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Word of the Day
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Definitions for deasil

  1. Chiefly Scot. clockwise or in a direction following the apparent course of the sun: considered as lucky or auspicious.

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Citations for deasil
The high-peaked roof of moss-grown shingles reared above like the back of a green, scaly dragon, and the rafters at each end of it crossed like an X, carved into facing spirals, deasil and widdershins to balance the energies. S. M. Stirling, A Meeting at Corvallis, 2006
So let me walk the deasil round you, that you may go safe out into the far foreign land, and come safe home. Sir Walter Scott, "The Two Drovers," Chronicles of Canongate, 1827
Origin of deasil
The “Oxen of the Sun,” the 14th episode of Ulysses (if one makes it that far) begins, “Deshil Holles eamus,” a three-word sentence in three languages (Irish, English, Latin) meaning, “Let us go towards the right (i.e., auspiciously) to Holles (Street, site of the maternity hospital).” Deasil is a Gaelic adverb and adjective meaning “toward the right, clockwise, following the sun (i.e., auspiciously).” The word has several spellings (e.g., deiseal, deisal, and Joyce’s deshil) and several pronunciations. The Gaelic root is des(s)- “to the right,” derived from the Proto-Indo-European extended root deks-, source of Latin dexter, Greek dexiόs, both meaning “to the right, on the right, right,” and Sanskrit dákṣina- “to the right, southerly." Deasil entered English in the 18th century.