandinavian' would be just as correct). But I'm still waiting for others to agree with him. I think the jury is still out on this one. Doug Weller (talk) 11:41, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I've got his book and he makes a plausible case. It's not without its difficulties, though. -- Evertype· 19:36, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Ogham in North America[edit]

Ogham has apparantly been found in both east and west coasts of the United Stases. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Barrelofoil (talkcontribs) 20:39, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

No, it hasn't. -- Evertype· 19:28, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

An amateur epigrapher named Barry Fell did make claims that he discovered Ogham inscriptions in West Virginia during the 1980's. Since then Fell’s translations have come under serious scrutiny (mostly by amateur epigraphers themselves) . However, David Kelley a professional archeologist and epigrapher did come to Barry Fell’s defense in saying that although his methods and translations were flawed, that some of the North American carvings are authentic Ogham.

I don’t think any serious archeologist even entertains the idea that there was extensive contact between Irish monks and tribes of the new world. But ultimately I don’t think it’s a huge stretch of the imagination to believe that a boatload of lost monks somehow found their way onto American shores, whether or not they made it back to Europe to tell the tale is a whole different matter. It’s well documented that the Irish were experienced seafarers and explorers, there’s an old Icelandic legend that when Norwegian settlers first discovered Iceland they found a colony of Irish Monks living there. What we know about early American migrations has changed drastically over the last 50 years. Norse Vikings, Pacific Islanders, and ice-age Europeans just to name a few.

ALL of the research for and against the American Ogham inscriptions is highly biased, and their conclusions reflect it. It could be many years before any true academic research into the carvings takes place.

Still I don’t see how mentioning the disputed new world inscriptions would benefit this particular page in any way. If you’re really adamant about it, open up a discussion on the “Ogham Inscription” page and try to avoid any New Age vs. Academia shitstorm. (talk) 21:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

RE: Ogham being found in North America[edit]

Survivalist author Christopher Nyerges.Claimed to have an inscription ona large boulder Switzer Camp area above Pasadena, california. This in Oct 2001Andreisme (talk) 17:55, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

And his credentials in reading Primitive Irish are....? -- Evertype· 19:27, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like a hoax and/or forgery. (talk) 21:51, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Category:Alphabetic writing systems vs. Category:Ogham[edit]

Category:Ogham is a category within Category:Alphabetic writing systems. — Robert Greer (talk) 10:03, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Right, but since this is the lead article of that category, it should be within the higher-level category too. Only other articles in side Category:Ogham shouldn't be inside higher categories. +Angr 10:25, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Wot no Spain?[edit]

I was always under the impression that the earliest Ogham script was found in Iberia. Right now the only references I can find to this fall into the fruitloop category, where this evidence is used to support crackpot theories about missing tribes of Israel or other such stuff. Was the evidence they use to support their theories as imaginary as the conclusions they reach?

After all, thanks to DNA evidence it is now almost beyond dispute that the Gaels did originate in Spain, much in accordance with the mythology, so it is certainly possible that the Gaels came with a primitive Ogham that was perhaps adopted over time... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Prof Wrong (talkcontribs) 15:44, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

There are no academically accepted examples of Ogham script inscriptions outside of the British Isles. But because Ogham letters are formed from series of simple linear strokes, some crackpots (notably Barry Fell) have fraudulently claimed that some linear marks carved on stones in America and elsewhere are examples of Ogham writing, when to experts it is patently obvious that thet are not. It would be great to find a genuine example of an Ogham inscription in continental Europe, but no-one has found one yet ... and probably no-one ever will. BabelStone (talk) 18:06, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
There is no proof whatsoever that the Gaels originated in Spain. The DNA evidence referred to has essentially been manufactured by fringe popular writers (Stephen Oppenheimer), from unscientific interpretations of selected data. In fact the R1b of Iberia and the British Isles branch off independently from a Neolithic or Bronze Age continental source. DinDraithou (talk) 19:06, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


