Gaeilgear an BBC
Caibidil 10 de dhráma idirlín d''fhoghlaimeoirí na Gaeilge (meán-leibhéal) - 20 caibidil. Scríofa ag Pól Ó Muirí. Acmhainní breise i bpáirt le hIontaobhas Ultach.
Aimsir, foighid, bhéarfaidh sé an seilide go hIarúsailéim Time and patience would bring the snail to Jerusalem.
This word means stubborn, but not in a good way. The closest English gets to it is the word ‘obdurate’. A person who is dáigh tends to take an unyielding, impenetrable, unreasoning, mulish stand on almost anything and will not change his or her mind. The Ulster-Scots word ‘thran’ captures this state of mind exactly. Allowing the narrator of these monologues to use the word dáigh about himself, and to use it with an air of pride, allows him to reveal much more about his character than he knows. When he says Is duine dáigh mise, he believes he is saying that he is a stubborn, determined person. The rest of us know that he is saying that he is an obdurate, unreasonable person.
If he had more self-awareness, he would have said that he was righin, which, like the English word ‘stubborn’ can have both positive and negative connotations:
Is duine righin mé – I am an obstinate, tenacious person
Bí righin is rachaidh leat – Be steadfast and you will succeed (proverb)
Ceanndána – headstrong. Compound word. Note that the ‘d’ has not been aspirated (because of the ‘n’. It’s to do with the position of the tongue in the mouth)
Ramhar sa réasún – determined, and also, in the Hiberno-English phrase, thick (= stubborn, thran), but also carrying elements of the English use of ‘thick’ as stupid. Ramhar you may know to mean ‘fat’, but bainne ramhar is thick or curdled milk.
2. Idioms with Tabhair
Tugann siad cúl a gcinn leis an tionscadal – They turn their backs on the project (literally, the backs of their heads)
Thug sé cúl a chinn liom – He turned his back on me
Ní thabharfaidh mé cúl mo chinn leo – I won’t turn my back on them
Tugann siad droim láimhe leis an obair – They reject the work
Droim láimhe is the back of the hand. To give someone the back of your hand evokes the physical gesture of rejecting something or somebody.
Droim mo láimhe leat – Literally ‘The back of my hand to you’, means something along the lines of “I want nothing to do with you, or whatever you are proposing’.
Tugann tú cluas le héisteacht dom – You listen to me
The simplest way of saying ‘You listen to me’ is Éisteann tú liom, but the other phrase is much more emphatic.
Thug siad cluas le héisteacht dom – They listened to me / They paid me close attention
Tugann tú comhairle dom – You advise me/ You give me advice
3. Double your word power
a. mífhoighdeach - impatient
In the notes to Scene 9 we saw how the negative particle ‘éa-’ could be used. Another, more common way of turning a word into its opposite is by prefixing the particle ‘mí-’. Scene 9 has the word mífhoighdeach, impatient, it is made up of the word foighdeach, patient, and a negative particle. Here are some other examples:
míbhuntáiste – disadvantage
míchompordach – uncomfortable
mídhílis – disloyal
mídhleathach – illegal
mífholláin – unhealthy
mí-iompar – bad behaviour
mí-ionraic – dishonest
mínádúrtha – unnatural
mírialta – irregular
míshásta – dissatisfied
míshuaimhneach - uneasy
Note that ‘mí-’ aspirates the following word
b. dochloíte - invincible
Tá tú dochloíte – You are invincible
This is again made up of a particle and a word. Again, the word is aspirated. In this case, the particle ‘do-’ means ‘impossible to’, or ‘extremely difficult to’. The word cloíte derives from the verb cloígh meaning defeat. Some other examples:
dodhéanta – impossible to do, impracticable (from the verb déan)
do-ite – inedible (from the verb ith)
dochreidte – unbelievable (from the verb creid)
doscaoilte – impossible to release (from the verb scaoil)
4. Some idioms
Éiríonn siad feargach – they get angry
The word éirigh, as you know, means rise or get up. It also has a secondary meaning of getting or becoming:
D’éirigh mé ar a hocht a chlog – I got up at eight o’clock
D’éirigh mé dú-dóite – I became bored
Tá mé ag éirí feargach – I’m getting angry
Tá mé ag éirí mífhoighdeach – I am becoming impatient
Tá tú ag éirí mór, beannú ort – You’re getting big, bless you
Tá an scéal ag éirí níos measa – Things are getting worse
You will remember from Go n-éirí an bóthar leat in Scene 4, that another idiom with éirigh involves the preposition le:
Níor éirigh leo – They did not succeed
We have another example here in Scene 10:
Tá ag éirí liom – I am succeeding
Is é éan na mochéirí a ithfeas an chruimh – The early bird will eat the worm (proverb)
Má tá clú na mochéirí ort, is féidir codladh go meán lae – If you have the reputation for early rising you can lie till noon (proverb)
Is fearr an t-ádh ná an mochéirí – Luck is better than early rising (proverb)
(Note: mocheirí can be considered to be either masculine or feminine)
Bríd Ní Mhochéirí, who had second sight, was the Biddy Early of Yeats’ poems.
Bás na bpuisíní orthu – May they die like kittens
Unwanted kittens, you will remember from one of Séamus Heaney’s poems, and if you did not already know, are drowned in a bucket.
Irish is rich in curses, but they seem to have gone out of fashion. Here are some that are worth reviving:
Luí gan éirí chugat – May you lie down and never get up
Croch ard lá gaoithe chugat – (may you have) A high hanging on a windy day
Báitheadh is múchadh ort – May you be drowned and smothered
Droch-chríoch ort – A bad end to you
Imeacht gan teacht ort – May you go away and never return
Titim gan éirí ort – May you fall and never get up
Cosa circe fút agus iad briste fút – A hen’s legs under you and them broken
Seasamh fada ar chosa laga chugat – (may you have) A long stand on weak legs
Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat – May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat
Tuilleadh tubaiste ort – More misfortune on you
Mo chuid tubaiste ort – May you have all my misfortune
Caor thine ort – may you be struck by a thunderbolt
Do chraiceann ag an diabhal – May the devil have your skin
Díth agus donas ort – May you have want and hardship
Go mba seacht measa thú bliain ó inniu – May you be seven times worse off a year from today
Nach raibh rath nó bláth ort – May you have neither luck nor prosperity
Scrios lom ort – Utter destruction on you
Three that need some exploration;
Marbhfháisc ort – A death-binding on you. This was a cloth tied around the head of a corpse to keep the jaw closed. It’s a fairly serious curse, and not to be used lightly
Scread maidine ort – The literal meaning of scread maidine is a morning scream. It also means the dawn. It has been suggested that the curse is a wish that you be discovered dead in the morning.
Bás gan sagart chugat – May you die without a priest. This, of course, is a curse that works only with Catholics and High Anglicans. For those of other denominations and none it would be regarded as a blessing.
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