Gaelic loandwords in English

        A motley collection of messages from Email lists -
                badly in need of tidying up

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> The word "bother" was introduced into the English language by
> eighteenth-century Anglo-Irish writers such as Sheridan.  It comes from
> the Irish word "bodhar", which means deaf.  The idea is that if someone
> is bothering you you don't want to hear them.  Interestingly, the Irish
> word is now pronounced more like the English word "bower".

> The word "smithereens" appears to have travelled into Irish and back.
> The original English word was "smithers", which seems to have been
> imported into Irish and given a diminutive suffix, to produce
> "smidríní".

The _Encyclopaedia Britannica_ article "English Language" and the
Reader's Digest _Success with Words_ cite the following words:

From Irish:  balbriggan, banshee, blarney, bog, bonnyclabbe,
brogue, colcannon, curragh, donnybrook, drumlin, dulse, Eire, Fenian,
Gael, galore, hooligan, leprechaun, lough, machree, mavourneen, ogham,
poteen, shamrock, shillelagh, smithereens, tanistry, Tory, whiskey.

From Scots Gaelic:  cairn, clan, claymore, glen, loch, pibroch, plaid,
slogan, sporran.

From Welsh:  coracle, corgi, cromlech, cwm, eisteddfod, flannel,
metheglin, pendragon.

From Breton:  menhir, penguin.

From Cornish:  brill, dolmen, gull.

____________________________________________________________________________
From: cockburn@system.enet.dec.com (Craig Cockburn)
Subject: Re: English words derived from Irish Gaelic
Date: 28 Jun 91

Here's a list of common Scots words of Gaelic origin words I have, 
this is far from complete though.

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Some Gaelic words which have made their way in Scots:

Ben, Glen, Strath, Bog, Clan, Bard, Slogan, Caber, Whisky, Ghillie, Sporran

And some more surprising ones:

The rain came teaming down. Teaming comes from the Gaelic  thaoman.
The full expression in Gaelic is "thàinig uisge 'na thaoman"

the day, meaning today. The Gaelic is 'an diugh' (an = the)

smashing, meaning good. Gaelic is " 's math sin", virtually identical
pronounciation.  Literal translation is 'that is good'

galore, comes from gu leòr. Literal translation is enough or plenty.

and of course Whisky from uisge beatha (water of life).
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Date: Wed, 7 Jun 1995 10:37:44 -0700
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: Dennis King
Subject: Re: Tionchar na Gaeilge ar an mBéarla.
	 
Céard faoi "the kibosh"?  "Lack of funds put the kibosh on his schemes."
Deir m'fhoclóir "origin unknown", ach luíonn sé le réasún gur
thàinig sé ó "caidhp b(h)áis".  Tá dul na Gaeilge ar an gcor
cainte seo.  "Chuir easpa airgid an chaidhp-báis [in ionad 'caidhp an
bháis'] ar a chuid scéimeanna."

Ceapaim go mbíodh an nós acu sna seanlaethanta caidhp nó caipín a
chur ar an marbh sa gcónra.  Léimid in "Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire":
	   
    Is gránna an chóir a chur ar ghaiscíoch
    Comhra agus caipín,

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Date:         Tue, 26 Sep 1995 10:02:39 -0700
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: Dennis King
Subject:      For Learners & Lurkers: Gaelic Words in English

                        Eisimirce na bhFocal

Liosta de chuid de na focail a chuaigh isteach sa Bhe/arla o/n nGaeilge
(Albanach no/ E/ireannach):

A list of some of the words which have entered the English language from
Irish or Scottish Gaelic:

English         Irish Gaelic    Scots Gaelic    Meaning of Gaelic
-------         ------------    ------------    -----------------

banshee         bean sí         bean-sìthe      woman of the fairy mound

bard            bard            bàrd            poet (of a certain rank)

bog             bog             bog             soft

brogue          bróg            bròg            shoe, boot

bun             bun             bun             base, bottom
(as in American: "She says he has cute buns.")

