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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 1014

Tha Ruairidh MacIlleathain air ais le Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh na seachdain sa. Litir àireamh 1014.

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Litir 1014: Alasdair MacIlleMhìcheil agus Coimisean Napier (2)

Nuair a bha mi ann an Uibhist turas, chuala mi beul-aithris gun robh uaireigin na h-eileanan ris an canar Heisgeir ceangailte ri Uibhist a Tuath. A-nise, tha caolas mòr ann eadar taobh an iar Uibhist a Tuath agus Heisgeir.

Tha cunntas mu na h-eileanan sin aig Alasdair MacIlleMhìcheil ann an aithisg Choimisean Napier. Chuir e trì ainmean Gàidhlig orra – Heisgeir, Teisgeir agus Aoisgeir. Agus sgrìobh e gur e an treas ainm sin am fear as ciallaiche. Aoisgeir – isthmus rock. Tha am facal aoidh aithnichte airson tairbeart no dòirlinn.

Sgrìobh MacIlleMhìcheil gun robh aoidh ann uaireigin a bha a’ ceangal Heisgeir ri Uibhist a Tuath. Mean air mhean, dh’fhalbh an talamh gu bhith nam fadhlaichean. Dh’fhalbh na fadhlaichean agus an uair sin bha caolas eu-domhainn ann (le grunnd gainmhich). Agus bha comas aig daoine ri linn MhicIlleMhìcheil an fheadhainn mu dheireadh a choisich a-null ʼs a-nall ainmeachadh – agus feadhainn a chaidh a bhàthadh air an turas a-null cuideachd.

Bidh cuid de sgoilearan ainmean-àite a’ cur teagamh anns an argamaid aig MacIlleMhìcheil, ach cha robh an Liosach deiseil aige sin. Sgrìobh e cuideachd gur e aoidh bunait ainm eilein a tha cho ainmeil ri gin ann an Alba – Ì no Ì Chaluim Chille. Bha e dhen bheachd gur e Aoidh Chaluim Chille a bh’ air an eilean mar ainm aig aon àm. Bha e a’ cumail a-mach gun robh e follaiseach do dhuine sam bith a bheireadh sùil air gun robh Ì uaireigin ceangailte ri Muile, agus aoidh eatarra. 

Bhiodh e doirbh a dhol às àicheadh sin gu tur. Tha mi air seòladh dà thuras tro Chaolas Ì agus tha e gu math eu-domhainn, le oitirean is sruthan a bhios a’ gluasad fad na h-ùine oir tha an grunnd air a dhèanamh de ghainmheach.

Agus tha ceangal ann eadar Ì agus Heisgeir. Sgrìobh MacIlleMhìcheil gur e fìor ainm eilean mòr Heisgeir (gu fìrinneach tha trì eileanan ann a tha ceangailte ri chèile le fadhlaichean) Heisgeir nan Cailleach ‘Heisgeir of the Nuns’. Bha uaireigin coimhearsnachd de chailleachan-dubha – a bha co-cheangailte ri Eilean Ì – a’ fuireach ann. Gu siar air an eilean, thar caolas, tha eilean eile, far a bheil taigh-solais. Ged as e Siolaigh a th’ air an-diugh, ʼs e Heisgeir nam Manach ‘Heisgeir of the Monks’ a bh’ air uaireigin. ʼS e sin as coireach gur e Na h-Eileanan Monach no Monach Isles a th’ air an àite seo mar ainm cuideachd.

Tha MacIlleMhìcheil ag innse seann naidheachd mu Heisgeir. Air latha samhraidh o chionn fhada, chaidh grunn de mhuinntir an eilein gu ruige Siolaigh airson caoraich a rùsgadh. Chuir na fir na boireannaich air tìr ann an Siolaigh. Dh’fhalbh na fir an uair sin gu sgeir airson ròin a shealg. Ge-tà, cha do cheangail iad an eathar mar bu chòir agus dh’fhalbh i leis a’ ghaoith ʼs leis an t-sruth.

Cha robh bàta aig na boireannaich airson na fir a shàbhaladh agus bha a’ mhuir a’ lìonadh. Bha na boireannaich ann an Siolaigh ag èigheachd agus chuala boireannach eile air Heisgeir fhèin iad. Rinn an tè sin spàirn airson eathar a tharraing sìos an cladach. Chuir i air bhog sa chaolas i. Ach cha robh i luath gu leòr. Chaidh na fir a sguabadh far na sgeire le tuinn mhòra a’ Chuain Siar. Bha am mnathan gan coimhead ach cha b’ urrainn dhaibh dad a dhèanamh airson an sàbhaladh.

Faclan na Litreach

Faclan na Litreach: caolas: channel, strait; Alasdair MacIlleMhìcheil: Alexander Carmichael; Liosach: native of Lismore; Ì no Ì Chaluim Chille: Iona; cailleachan-dubha: nuns; Siolaigh: Shillay; spàirn: struggle.

Abairtean na Litreach

Abairtean na Litreach: chuala mi beul-aithris gun robh uaireigin na h-eileanan ris an canar Heisgeir ceangailte ri Uibhist a Tuath: I heard oral tradition that at one time the islands called Heisgeir were connected to North Uist; mean air mhean, dh’fhalbh an talamh gu bhith nam fadhlaichean: gradually, the land changed to be sea-fords; dh’fhalbh na fadhlaichean: the sea-fords disappeared; bha caolas eu-domhainn ann (le grunnd gainmhich): there was a shallow strait there (with a sandy bottom); bha comas aig daoine ri linn X an fheadhainn mu dheireadh a choisich a-null ʼs a-nall ainmeachadh: people had the ability in X’s time to name the last ones to walk there and back; a chaidh a bhàthadh: who were drowned; gur e aoidh bunait ainm eilein a tha cho ainmeil ri gin ann an Alba: that aoidh is the basis of the name of an island that is as famous as any in Scotland; gun robh e follaiseach do dhuine sam bith a bheireadh sùil air: that it was obvious to anybody that would look at it; gun robh Ì uaireigin ceangailte ri Muile: that Iona was at one time connected to Mull; bhiodh e doirbh a dhol às àicheadh sin gu tur: it would be difficult to entirely deny that; eu-domhainn, le oitirean is sruthan a bhios a’ gluasad fad na h-ùine: shallow, with sandbanks and channels that are constantly shifting; air latha samhraidh o chionn fhada: on a summer’s day a long time ago; airson caoraich a rùsgadh: to shear sheep; gu sgeir airson ròin a shealg: to a skerry to hunt seals; cha do cheangail iad an eathar mar bu chòir: they didn’t tie up their boat as they should; bha a’ mhuir a’ lìonadh: the tide was rising [‘the sea was filling’]; chaidh na fir a sguabadh far na sgeire le tuinn mhòra a’ Chuain Siar: the men were swept from the skerry by great Atlantic waves; airson an sàbhaladh: to save them.

Puing-chànain na Litreach

Puing-chànain na Litreach: Tha am facal aoidh aithnichte airson tairbeart no dòirlinn: the word aoidh is known for an isthmus. Aoidh is sometimes given as ùidh. It is considered to be a loan-word, originating in the Old Norse eið ‘isthmus, neck of land’. Tairbeart and dòirlinn are words of Gaelic origin which can also stand for an isthmus.

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: thar caolas: across a channel/strait.

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