Clan Armstrong - Gaelic


It is unknown if any of the early Armstrongs spoke Gaelic, but the language persisted in Galloway, Carrick and the Western Borders well into the seventeenth century, so it is not impossible. The Armstrong name is sometimes rendered in Gaelic as follows:

  • MacGhillielàidir (Surname)
  • Clann 'icGhillelàidir (Collective)

These Gaelic names appear frequently in modern clan literature, but they are neologistic and are rarely used by Gaelic speakers. However, Armstrong has been historically associated with the Ulster Gaelic name, Mac Tréan-Labhraidh, a branch of the Ó Labhradha family. Tréan-Labhradh means strong-speaking but it is thought that the name was misunderstood as meaning strong-arm, and Armstrong was adopted as a convenient Anglicization. Mac Tréan-Labhraidh would translate as Mac Treun-Labhraidh in Scottish Gaelic.

Among the best-known Gaelic-speaking Armstrongs was Dr Robert Armstrong of Perthshire, who compiled an authoritative early Gaelic-English dictionary, published in 1825.

Read more about this topic:  Clan Armstrong

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