caber           cabar           cabar           pole, rafter
(as in "tossing the caber")

cairn           carn            càrn            heap, pile

carrageenan     carraigín       carraigean      Irish moss seaweed
(food thickener & emulsifier - check your yogurt ingredients)

clan            clann           clann           children, lineage

claymore        claíomh mór     claidheamh mór  great sword

crag            creig           creag           rocky outcrop

Colleen         cailín          (caileag)       girl

dig, twig       tuig            tuig            understand

dulse           duileasc        duileasg        edible seaweed

galore          go leor         gu leòr        plenty, enough

gillie          giolla          gille           lad, servant

glen            gleann          gleann          valley

glom            glám            glam            grab, clutch
(as in "glom onto it")

keen            caoin           caoin           weep, lament

kibosh (?)      caidhp báis                     cap of death
("put the kibosh on that plan")

loch            loch            loch            lake

pet             peata           peata           tame animal

phony           fáinne          fàinne          ring
(from the gilt brass ring used by swindlers)

pillion         pillín          pillean         small pad, cushion

plaid           pluid           plaide          blanket

poteen          poitín                          little pot, moonshine

shamrock        seamróg         seamrag         shamrock

shanty (?)      seantigh        seann taigh     old house

shebeen         síbín                           illicit whiskey; speakeasy

shillelagh      sail éille                      cudgel on a thong

slew            slua            sluagh          host, multitude

slob            slaba                           mud, ooze; slovenly person

slogan                          sluagh ghairm   call to the multitude

smithereens     smidiríní                       little bits

sporran         sparán          sporan          purse

Tory            tóraí           tòraiche        pursuer; robber; bandit

trouser                         triubhas        trews; pants

whiskey         uisce (beatha)  uisge (beatha)  water (of life)

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Date:         Tue, 3 Oct 1995 11:34:30 -0700
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: Dennis King
Subject:      "bug out" ón nGaeilge?

Tá mé ar spraoi sanasaíochta le gairid.  Seo rud éigin eile a fuair
mé do na focalghráthóirí inár measc.

Scríobh Mark Twain, ina úrscéal _The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_,
"Jim's eyes bugged out, when he heard that; and I reckon mine did too."
       ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Tá an cor cainte seo réasúnta coitianta i Meiriceá.  Is féidir gur
tháinig "bug out" ó "bulge out", ach níl an tsanasaíocht sin cinnte.

Bhí mé ag athléamh "Oifig an Phoist", gearrscéal le Liam Ó
Flaithearta, cúpla lá ó shin agus tháinig mé ar an abairt seo:
"Bhí straois air ó chluais go cluais agus a chuid súile bogtha amach
mar bheidís ag braith ar chaoineachán."           ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Úsáidtear "bug out" i gcor cainte eile atá níos slangy, mar atá
"he bugged out on his partners at the first sign of trouble".

An féidir, a fhocalghráthóirí, gur tháinig "bug out" ó "bog amach"
(= move out)??

Donncha

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Date:         Tue, 3 Oct 1995 20:58:00 GMT
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: John Birtwistle
Subject:      Re: Gaelic Words in Engli

->From: Éamonn Ó Dónaill
->Subject:      Re: Gaelic Words in English
->
->Seo ceann eile:
->
->Do you twig? (An dtuigeann tú?)

agus "tosser" (tosaitheoir) b'fhéidir  ;-)

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Date:         Sat, 2 Mar 1996 11:23:50 -0500
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: Eoin MagRaighne
Subject:      Re: Gaelic words in English

Trousers = an English corruption of Gaelic 'triús' which is Scottish
English 'trews'.  As I recall, the English got a bit befuddled and
admixed 'trews' and 'drawers' producing the odd word 'trowsers'.

Slew [as in 'I have a slew of things to do' etc.] = Gaelic
'slua' ... 'army', etc.

Galore = go leor [I have money galore ... (wish I did, in fact).]

Airt = [in English] any of the cardinal points of the compass and
Webster says it's from the Gaelic ... In Modern Irish the word is
'aird'.

Eóin MagRáighne

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Date:         Mon, 4 Mar 1996 00:48:21 GMT
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: Tom Thomson


My favourite example is probably one of the oldest English borrowings
from Gaelic:-

  down (adverb)   á dùn
  down (noun - hill not plumage)    dùn

Tom

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tarmachan - ptarmigan

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Date:         Tue, 9 Apr 1996 10:15:44 +0300
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: Panu H|glund BIB

... "hooligan" ...
Tháinig an focal seo as an tsloinne Hooligan nó Hoolihan, ar nós
Kathleen ni Hoolihan / Caitlín ní Uallacháin.

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Date:         Wed, 10 Apr 1996 11:32:46 -0500
Sender: GAELIC-L@IRLEARN.UCD.IE
From: Joshua M. Alden
Subject:      Origin of the word "Tory"

A chairde;

    A friend of mine engages in re-enactments of the American Revolution
battles, along with many others.  Recently someone posted to the RevWar
list in a discussion on Whigs and Torries.  He says that both words derive
from Gaelic.  I've tried to find simple possibilities for "Tory", but I'm
unable to do so.  Here's the pertinent portion of what he wrote.  Can
anyone help him out?

-Josh.

---
Tory: term for Roman Catholic Irish Bandits.  During the Exclusion Crisis
when parliament was trying to exclude James, Duke of York from taking the
throne as James II, two parties arose.  One was called the abhorrers.
They didn't like Catholics but supported the king, and the king's
perogative.  They were essentially Royalists (but to use that term would
be simplifying the matter) Anyway since the new king was going to be
catholic the abhorrers opponents called them tories, the 17th cent term I
defined above, as an insult.  Its plain to see how the term was used in the
rev. war.  The tories were loyalists, they supported the king and the
king's right to rule.

Whig: (I don't know if the term was used in the rev. war, but here I go
anyway).  Short for Whiggamore, a Scot who rebeled against the legal
authority of crown rule during Charles I reign (and after).  In the
Exclusion Crisis the opponents to the abhorrers were the petitioners.
Abhorrers called them Whigs insult the Petitioners about their
irreverence for Crown authority.  If in fact the term Whig was used
during the rev. war (someone please tell me if it was) its is plain to
see where this label would have been placed.  The rebellious colonists
had no respect for the authority of the crown (or I should say Parliament
for we're talking about after the Glorious Revolution) so they
would very easily fit the term "Whig", even if it wasn't used.

Both these word are english derivitives of gaelic words.  I haven't done
research on what the gaelic words meant but "Whiggamore" is probally
composed of two terms, somthings that sound like "Whig" and "more".  I
don't know what "Whig" meant, but "more" or "mor" meant "big" or "great"
(like feilihemor- "great wrap" or claymore- "great sword")

I've heard that a word in gaelic that sounds like tory meant "bandit"

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Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 07:37:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dennis King
To: Colin Mark
cc: scots-gaidhlig-list@eskimo.com

Fhuair mi an teachdaireachd inntinneach seo bho Cholin Mark (agus tha mi
an dòchas nach eil mi gad shàrachadh, a Chailein, agus mise ga chur mu
choinneimh na liosta):

> Chan eil mi air na faclan Gaeilge ach leth-thuigsinn, ach an dùil a bheil
> am facal "jerk" on Ghàidhlig fhèin?. Mar eisimpleir, "Seall air an
> dèirceach truagh ud" (no rudeigin mar sin anns a' Ghaeilge). Tha mi air
> leughadh ann an àite air choreigin gu bheil am facal "buddy" a' tighinn on
> fhacal "bodach". Ach tha seo a' dol thar m' eòlais.

Bha ùidh nach beag agam anns an dà mhìneachadh seo, a chionns gu bheil
mi an còmhnaidh an tòir air faclan a thàinig a-steach sa Bheurla
bhon Ghàidhlig.  Gu mì-fhortanach, chan eil mi a' creidsinn gu bheil
sinnsearachd Ghaidhealach aig an dà fhacal seo.  Is dòcha gun tàinig an
t-ainmear "jerk" bhon ghìomhair cheudna, agus gun tàinig "buddy" bho
"brother", tro chànan nam pàisdean, dìreach mar a thàinig "bubba", a
tha glè chumanta anns an Deep South, bho "brother" cuideachd.  Tha
"bubba" a' ciallachadh an dà chuid "buddy, guy" agus "brother" ann an
shin.

Donncha

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Date: Fri, 11 Oct 1996 18:16:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Dennis King
Resent-From: scots-gaidhlig-list@eskimo.com

Sgriobh Tynan:

> the bountiful _Hy-Brasil_ --Gaelic for "Isle of the Blessed"--lay some where
> west of Ireland."

Cha robh moran Gaidhlig aig na daoine a sgriobh an leabhar ud, gu
mi-fhortanach!  Is docha gun tainig an t-ainm seo bhon Ghaeilge
"Ui Breasail" (= sliochd Bhreasail, clann Bhreasail; -> an tir anns an
robh na daoine seo a' fuireach).  Bha an t-ainm Breasal cumanta gu leor
sna meadhan-aoisean agus bha e air iomadh righ.  Tha Breasal a'
ciallachadh "treun ann an comhrag".  

A reir na beul-aithrise a bha a' dol mun cuairt aig an am sin, bha
eilean faisg air costa an iar na h-Eireann a thigeadh am fianais gach
seachdamh bliadhna.  Bhasaicheadh duine sam bith a chunnaic e!  'Se Ui
Breasail no Hy Brasil an t-ainm a bha air.

Rinn Eadailteach, air an robh Dalorto, mapa sa cheathramh linn deug agus
chuir eisean eilean air a' mhapa sin, amuigh anns a' mhuir mu dheas bho
Eirinn, agus 'se Hy Brasil an t-ainm a chuir e air!  'Sann bhon mhapa ud
a fhuair Brazil a ainm.

Donncha

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From ocall@COMPUTER.NETFri Nov  1 22:39:05 1996
Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 22:59:31 -0500
From: John O'Callahan
To: GAELIC-L@Danann.hea.ie
Subject: Re: crack

At 02:31 PM 10/30/96 +0000, you wrote:
>an bhfuil a fhios ag duine ar bith carb as a dtainig an focal
> crack? Shíl mé go dtainig sé as béarla na halban, ach
> dúirt albannach liom le goirid nach focal albannach é ar
> chor ar bith. dá réir sise (tá sí ag obair ar fhóclóir
> bhéarla na héireann) thainig an focal as an ghaeilge.
>
Seo sliocht as "The Words We Use" le Diarmaid O Muirithe:

The constant Gaelicisation of the good old English/Scottish dialect word
crack as craic sets my teeth on edge.  It seems, indeed, that many people
think the word is an Irish one; hence we find advertisements proclaiming
"music, songs, dancing and craic"; the implication is that craic=boozing and
high jinks, great fun as it used to be, an tan do bhiodar Gaeil in Eirinn beo.

The English Dialect Dictionary (Wright's) deals at length with crack, a word
still in use from the English midlands to Glasgow and Edinburgh. It gives
crack as "I. talk, conversation, gossip, chat".  In this context Scott uses
it in Rob Roy (1817), "I maun hai a crack wil an auld acquaintance here".
"The friendly crack, the cheerfulsang", wrote a lesser Caledonian, Picken,
in 1813. 2. A tale, a good story or joke; gossip, scandal.  "A' cracks are
not tae be trow'd", is a Scots proverb.  "Tell your crack/Before them a",
wrote Burns in The Authors Cry, in 1786.  "To ca' the crack", in Yorkshire,
means to keep the conversation going.  The Irish crack, with its
connotations of ribaldry and divilment in general, came to us, I suppose, by
way of Donegal emigrants, who have borrowed many good words from their
Scottish friends.

