Eeee ee

The title of this post is not a typo, but is in fact the third person singular feminine form of the future tense of the verb to eat (ee [i:]) in Manx, or in other words means “She will eat”. I came across it while reading about the Manx language the other day and as well as grabbing my attention, it also made me wonder whether there are many other words or phrases with so many vowels in sequence in Manx or other languages.

Here are few other Manx phrases I put together containing many e’s:

  • Eeee ee eeym – She will eat butter
  • T’ee gee eeym bwee – She’s eating yellow butter
  • Eeee ee nhee erbee – she’ll eat anything
  • O Yee! Eeee ee eeym bwee eeagh lhee – Oh God! She’ll eat edible yellow butter with her
  • Dee mee eeym bwee – I ate yellow butter
  • Eeym eeym bwee – I’ll eat yellow butter
  • Bee’m gee ee bwee lhee – I’ll be eating yellow butter with her

As double letters are quite common in Manx, I’m sure other sentences containing lots of o’s or a’s could be constructed, for example: Soo coo doo lhoo (The black dog sucked a pole).

Can you think of any similarly vowel-rich sentences in other languages?

This entry was posted in Language, Manx.

19 Responses to Eeee ee

  1. Abbie says:

    How is “eeee ee” pronounced?

  2. Seumas says:

    Ah the beauty of Scottish Gaelic’s orthography. Once you know the rules, it makes perfect sense.

    Ithidh i im – she will eat butter
    Tha i ag ith im buidhe – she’s eating yellow butter


    Much less confusing

  3. Dennis King says:

    “Ithidh i im” in normal Scottish Gaelic orthography. Try Hawaiian for vowels!

  4. Simon says:

    Abbie – it sounds like the letter e said three times e-e-e, with a slight emphasis on the first syllable.

  5. michael farris says:

    You mean (roughly) [‘i: i: i:]???

  6. Miika says:

    Wow this is really cool 😮 I didn’t know that there are languages with more than 2 same letter combined. Some words of northern Sami were written with 3 same consonants (bussse = bus or Ellle (a name)) but they’re written with only 2 consonants nowadays.

    I can think of a few words in Finnish that are written with three vowels in a row but there’s always an apostrophe between the second and the third vowel.

    e.g. vaa’alla ; the singular adessive form of “vaaka” (=scale).

    Here’s two sentence with a lot of ‘ä’s

    Lääkäri määräsi väärät päänsärkylääkkeet (The doctor commanded you to take the wrong painkillers for headache)

    Älä määrää väärää määrää, äläkä häärääkää (Don’t command (me) to take the wrong amount, and don’t fuss either.

  7. Simon says:

    Michael – it’s more like [‘i: i i:]

  8. Paul S says:

    Just out of interest, how is *Sc.Gael.) “Ithidh i” pronounced?

  9. Ray says:

    “Eu ia ir” means “I was going to go” in Portuguese. You could make this longer like with “…e eu ia ir a avião” which means, “…and I was going to go to the airplane.”

  10. Dennis King says:

    The -th- in ScG “ith” is an ich-laut /ç/… or whatever the going transcription is. Modern Irish provides even more consonants:

    Íosfaidh sí im.

  11. Tommy says:

    Ray – and then when the final -r is not really pronounced in some Portuguese dialects, its almost completely vowels like “eh-u ee-uh ee”

  12. Trond Engen says:

    In Norwegian I can easily produce this:
    ‘Å eie ei øy i ei å’ “To own an island in a small river”

    Resorting to dialect writing, here’s a classic dialogue from Trøndelag, Norway (two schoolkids meeting):

    – Æ e i a, æ.
    – Å, æ e i a, æ å

    – I am in ‘a’, I “Me, I’m in ‘a'”
    – Oh, I am in ‘a’, I too “Oh, I’m in ‘a’, too.”

    In almost agglutinating (rural/colloquial) Eastern Norwegian:

    gave-she-her/itFEM-her/itFEM-[interrogative intensifier]?
    “Did she give her it, then?”

    Not asking for the whole object, you can do this:

    gave-she-her/itFEM-of-her/itFEM-[interrogative intensifier]?
    “Did she give her (some) of it, then?”

