The term Hiberno-Norman is used of those Norman lords who settled in Ireland, admitting little if any real fealty to the Anglo-Norman settlers in England. It refers to both the origins of the community and the dialect of Norman-French used by them as they developed in Ireland from 1169 until the eclipse of the Hiberno-Norman community in the early seventeenth century. In the process they became Hiberniores Ipsis Hibernis. The prefix "Hiberno" means "relating to Ireland or the Irish", from Hibernia. The de Burghs or Burke Family , FitzGeralds, Butlers and de Berminghams are the more noted among them. ("Fitz" is a particularly Hiberno-Norman prefix, meaning 'son', cf. modern French "fils" with the same meaning).

By the late 16th century, the Hiberno-Normans began to be referred to as the Old English. In the Irish language, they were known as the gaill or "foreigners". Englishmen born in England however were called Sasanaigh or "saxons", and there was a very strong distinction made between Gaill and Sasanaigh in the Irish annals, with the former being referred to variously as Fionnghaill or Dubhghaill depending upon how much the poet wished to flatter his patron.


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