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Date: Wed, 30 Oct 1996 10:58:37 -0800
From: Dennis King
To: GAELIC-L
Subject: Re: crack

Scríobh Gordon McCoy:

> an bhfuil a fhios ag duine ar bith carb as a dtainig an focal
>  crack? Shíl mé go dtainig sé as béarla na halban, ach
>  dúirt albannach liom le goirid nach focal albannach é ar
>  chor ar bith. dá réir sise (tá sí ag obair ar fhóclóir
>  bhéarla na héireann) thainig an focal as an ghaeilge.


Bhí an ceart agat, Gordon.  Ba cheart don bhean Albanach seo, agus í
ina foclóirí, a srón a shá isteach sa "mother of all dictionaries"
(mar a déarfeadh Saddam), an OED.  Gheobhadh sí é seo ar leathanach
1123:

Crack [...] 5. Brisk talk, conversation; pl. news.  Sc. and north dial.

1725 RAMSAY "Gentle Shepherd" II i, Come sit down And gie's your cracks.
What's a' the news in town?  1785 BURNS "Holy Fair" xxvi, They're a' in
famous tune For crack that day
[agus samplaí eile ón 19ú linn:]
   Gossips ay maun hae their crack
   Having had another crack with the old man

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Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 16:52:01 -0800 (PST)
From: R. F. Hahn
Subject: Etymological challenge

Without leaving the general subject area but asking for feedback on
another etymological proposal, I would like you to consider the following
explanation in the _Concise Oxford Dictionary_ (1976):

"HOOLIGAN - n. Young ruffian; one of gang of young street roughs; hence
~ism (3) n. [perh. orig. name of ruffianly Irish family in S.E. London]"

Well, and here is my counter-proposal:

As many of you will remember (especially from Soviet denunciations of
anti-government demonstrators), _xuligan_ (stress on -gan) is a frequently
used word in Russian.  I used to suppose that it was an English loanword,
except the initial /x/ (like Dutch/Afrikaans ch) made me suspicious, since
foreign /h/ tends to be rendered as /g/ in Russian (e.g., _Gamburg_
'Hamburg', _gegemonija_ 'hegemony').  Then I kept stumbling across what I
believe to be the origin of the word in -- yes! -- Mongolian, including in
medieval Mongolian literature:

Written (= "Classical") Mongolian _qulaGan_ (q/G = uvular
      voiceless/voiced) '(thefts =) thievery', '(robberies =) robbery',
      '(banditries =) banditry'

N.B.: Wr. Mong. <q> became /x/ in almost all Modern Mongolic varieties.
      Mongolian has word-initial stress, and Modern Mongolic varieties
      typically "reduce" or drop unstressed vowels, e.g., /a/ -> [I].
      It is not unknown for Mongolian abstract nouns to be used to denote
      actors of deeds, though it is more common to use the _nomen actoris_
      suffic _-ci_.

I am therefore proposing that a word like *_xulagan_ or *_xuligan_ entered
Russian from a Mongolic language (perhaps an older form of Kalmyk), and
English "hooligan" is derived from that Mongolic loan in Russian.

Supportive evidence taken from Written Mongolian, with Khalkha (= Republic
of Mongolia Standard) Mongolian forms in parentheses: 

qulaGay (xulgay) ................. theft, robbery, banditry
narin qulaGay (n{ae}rn xulgay) ... ("skilled/good at theft" =) petty
                                   thief, petty theft
qulaGan .......................... (ancient plural of _qulaGay_)
qulaGayci (xulgayc) .............. thief, robber, bandit
qulaGayla- (xulgayla-)............ to commit theft, to commit robbery
qulaGu- (xulg-) .................. to steal, to rob, to pillage, to sack

This etymology seems a lot more plausible to me than the tentative one
about the roudy Irish family.  The commonly used English dictionaries tend
to do a fair job when it comes to Chinese, Japanese or Malay loans in
English, but other Asian languages as donors tend to be ignored, certainly
Central Asian ones, and certainly when words from Turkic or Mongolic
languages reached English via an intermediary language, "tulip" and
"turban" (< Turkic _tu"l(i)ban(d)_ < Persian _tul(-i-)band_ 'headband')
being among the rare exceptions. 

