Archive for the Category: Scottish Gaelic

Summer chicks and glowing coals

Last night we were talking about the Pili Palas on Anglesey, a butterfly centre, which also has birds, snakes and other exotic creatures. The name is a pun combining pili-pala (butterfly) and palas (palace) – it took me ages to realise this. We were trying to think of the words for butterfly in various other […]

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Also posted in English, Etymology, French, German, Irish, Italian, Language, Latin, Manx, Spanish, Welsh, Words and phrases 6 Comments

Panceltic concert

Last night I went to a great concert in St John’s (Balley Keeill Eoin) at which all the modern Celtic languages were sung and/or spoken, as well as English and French. It was wonderful to hear them all, and I even understood odd bits of the Cornish and Breton, the only Celtic languages I haven’t […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Welsh 2 Comments

Come-all-ye

Last night I went to a fascinating talk by Cass Meurig about the history of the crwth (a type of medieval bowed lyre) and its place in Welsh music and tradition, which included songs in Welsh. After the talk there was a very enjoyable ‘Come-all-ye’ singing session lead by Clare Kilgallon and members of Cliogaree […]

Also posted in Cornish, English, Language, Music, Scots, Welsh 1 Comment

Yn Chruinnaght

At the moment I’m in the Isle of Man for Yn Chruinnaght (‘the gathering’), the Manx National and Inter-Celtic Festival. Yesterday I heard some Scottish Gaelic and odd bits of Manx at a fantastic concert featuring Capercaille and a bunch of local musicians (David Kilgallon and Some Thoroughly Nice Folk), and expect to hear all […]

Also posted in Breton, Cornish, Irish, Language, Manx, Travel 4 Comments

Pride

I’m often asked to translate words and phrases into various languages. Without any context this is particular challenging as a word in English might have more than one possible translations in another language. The other day, for example, I was asked to translate “Scottish Pride” into Scots and Scottish Gaelic. The Scots version is easy, […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Language, Words and phrases 4 Comments

The worm that turned

While working in my garden this afternoon I dug up lots of worms, so I thought it might be interesting to find out more about the word worm. Meanings of worm (/wɜːm/ /wɝm/) include: – a member of the genus Lumbricus; a slender, creeping, naked, limbless animal, usually brown or reddish, with a soft body […]

Also posted in Danish, English, Etymology, Irish, Language, Latin, Norwegian, Proto-Indo-European, Swedish, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Levees and ganseys

Last night the words levee and gansey came up in conversation and while I’d heard both of them before, I wasn’t entirely sure of the meaning of the former, or the origins of the latter. I did know that a levee had something to with flood prevention and was something you drive your chevy to, […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Norwegian, Old Norse, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 8 Comments

Christmas

Nadolig Llawen Joyeux Noël 聖誕快樂 Nollaig shona doibh ¡Feliz Navidad! Nollick Ghennal Bo Nadal Nollaig chridheil メリークリスマス Buon Natale Frohe Weihnachten Bon Nadal Veselé vánoce and Merry Christmas!

Also posted in Chinese, Czech, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language, Manx, Spanish, Welsh 18 Comments

Colds, streams and rivers

It’s rather cold here at the moment with daytime temperatures not much above freezing, and nighttime dropping to -10°C (14°F) or even -20°C (-4°F) in places. As a result, some of the snow that fell last week has frozen solid and been trampled down on pavements and ungritted back streets making them decidedly icey and […]

Also posted in Chinese, Czech, English, Etymology, French, German, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Manx, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments

Twndis

Twndis ['tʊmdɪs] (nm, pl: twndisau) = funnel – also twnffat ['tʊmfat] I discovered the Welsh words twndis and twnffat last night. I’m not sure why the subject of funnels came up in conversation, but these words particularly appealed to me, especially the latter. This morning I found out that the word tundish is used for […]

Also posted in Breton, English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments