Curses & Insults

Bás fort béolu!

Bás fort béolu!

(death * on your * lips)

Death upon your lips!

A curse, spoken as a threat by the daughter of Echaid in the tale "Fingal Rónáin". Later in the same tale, Rónán curses her with the words "Mallacht fort béolu!" (A curse on your lips!) Compare Ailill's threat in "Táin Bó Fraích", when he demands that his daughter return a thumb ring: "atbélat do béoil mani aisce úait" ("your lips will die if you do not give it back"). When Moncha dies of childbirth in "Cath Maige Mucruma", the text says simply "atbailet a béoil" ("her lips die"). In "Buile Suibhne", the mad hero curses the old woman who lures him back into his old flighty, fleeing ways with the exclamation "Mallacht for do bhél, a chailleach!" (A curse on your mouth, old woman!)

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