1808, from an Anglicization of Oisin, name of a legendary 3c. Gaelic bard, literally "little fawn." James Macpherson claimed to have collected and translated his works (1760-1763) under the name Ossian, and the poetic prose sparked a Celtic revival and fascination with the glamour of the lost world of the bards. The works ("Fingal" and others) turned out to be largely Macpherson's forgery, and the style later was regarded as bombastic, but the resulting swerve in European literature was real. Related: Ossianesque.