The infobox contains information that the ogham alphabet is an l-t-r alphabet. This is not true. The majority of ogham inscriptions are read from bottom to top. Some exist written from top to bottom, others from left to write. It would be more accurate to describe it as mixed but I can't find the parameters for this in the infobox. Can someone please amend? Mac Tíre Cowag 19:14, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Although inscriptions are normally carved up and sometimes down the edge of memorial stones, it's written horizontally left-to-right in medieval manuscripts, and is normally written ltr in modern printed books and on computers, so its primary directionality can be considerd to be ltr. Moreover, the directionality parameter in the infobox is derived from Unicode data for text layout, and is intended to indicate whether a script should be laid out left-to-right or right-to-left in computer rendering, not what possible directions a script may be written in epigraphic contexts. BabelStone (talk) 20:25, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
So why isn't that made clear in the infobox? Do you not think it confusing that it states in the same infobox that it was used in the 4th to 10th century AD and then just a few lines down states it [was] written left to right? That is how anyone without any knowledge of Ogham would read it. As far as I am aware there were no computers or Unicode standards in that century period. The vast majority of people who have an interest in Ogham base their interest on the ancient and historical texts and stones on which the alphabet was written/carved, and not on what is printed in modern books and computers. Secondly, even some historical Ogham texts, such as certain passages in the Book of Ballymote, show a flow in which the first sentence is ltr, the second rtl, third ltr, etc. Mac Tíre Cowag 21:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)


Ailm is the Elm tree not the 'pine tree'. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Mispronunciation of "ogham"[edit]

In the opening paragraph we have: "but in English the spelling pronunciation [ˈɒgəm] is very common." I don't think we should include an incorrect pronunciation, just because it's a common mistake. --Kathryn NicDhàna 22:15, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. Wikipedia is descriptive, not prescriptive. It would do to indicate that the pronunciation is incorrect, although one could make a case that it is the "correct" English pronunciation, just as ['pɛɹɪs] is the correct English pronunciation of Paris.--Curtis Clark 22:39, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
yes, but why mention it? that's just the predictable pronunciation of an English speaker coming accross the written word. Can we cite a dictionary that actually prescribes [ˈɒgəm], or is this "original research"? dab () 12:48, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Assuming this is truly what is in the American Heritage Dictionary, the first pronunciation given matches the pronunciation formerly given for English in the Wikipedia article. I'll check the OED later. Again, I'm not arguing that the English pronunciation is "right", just that it is what it is.--Curtis Clark 15:47, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
that's fair enough, and should by all means be in wikt:Ogham, but giving pronunciation details for English words isn't common practice on WP, unless they are nontrivial. dab () 08:56, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
That makes sense to me.--Curtis Clark 14:28, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I think we should just drop the phrase, then. --Kathryn NicDhàna 21:27, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

This issue is up again (Diffs: [6], [7]), but now the incorrect pronunciation is prioritized, without any indication that it is incorrect. Kwamikagami, I respect your work on the 'pedia, but I don't understand why you are pushing for this. Rather than revert over it, I'm asking others to weigh in. I thought we had some consensus above that there's no reason to include, let alone prioritize, misinformation here. - Slàn, Kathryn NicDhàna 00:01, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with the description "incorrect". There are two pronunciations in use, that's all. To describe the English one as "incorrect" is a little like insisting on Paree when speaking English. (Not quite, because "Paree" is a conventionally viewed as an error in English whereas the "correct" pronunciation of Ogham is not.) With regard to the point that there is no need to include it as "just the predictable pronunciation" to an English speaker: "gh" is highly unpredictable with more than one pronunciation. It's needed. DeCausa (talk) 07:19, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
See WP:USEENGLISH, WP:GREATWRONGS. If there are reliable sources which complain that the common English pronunciation is incorrect, then those can be cited to support a statement "source X considers pronunciation Y to be incorrect", but not to support a statement "pronunciation Y is incorrect" when so many dictionaries list the pronunciation without criticism. jnestorius(talk) 14:35, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
You'd need a pretty good source to dispute the OED. Wells's pronunciation dictionary would be a place to look. — kwami (talk) 18:11, 10 December 2013 (UTC)