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Origin of the name HODAIN.
Etymology of the name HODAIN.
Meaning of the baby name HODAIN.


HODAIN.  Arthurian legend name of a dog belonging to Tristan.  Said to probably be related to the Saxon deity, Wodan, meaning "all-pervading."

    The dogs which figure in mediaeval romance are, far the most part, hounds of some description.  Such was Hodain; whose name, although the romance to which he belongs is beyond all doubt the property of the "old gentil Bretons," seems to be mysteriously related to that of the great Saxon deity.  Whilst passing over the sea from Ireland with Sir Tristrem and La belle Ysonde, Hodain licked the cup which had contained the "drink of might" by which the lovers were so unhappily united.  He shared the effects of the potion, and attached himself to the fortunes of the pair, for whose sake he busied himself, together with Peticru, the wonderful particoloured "whelp," which Tristrem sent from Wales to Ysonde, in pulling down many a noble stag, when the lovers, in their cavern in the forest—

"hadde no wines wat,
No ale that was old,
Nor no good meat they ate:"

a statement from which we may conclude that the fair queen of Cornwall was scarcely so successful a cook as Hodain was a provider.  The hound's fidelity and attachment are conspicuous throughout the romance.  When Tristrem arrived at the castle of Tintagel disguised as a fool, with his hair cropped and his face blackened, Hodain recognised and fawned upon him, whilst Ysonde herself was more than doubtful; and when the bodies of the unhappy lovers were brought to Cornwall to be buried, Hodain left the wood, without turning aside to chase the stags with which it abounded, and ran straight to the chapel, into which he was admitted by Pernus, the squire of Tristrem, who watched his corpse.  "Illec," in the words of the prose romance, "demeurent Pernus et Heudene sans boire et sans manger; et quant ils avoyent fait leur dueil sur Tristan, ilz alloyent sur la Royne Yseult."  Hodain and Peticru—

"Two houndes mirie made,
Fairer might none be,"—

were figured, with "sweet Ysonde" and other personages of the romance, on the dais of the stately hall which the giant Beliagog constructed for Sir Tristrem; and we may still admire their graceful forms on many of those delicately-carved ivory caskets which once adorned the bower of some white-handed Yolande or Isabelle, and are now jealously preserved among the choicest treasures of the antiquary.
    The special attachment of Hodain to Tristrem and Ysonde was the result of his having shared the "drink of might" with them; but the loving devotion of a hound to his master—itself one of the most human of his qualities, and that from which much of his noblest nature is developed—has been duly honoured by the "makers" of romance... (Quarterly Review, v.109, 1861) 


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