Reinhard/Ron

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Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 22:44:18 -0800 (PST)
From: Dennis King

A Chaoimhin,

Shil me gur saolaiodh an focal "hooligan" i Sasana sna 1890di, mar gheall
ar amhran a bhi i mbeal an phobail faoi chlann racanach darbh ainm
Hooligan.  Is docha go bhfuair na Ruisigh on mBearla e.  Feach Supplement
an OED.

Donncha

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Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 09:21:57 -0500
From: Jeffrey F. Huntsman
To: OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE
Subject: Re: Influence of Celtic languages on English

[...]  One problem would be to differentiate those borrowings from insular
times from those earlier (often much earlier--e.g., cross, dune, cart) [...]

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Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 08:54:32 -0600
From: Charles Wrigh
To: OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE
Subject: Re: Influence of Celtic languages on English

Max Förster, "Keltisches Wortgut im Englischen: Eine sprachliche
Untersuchung," in Texte und Forschungen zur englischen Kulturgeschichte,
ed. Förster and K. Wildhagen (Hall, 1921), 119-242.  In recent years Andrew
Breeze has published a long series of notes on individual words in Notes &
Queries.

Charlie Wright

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Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 19:08:38 -0800
From: Gary Ingl
To: OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE
Subject: Re: Influence of Celtic languages on English

At a non-academic level (bun-level!) I once made a list of words in the
American Heritage Dictionary that were derived from Gaelic, insofar as a
computer search for the word "Gaelic" in the word entry was effective.
The file is just under 400 lines (maybe 100 headwords, I haven't counted).

The AHD entry for "bunny" refers you to "bun" which is indeed a Gaelic
word, a common combining form in Gaelic meaning "base, bottom" (for
example Scots Gaelic "bun-sgoil" = "elementary school"), as well as a
word used independently:  Bun Easan (base of waterfall) is a village
name on the Isle of Mull, for another example (also a well-known hymn
tune).  AHD say that "bun" came from Old Irish via the Scots Gaelic
word, referring to the hindquarters of a rabbit or squirrel.

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Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 22:48:54 -0800
From: Gary Ingle
To: OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE
Subject: Re: Influence of Celtic languages on English

An interesting quote from the American Heritage Dictionary's entry under
"hubbub":

hubbub n. 1. Loud noise; din. See Synonyms at noise. 2.
Confusion; tumult. [Probably of Irish Gaelic origin.  Akin to Scottish
Gaelic ubub, an interjection of aversion or contempt.]

WORD HISTORY: It has often been remarked that the Celtic
inhabitants of Great Britain contributed very little to the stock
of English words. Perhaps this should not be too surprising, given
the difficult relations over the centuries between the people of
Germanic stock and the people of Celtic stock in England and
Ireland. It seems likely that a certain English contempt resides in
the adoption of the word hubbub from a Celtic source, which is
probably related to ub ub ubub, a Scots Gaelic interjection
expressing contempt, or to abu, an ancient Irish war cry. In any
case, hubbub was first recorded (1555) in the phrase Irish hubbub
and meant ³the confused shouting of a crowd.² In addition to the
senses it has developed, hubbub was again used, possibly in a
nonflattering way, by the New England colonists as a term for a
rambunctious game played by Native Americans.

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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 22:15:52 +0100
From: Hildegard L.C. Tristram
To: OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE
Subject: Celtic Influence on English

See the book I recently published:
        Hildegard L.C. Tristram, ed., *The Celtic Englishes*, Heidelberg
1997:          Carl Winter Universitaetsverlag
The book contains the proceedings of the Colloquium on the "Celtic
Englishes" which I organised at the University of Potsdam in September 1995
(CE-I). I am doing a follow-up Colloquium this coming September (CE-II).

