The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169701 Message #4102556
Posted By: Helen
17-Apr-21 - 04:56 PM
Thread Name: Info: The Great Selkie - earthly nouriss
Subject: RE: Info: The Great Selkie - earthly nouriss
Dave, the word "nouriss" probably also refers to a nursing mother, i.e. breastfeeding, so in that sense she was not the baby's wet nurse but in fact the baby's mother.
The line "little ken I my bairnie's father" (in one version of the song) would indicate that it is her own baby.
The word nouriss is derived from the Latin word nutrire meaning to feed or nourish
"Origin & history
"From Middle English, from Old French nouriss-, stem of one of the conjugated forms of norrir, from Latin nutrire ('to suckle, feed, foster, nourish, cherish, preserve, support')."