In Ireland, a unit of length, roughly 12 feet. Also spelled fertach and fertaigh. From the Latin pertica.
dā troigid dēc i fertaig, dā fertaigh dēc i forraigh da forraig dec i tir cumaile dia fot, sē foirrge dia lethet,
Laws iii 334.22
Ireland. Commissioners for Publishing the Ancient Laws and Institutes of
Ancient Laws of Ireland.
Vol. VI. Glossary.
Dublin: H.M.S.O., 1901.
Ancient Laws of Ireland, volume 3, comments that the reading is “prob. i phertaig” and that “it is clear that the word was borrowed from the Latin, because the initial p would have disappeared if the word had been Keltic”.
I ... beg to give one extract to prove the genuine originality of the subject, from among my collection, taken from the Brehon law MS. in the College library, which MS. commences by stating that, “The place for this book is Aicil, near Tara; its time, the time of Cairbre, (Carbry of the Liffey) son of Corbmac, and person for it, i. e., its author (is) Corbmack.” And by the annals, we find that Corbmack lived about the middle of the third century. Meausurement [sic] by grains and egg shells — “Caite tomus o granib agus uigib .i. tri graine in norlach .iiii. iorlaige i mbais, teora basa itrogid, da trogid dec ifertaig, da fertaig dec iforaig da foraig dec itir cumaig dia fod .vi. foirge dia lethed ma beith ina toimsib techtaib. Da lan dec uige circe a meisrim, da meisrim dec in oildeirb, da oildeirb dec in oilmedach.” “What are the measures by grains and eggs? Three grains to an inch, four inches to a hand, three hands to a foot, twelve feet to a fertaig, twelve fertaigs to a forraig, twelve forraigs to a Tirchumaidh (the original Irish acre being three times that of the present) in length and 6 forraigs in breadth, if in the lawful measure; twelve fulls of a hen egg to a meisrim, twelve meisrims to an olderb, twelve olderbs to an oilmedach.”
Owen Connelan, Irish Historiographer to his Majesty.
A List of Irish Manuscripts.
The Christian Examiner and Church of Ireland Magazine for 1833.
New Series, volume II.
Dublin: William Curry, Jun. and Co. 1833.
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