Archive for the Category: Manx

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, Norwegian, Old Norse, Proto-Indo-European, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases 8 Comments


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, Scottish Gaelic, 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, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 9 Comments


Also posted in Breton, Cornish, English, Etymology, French, German, Irish, Language, Latin, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments

Eastáit na Sí

An interesting Irish expression I came across recently is Eastáit na Sí (“Fairy Estates”), which are known as Ghost Estates in English. These are housing estates full of empty houses that nobody can afford thanks to the disappearance of the Celtic Tiger. The Irish version refers to the Sí (fairies or little people) from Irish […]

Also posted in Cornish, English, Etymology, French, Irish, Language, Latin, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh 4 Comments

Cennin Pedr

Yesterday was St David’s Day (Dydd Gŵyl Dewi), a day when many Welsh people wear daffodils (cennin Pedr) in honour of their patron saint. The daffodil (cenhinen Bedr) is one of the national symbols of Wales, along with the leek (cenhinen), and the Welsh name for daffodil means “Peter’s leek”. The leek has been a […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Greek, Irish, Language, Latin, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Words and phrases 7 Comments

Leaght y Ghaaue

Last night I went to a fascinating lecture in Manx about Venice which covered the city’s history, architecture, transport and much more. It was given by Bob Carswell, a Manx speaker, translator, poet and broadcaster who regularly talks with great enthusiasm about a wide range of topics on his radio programme, Claare ny Gael. The […]

Also posted in English, Italian, Language 18 Comments

Y Cooish

I’m currently in the Isle of Man for the Cooish, a festival of Manx language and traditional music from the Isle of Man, Ireland and Scotland. Last night I went to an excellent concert in Peel which included the Arrane son Mannin (Song for Man) competition, and there’s a lecture in Manx (Leaght y Ghaaue) […]

Also posted in Irish, Language, Music, Scottish Gaelic, Travel 4 Comments

Word of the day – skeet

Skeet, which apparently comes from Old Icelandic, is a word you’re likely to hear frequently in the Isle of Man. It’s means gossip, more or less. People will ask you, “Got any skeet (at you)?” and will try to find out all about who you’ve seen, where they were and what they were doing, who […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 7 Comments

More Manx

I spoke quite a lot of Manx yesterday and heard even more at a regular get-together of Manx speakers which happens on Tuesday afternoons in Douglas. About nine or ten people turned up and we spoke in Manx for an hour or so. I occasionally lapsed into English, Welsh or Irish when I couldn’t think […]

Also posted in Language 9 Comments
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