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Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 10:17:21 +1000
From: Rod McDonald
To: OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE
Subject: Re: Celtic Influence on English

Happened across 'truant' in MacBain's Gaelic dictionary last night as
possibly being from gaelic 'truagh'.

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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 23:42:59 -0500
From: Jeffrey F. Huntsman
To: OLD-IRISH-L@LISTSERV.HEA.IE
Subject: Re: Celtic Influence on English

Likely--it's wellknown in ME, also in OF and Af (as well as Sp and Port
but not, so far as I know, in It and those further east).  The questions
is whether it was borrowed from  Insular Celtic and spread back to the
continent, as I would guess (without looking at the original texts, I
hasten to add) or was an earlier one.

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To: oed3@oup.co.uk
Subject: Etymology of "hummock" and "tussock"

The Concise Oxford Dictionary lists "hummock" as "origin unknown",
and is uncertain of the origin of "tussock".

"Hummock" is almost certainly the same word as "tummock", which is listed
in the Concise Scots Dictionary and also the Concise Ulster Dictionary
as being of Gaelic origin.

"Tom" is a Gaelic word meaning bush, thicket, knoll, small wooded hill,
etc.  "-ock" is a Scots diminutive suffix, from the Gaelic "-ag".

Lenition, a gramatical feature in Gaelic, causes "tomag" to become
"thomag", which is pronounced almost exactly like English "hummock".

MacBain's "Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language" gives some
further information on the Gaelic word "tom", relating it to Welsh
"tom", Greek "tumbos" (cairn, mound), English "tomb", Latin "tummulus",
etc.

It seems very likely that "tussock" is from the Gaelic "dos"
(or "dosan" - "-an" being another Gaelic diminutive suffix),
meaning a tuft of vegetation or hair, or a small bush, etc.

MacBain's "Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language" relates
"dos" to Latin "dumus" (a thicket) and to English "tease", "teasel".

Caoimhin O Donnaile

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ballyhoo ?? - Merriam Webster says "Date: 1901; Etymology: origin unknown" 

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kybosh
Comhra ar Gaeilge-A, 1999-01

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From:   Peadar O Colmain

Bhi aithne agamsa ar cupla seanfhear tra agus an Gaeilge liofa acu.
Duirt duine diobh dom gur thanaig an focal 'sliotar' (an  liathroid
beag) on teanga Bhearla. Ba chuimhin se daoine ag chur an nath 'shoe
leather' ar an liathroid agus iad ag iomanaiocht.

Duirt duine dom sceal faoin focal 'KYBOSH'. Chuala sibh an focal. 'That
really put the kybosh on it.'. Ciallaoinn se go bhfuil rud eigin
criochnaithe no marbh. In Eireann fado nuair a bhi duine marbh agus
nuair a bhi siad ag chur an corp insan reilg, chur siad hata beag ban
ar an duine marbh.

"Caib a' Bhais" ab ainm don hata beag.

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From: Tony Corley

Far íor, nach amhlaidh a bhí. Nuair a bhíodh breitheamh i mbun breith
báis a thabhairt ar duine eigin, ba nós dó píosa beag d'eadach dubh do
chur ar a chionn agus na focla a dhamnódh é dhá rá aige. Cuirtí an
caipín báis ar an gcaipín úd, agus is uaidhsean thig an focal i mBéarla
Kybosh.

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From: Aonghus Ó hAlmhain

Cheap mé gur tháinig sé seo ón Caipín de Tarra lasta a cuireadh ar daoine i
'98. Ach táim cinnte go bhfuil baint aige le bás tobann agus uafasach.
Aonghus

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Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 12:29:52 +0100
From: Reamonn MacIain
To: GAIDHLIG-B@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE
Subject: Unexpected words from Scottish in English

Disclaimer- Etymologists like all scientists can't agree on very
much. I can't guarantee that all of these words are of Gaelic origin
but have a look anyway.

