Focal an Lae #12
The Word of the Day in Irish

Word: cú (KOO)

Meaning: cú = hound

Usage: Probably most familiar outside the language in the name of the mythical Ulster hero “Cú Chulainn” (KOO XOO-liny - first OO as in moon, second OO as in book, x as the guttural in loch, ny as in the middle of onion), meaning “The Hound of Culann”. Cú was not an uncommon element in names in the heroic old days: Cú Roí and Cú Chonnacht, for example. While “cú” means “hound” in Irish, in Scottish Gaelic it just means “dog”.

History: Old Irish “cú” derives from Indo-European *kwon- (dog). The derivation is more apparent in the genitive plural form of the Irish word, which is “con”. Welsh for “dog” is “ci” (cf. “corgi” <- cor (dwarf) + ci). English cognates are “canine” and “kennel”.

2008-06-19 CPD