    I could now add even a seventh a, in the available direct object slot between number three and four. The final prepositional phrase is then understood as a reference to the vessel:

    “Did she give her it from it, then” (e.g. the soupFEM from the panFEM)

    I’ll admit that, although perfectly grammatical, neither of these are likely to occur. The indirect object slot, the third a, is not that much used in the colloquial, being replaced by a prepositional phrase (in this case te-a “to her”) before the other prepositional phrase a-a “of her”. This would be even more likely here than if some of the pronouns were masculine and neuter.

    It would also take some priming to create a context where the latter question could rise naturally with both the soup and the pan replaced by pronouns.

  13. John Ross says:

    (I had a Manx girlfriend many years ago, no jokes please). Found on Futility Closet, this Icelandic sentence: “Barbara Ara bar Ara araba bara rabbabara.” Webmaster Greg Ross points out that this, “besides being fun to say, is spelled with only three letters. It means “Barbara, daughter of Ari, brought only rhubarb to Ari the Arab.”

  14. BG says:

    I similar idea to this is the Latin sentence:

    “malo; malo, malo; malo.”

    “I would rather be in an apple tree than a bad person in a bad situation.”

    One malo means I would rather (from malle), two are substantive uses (one masculine, one neuter) of the adjective malus (bad), and finally malus can mean apple or apple tree. The verb be is implied and there you have it. This is why I love Latin so much: the neat conciseness of something so complicated in English (and many other languages).

  15. TJ says:

    in Arabic I don’t remember rich sentences in vowels, but, I remember the opposite. There is an improvised speech for a holy man, that contained no “A” (according to Arabic orthography of course). Also, there is another speech that contained no dotted letters.

  16. Imbecilica says:

    Here’s a passage in Vietnamese with a lot of the Vietnamese vowel i/y /ɪ/.

    Em Duy bị chị Vi kêu quỳ vì Duy lì không lì xì. Tuy Duy lì chị Vi lo từ li từ tí vì thương em Duy. Chị Chi qua Mỹ, Bỉ và Phi vui cười hí hí trong khi em Duy khóc hi hi vì bị quỳ. Chị Vi quý cái ly Bỉ thì giữ kỹ. Em Duy hỏi chi chị quý cái ly tỉ mỉ. Chị Vi thì bĩ, ly quý bị bể chị Vi trị em Duy. Chị Vi dùng bể tí ti để gáp lại ly. Tuy ý chỉ chăm chỉ, vì quá ỷ và ít kỹ chị phi lý trị em Duy may y nỉ y ni lông. Em Duy vì thấy chị y khinh bỉ khinh khi đi gáp ly lại cho chi. Vì vậy, chị Vi hết coi khi em Duy lại ghi ý bằng bì bằng bí. Tuy em Duy quỵ, chị Vi thì vị kỷ vì kỳ đi li dị y thành con đỉ quỷ.

    Little Duy was forced to kneel by his big sister Vi because he was naughty. Though he is naughty sister Vi looks after him with much love. Sister Chi went to the US, Belgium and Africa and is enjoying herself whilst little Duy is crying from being forced to kneel. Sister Vi treasures a Belgium made (drinking) glass and looks after it carefully. Little Duy asked sister Vi why she treasured the intricate glass. Sister Vi was unlucky, the glass shattered so she scorned little Duy. Sister Vi used tiny bellows to piece the glass together. Though her intention was to persist, because of her reliance on it and because of her selfishness she forced little Duy to sew some wool and nylon clothing. Because little Duy saw his sister scorning and looking down upon him he went to piece together the glass. Because of this, sister Vi no longer judged little Duy and realised her intentions with shredded pork and pumpkin. Though little Duy collapsed, sister Vi with her selfishness and weirdness went to divorce him and became a mad prostitute.

  17. b_jonas says:

    There’s that French sentence “En haut ou en bas?” which has lots of wowels and only one consonant.

  18. Vacker says:

    This is not exactly related, but it does pertain to repitive language that at first seems nonsensical. It is the grammatical English sentence, Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

    Wikipedia has a good article on it.

  19. Fred says:

    In French, the sentence “là où eux ont eu un houx en haut et ont hurlé” contains 12 consecutive vowels when it is pronounced. /lauøõyœ~uɑ~oeõyʁle/ (œ~ = nasal œ and ɑ~ = nasal ɑ).

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