When someone asks you ‘Ciamar a tha thu?’ (How are you?) in Scottish Gaelic, the standard answer is ‘(Tha mi) gu math’ (I’m fine). An interesting alternative I learnt today is ‘Tha mi sgoinneil’ [ha mi sgɤn̪ˠʲal]

The word sgoinneil means ‘trim, well-made; careful; cool, groovy’ according to Am Faclair Beag and ‘careful, heedful; attentive; efficacious, producing a good effect; neat, trim, tidy; decent, tasteful; energetic, active, bustling.’ according to Am Faclair Dwelly.

I just like the sound of it and will try to fit it into my Gaelic conversations.

Related words include:

  • neo-sgoinneil = flimsy; drabbish; idle; lacking in bodily vigour; sluggish
  • sgoinnear = heedful
  • mì-sgoinneil = inactive, wanting energy; silly, awkward; careless, inattentive, causing indifference or disdain; incorrect.
This entry was posted in English, Language, Scottish Gaelic, Words and phrases.

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