Sometimes a streetsign can provide a question to which this obsessive-compulsive-type must strive for an answer.
Did you know that the Irish translation of Drury Street is “Bóthar Beag”, literally translates as ‘Little Road’? Upto Saturday, I didn’t but it appears that I am not alone.
“Bóthar Beag” is confirmed by Logainm.ie which outlines previous names of Little Boater Lane; Boater Lane; Little Booter Lane; Little Butter Lane; and Drury Lane – but I have not found a reason for Little Road.
It is on that ‘to find out more’ list.
“Little Butter Lane 1640 (Ir. Builder 15.1.1896), 163 (de Gomme), 1720 (Ancient records, vii, 128, 129), 1728 (Brooking), 1735-6 (Ancient records, viii, 201), 1753 (Universal Advertiser 10.2.1753). Little Boater Lane 1756 (Rocque)”
“(South Great George’s St E.). . Little Boater Lane 1756 (Rocque). Drury Street 1759 (Universal Advertiser 29.12.1759). Boater Lane (Little) 1766 (Harris). Little Boater Lane 1773 (Scalé). Little Booter Lane 1776 (SNL 21.10.1776). Drury Lane 1811 (Campbell map), 1824 (Pigot), 1836 (Ancient records, xix, 256), 1843, 1847 (OS).”
I think that this is the third blog post hereabouts on the simple Thank You – Céad Míle Fáilte.
This one started when I was heading over town for lunch one day last month. I spotted two gents standing next to the ‘Céad Mile Fáilte’ sign, which had not been there the day before.
I was walking past but backtracked a bit to advise them of the missing fada. Their English accents suggested that they were not well versed in the Irish language. Their expressions when I tried to explain the elongated sound ‘meee-le’ needing a fada suggested that they had not much interest in becoming well versed.
I made matters as simple as I could and said the mark over the ‘a’ on the first line ought also to be over the ‘I’. They had the fada in the van and my intervention avoided its return, unused, to UK.
The following day, passers-by may well have been impressed with Holland & Barret promoting Gaeilge – and error free.
My work there is done.
I received this photo a short while ago from POF.
I spotted the obvious and was educated as to the not so obvious (to some).
I knew that ‘Chapel’ was not the Irish translation of ‘Chapel’ – ‘Séipéal is the correct word.
I also knew that adjectives generally follow the noun in Irish but learnt that ‘sean’ (as in ‘old’) is one of the exceptions.
Oldchapel is translated as ‘An Seanséipéal’ on logainm.ie.
How ‘Chapel Sean’ got through Cork County Council and/or N.R.A.? Your guess is as good as mine.
Logainm.ie has Ballard in Co. Clare translated as An Baile Ard, the High Town.
Logainm does not have any suggestion for ‘Soghmas’ or ‘Soghmais’. Neither does Foclóir.ie.
Dúchas.ie is a website/database of translation of surnames and it does not have any name beginning with ‘Sog’ or ‘tSog’.
Yet the sign on Ballard Road in Milltown Malbay reads Bóthar an tSoghmais.
This is another puzzle which may require a return visit to Milltown Malbay and enquiring of the local publicans – all in the spirit of research…..
Logainm.ie has details on its website of the translation of 21 different High Street locations in 12 separate counties. All the translations are generally consistent – An tSráid Ard. One is An tSráid Mhór which has been subject of a different blog post.
There is a stray fada in Dunmanway and in Cork city but generally An tSráid Ard is what I have seen.
A few months back, we passed through Dunmore in Co. Galway and I had to stop to photograph their own High St.
At first, I thought it may be a trick of translation similar to Listowel but neither ainm.ie or dúchas.ie have a record of a family name “Muchtar”.
Resorting to dictionaries Foclóir.ie, Teaglann.ie and Pota Focal all drew blanks – and not a suggestion as to an alternative.
My best guess, and completely without substantiation, is that it may have set out as ‘Uachtar’ meaning ‘top’. However somewhere between the spoken word and the sign-maker, ‘Ua’ became ‘Mu’.
As for the tuiseal ginideach, they would not be the first or last to not get their head around it – so did it start verbally as An tSráid Uachtair and end up as Sráid Muchtar?
Maybe a return visit is required…
A while back, I did wonder as to the translation on the street signs at Pine Street.
Pádraig imparted knowledge as to ‘Paghan’ being translation of the surname Payne, and also possibly Pine.
I was reminded of this recently when I spotted Payne Lane in Athlone.
Logainm does not agree and believes that the street name derives from the tree – Sráid na Giúise. As the street was renamed Pine Street, it is quite probable that buildings rather than trees were prominent and so Pine surname is a more likely source than a tree.
For now, need to be alert as to mention of or reference to Payne’s or Pine’s in Cork, pre-early nineteenth century.
I had ‘tosaigh’ filed away in the conversational Irish part of my brain as meaning ‘start’, as in commence something.
I spotted this recently on College Road and was puzzled. Tearma.ie has now confirmed that ‘Doras Tosaigh’ is indeed ‘Front Door’ and that ‘tosaigh’ has a range of alternative uses including initial, forward and opening.
It is a bad day that I do not learn something new…..
My schooldays finished over 30 years ago but the only word I recall ever being taught in Irish for ‘hospital’ was ‘ospidéal’.
On Monday, I was cycling to collect our 9-year old from school and spotted this plaque at St. Finbarr’s Hospital on Douglas Road. It took a while to register but then came the eureka moment when I remembered last year a discussion as to ‘Othar’, meaning a patient.
So, just as ‘Uachtarlann’ is a ‘creamery’ or more literally, ‘Cream Building;’ Leabhlarlann’ is ‘library’ (book building), and ‘marclann’ a ‘stable’, so ‘Otharlann’ is a ‘house of patients’.
The CUH uses ‘Ospidéal’ and not ‘Otharlann’ so maybe ‘Otharlann’ is falling out of use in favour of English-ised Irish.
That very morning the same 9-year old ‘corrected’ my use of ‘gluaisteán’ for ‘car’, saying that ‘carr’ was correct. It is interesting to note that Focloir.ie lists ‘carr’ ahead of ‘gluaisteán’ and also lists ‘ospidéal’ ahead of ‘otharlann’.
After two years of conversational Irish class, I have now realised that language is not mathematical; that it does not always translates exactly; and that it is forever changing and growing.
Continuing my cycle, I wondered as to how many other Irish words did I once know, that have now been replaced by an English-ised Irish word. However many there might be, I have not been able to recall another but suspect there are quite a few.
The typesetter decided that:
‘Féach i dhá treoanna’ - (my best effort at translation)
would not fit – and hoped that many would not care or even notice.
Seemingly it is one twelfth of a Ploughland – should that be of assistance.
There I was, back in June, minding my own business when the latest update came through from the West Cork History blog. The title was about Gneeve, a new word to me.
Reading the blog, it appeared to be a form of classification of land based upon what the land could bear in terms of output.
This got me thinking of Gneeveguilla and prompted my first visit to Gníomh go Leith (Gneeve and a half).
When on holidays, I was reading The Tailor – translation of recordings with Tim Buckley of Tailor & Antsy fame and on the first page he mentions ‘Gneeve’.
I might as well share the knowledge.
It appears that there is a campaign to promote Peig.
I am biased as having enjoyed the book (in English) but nearly everyone of my vintage does not have a positive memory of reading Péig in school.
The crafts people obviously think there is a market among Peig admirers.
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