[Ir. an life].
Fifty-mile river of eastern Ireland, rising in Co. Wicklow, flowing through Kildare, and emptying into the Irish Sea in Dublin harbour. James Joyce's personification of the river in Finnegans Wake (1939) as Anna Liffey or Anna Livia Plurabelle is based on his idiosyncratic transliteration of Abha na Life [lit. the River Liffey].
See Brendan O Hehir, ‘Anna Livia Plurabelle's Gaelic Ancestry’, James Joyce Quarterly, 2 (1965), 158–66;John de Courcy, Anna Liffey: The River of Dublin (Dublin, 1989);Elizabeth Healy (ed.), The Book of the Liffey (Dublin, 1989).