The website for overhyped Google competitor Cuil claims that cuil, which just happens to sound like the English "cool" but I'm sure that never crossed their minds, is a Gaelic word that means "knowledge." I'm not saying they made that up, but I'll feel better when I have a factcheck-quality reference for it. We've been poking around Gaelic dictionaries online, but the only definitions we've turned up are "rear" and "corner." I've emailed the company to ask for a source that would satisfy the typical research editor at a national mag or newspaper. Here's the FAQ version of Cuil's name:
Tom Costello, our founder and CEO, comes from Ireland, a country with a rich mythology around the quest for wisdom. Cuil is the Gaelic word for both knowledge and hazel, and features prominently in ancient legend. One famous story tells of a salmon that ate nine hazelnuts that had fallen into the Fountain of Wisdom and thereby gained all the knowledge in the world. Whoever ate the salmon would acquire this knowledge.
A famous poet fished for many years on the River Boyne hoping to catch the Salmon of Knowledge. When he finally caught it, he gave it to his young apprentice Finn McCuil to prepare, warning him not to eat any. As Finn cooked the salmon he burnt his thumb and instinctively sucked it to ease the pain. And so it was Finn and not the poet who gained all the wisdom of the world. Finn went on to become one of the great heroes of Irish folklore. Any time he needed to know the answer to a question, he sucked his thumb.
As a child Tom poached salmon from the same spot on the Boyne where it is said the Salmon of Knowledge was caught.