Cream and presidents
Today’s word, uachtar ['uəxtˠəɾˠ], means “top, upper part, cream or surface (of water)” in Irish. It is used in such expressions as:
- an lámh in uachtar a fháil (ar dhuine) – to get the upper hand (over sb)
- uachtar reoite – icecream, lit. “frozen cream”
- uachtar coipthe (whipped cream) – coipthe is normally used to refer to a choppy sea.
Uachtar comes from the Old Irish úachtar or ochtar, which have the Proto-Indo-European root *eu@g or ve@g (to rise, increase). The Irish word uasal (noble) probably comes from the same root, as do the Welsh uchel and the Breton uhel, both of which mean “high” [Source].
Other words containing the root uachtar include:
- uachtarach – upper, top, superior
- uachtarán – president, superior
- uachtaránacht – presidency, authority
- uachtarlann – creamery
- uachtarúil – creamy
The President of Ireland, an Uachtarán na hÉíreann, is currently here at Oideas Gael studying Irish in the same class as me.