Unexpected Words from Gaelic

Airt- Aird      e.g. Burns "Frae a' the airts"-
it means point of the compass

Bog- Bog

Bother Bodhar apparently from Anglo-Irish writers such as Synge,
but possibly from Scottish

Braw Breagha cf Manx Braew pronounced as English "brow". It's too
easy to think of this word as a version of brave which it isn't.


Brass- "bold as brass". Some would say this is from the shininess
of brass and it's used in other expressions e.g. brazen, but is it
a coincidence that prais can mean Brass in Gaelic and also bold
lewd or arrogant? COuld be a parallel formation.

Brazil Breasail (Gaelic Legend)

Buddy suggested by some to be from a childish way of saying Brother,
others from Bodach

Bug out  Bog a mach?

Bunny (owing to white backside, see next entry)

Buns (as in cheeks of backside possibly a corruption of bum too)
Bun

Dig (as in "you dig?") Tuigsinn

Drawers (by way of toursers), now reintroduced into Gaelic as an
English loanword for Underpants- Drabhairs

Dulse Duileasg

Galore Gu Leor

Hubub Ubub a Scottish exclamation

Hummock Tomag

OK This word has been derived from every language on earth. Some say Och Aye
others say Uile Ceart- this is Ooiley Kiart in Manx.

Pet     Peata (originally meaning spoilt child, even recently
animals were kept as workers rather than pets in Gaelic areas
 though)

Phoney  Fainne (there's some story connected to this which I
 can't remember

Pillion Pillean

Shanty? Seann Taigh

Shindig Sinteag

Shoo Siuthad

Shoot (not as in Shot) Siuthad example- person on phone says "shoot"
when they're ready to take down the number

Slapper (a word used in Edinburgh and elsewhere to describe a "slag")
in older usage slapar was a skirt. Very sexist- "look at those
slappers in theit miniskirts". I reckon it's unlikely to be from
"slap" (hands)

Slew (not as in kill something) Sluagh

Slob Slaopach, Slaopair

Slogan Sluagh Ghairm

Smashing 'S math sin

Teaming (as in "the rain came teaming down") taoman

The Day, The Now Both translations of the Gaelic idiom

Tory Torachd

Trews Triubhas

Trousers (from Trews and mixed up with drawers)

Truant ? Truagh

Tussock Dosag

Twig Tuig

You Sir! - Folk etymology of "Thusa!"? Used a lot on IOM

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Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2004 07:49:54 -0400
To: CELTLING@LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG
Subject: St John Skilton: Didgeridoo and extreme caution

 [...]
One reputable method is to find out when the words were first used,
rather than guess their structure. Dymphna Lonergan, for example, was
careful to chart the occurrence of words in print as a guide of their
provenance - her thesis was done at adelaide and completed in 2002 (i
think). some of what she felt were her solid conclusions were things
like 'bromach buidhe' for brumby (a wild horse), and 'cloth barr'
(sorry no accents) for clobber (informal/ old clothes), also
suggested by some of my own respondents. clobber, perhaps, would not
necessarily be specific to australia, and may reflect language
contact at an earlier stage. however, didgeridoo, suggested to be
'dudaire dubh' as in 'hum/ moan' plus 'dark', is much more
speculative. [...]

[digeridoo « dúidire dubh?? - CPD]


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Seanchas-L 2005-06-27

"I am going to book on over to the store"

"Let's book" (flee the scene)

Other examples available from Google.

From "bog", move?

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"bothered ear" = "deaf ear" < "cluas bhodhar"

See: http://www.eiretek.org/chapters/books/Joycenglish/vocab1.htm

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fag end < fàg ???

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cack-handed < cac

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buggy, bogie < bog ?

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esker < eiscir

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lumber < lommraid (plunder) ?

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loop < lùb

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2011-07-29 CPD