Focal an Lae #3
The Word of the Day in Irish

Word: bean (BAN)

Meaning: bean = woman

Usage: Bean is the ordinary word for woman. It is best known inthe English-speaking world as the name of an uncanny being, the “banshee”, or “bean sí” in Irish spelling. A bean sí is literally a “woman of the the fairy mound”. The plural of bean is... mná! Pronounced MRAH or MNAH, it is commonly seen on WC doors in Ireland and in Irish bars around the world.

History: Bean, from Old Irish ben, goes back ultimately to the Indo-European root *gwen-, (woman), making it a distant cousin ofEnglish “queen” and Persian “zan”.

Scots Gaelic: bean (BEHN) and mnathan (MRAH-huhn)

2008-06-19 CPD