The Parameters of ‘Pudding’ (Putóg et al.)

Posted on 21. Aug, 2014 by in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

So I thought I had the parameters of pudding pretty well parsed (putóg, maróg, milseog, all potentially in contrast to “custard,” a word borrowed as is from English), when I chanced upon yet another bit of “pudding” vocabulary.  I’ll leave it for a bit of cliff-hanger at the end of this blog.

Where to begin?

I think the Irish language learner is most likely to encounter “putóg” first, since it’s often part of the typical Irish B & B breakfast.  Yes (do dhaoine ó Mheiriceá Thuaidh atá fiosrach faoi “pudding” mar chuid den bhricfeasta), pudding for breakfast.  There are two types of puddings served at breakfast, black pudding (putóg dhubh) and white pudding (putóg bhán).  And no, they have nothing to do with “seacláid” and “fanaile.”   Both are more or less like sausage, although sausages, as such, are “ispíní.”  “Black pudding” can also be described as “blood sausage,” although the term “blood sausage” is not generally used in the UK or Ireland for the native product.  The main ingredients of “white pudding” (putóg bhán) are pork scraps, suet, bread, and oatmeal, fitted into a sausage casing.  Both are usually fried and served with the “bricfeasta traidisiúnta.”

Next, I think the typical learner would encounter the word “milseog” (pudding as “dessert” in general, not used in American English; as for Canadian — níl a fhios agam, Ceanadach ar bith anseo?).  I seem to recall learning words like “uachtar reoite,” “pióg,” and “císte” before actually learning the general word for these kinds of sweet foods.   Most Americans would simply translate “milseog” as “dessert,” not “pudding.”  But in various Irish textbooks (as well as in real life, we hope), we see menus in Irish, with “milseoga” as a category, sometimes translated as “pudding.”  Most of the desserts I recall seeing are not actual “puddings” as such; more likely they are cístí, pióga, toirtíní, or uachtar reoite.

American learners of Irish should always keep in mind that you may be offered soft-boiled eggs (uibheacha bogbhruite) for your “tea” and “cake” for your “pudding.”  Ní hionann an Béarla ar gach taobh den “lochán”!

In general, I think kids tend to learn the specific items before starting to learn generic or umbrella terms.  So it seems natural for adults to also learn some of the specific items before learning the general term.    Hmm, ábhar smaointe ansin, is dócha.

I see virtually no use of the word “milseog” to indicate particular flavors or types of sweet puddings, so I think we can safely leave it as “dessert” (or “pudding” in the UK/Irish English sense).

Third in my list is “maróg,” usually used for sweet puddings and typically described with different styles.  Here are some of the typical flavors or types:

maróg aráin agus ime

maróg shamhraidh

maróg anlann taifí

maróg ríse

maróg Nollag (note the use of the genitive case of “Nollaig,” marked by the letter “i” being removed)

maróg rísíní

maróg bhiabhóige — what a fun word to say: MAHR-ohg VEE-uh-WOH-ig-yuh!

maróg gheire — dunno about this one, I always thought suet was more for birds.  How to pronounce it, regardless?  “YERzh-uh,” with  the “g” completely silent.

maróg úll na hEilvéise — hmmm, are the “apples” Swiss or is the pudding recipe “Swiss”?  And for that matter, are “Swiss rolls” any more Swiss than “danishes” are Danish?

And then, to top it all off, there’s “scoth na maróg” (the queen of puddings), using not the ordinary word for queen (banríon) but “scoth,” an intriguing word whose meanings include “flower” and “blossom” on the physical side and “pick,” “choice,” or the “best of ,” on the more figurative side.  A “scothscéil” is a top-notch story. ”  But a “scothchapall” is a medium-sized horse.  Ah, well, is iontach an teanga í!

Even this distinction of maróg vs. putóg seems to have come about relatively recently (which could be one or two hundred years ago), because the earliest versions of “maróg,” sometimes spelled “maróc” indicate a sausage, not a sweet dish.  And it can be a savoury dish, such as “maróg stéige agus duáin.”

Again, Americans might want to note that it’s only relatively recently that I’ve seen many references to “maróg sheacláide” in Irish, and so far none for “líomóid,” “imreog” (hint: based on the word “im,” butter) or “piostáis.”  Let alone “fluffernutter.”  Speaking of “fluffernutter,” I couldn’t resist passing on the fact that the “Pudding Shots” Facebook page has a recipe for “fluffernutter pudding” made with “vodca” (I bet you figured that out what that Irish word means).  Itear reoite iad –is é sin a rá ní óltar iad.  I’m a bit puzzled because the “oideas” (recipe) specifies “peanut butter vodka” and “marshmallow vodka,” agus níl a fhios agam cé na cineálacha vodca iad sin ar chor ar bith.  Tusa?  Ar aon chaoi, má tá suim agat ann, seo an nasc:

And anyway, back to more typical puddings, there’s also “Yorkshire pudding,” which seems to be “maróg” (.i. maróg Yorkshire) wherever I see it, even though it’s quite different from a sweet dessert.  As you probably know, it’s more pastry-like, resembling an American “popover,” and is typically served with roast beef.  “Yorkshire” stays the same in Irish, although there is an Irish word for “shire” (sír) and we do have “Eabhrac,” at least historically for the city of York (Eboracum and all that!).   So we have Yorkshire Theas, Yorkshire Thiar, and Yorkshire Thuaidh, as well as “gleanntáin Yorkshire” agus “brocairí Yorkshire.”   “Yorkshire-fog” though, isn’t actually named after Yorkshire in Irish, it’s called “féar an chinn bháin” (white-headed grass), akin to one of the alternate names of this plant, “tufted grass.”

And our final “pudding ” word, so we can put paid to this topics, is < drum roll > … inreachtán ‘Sea,  inreachtán.   It’s a sausage-type pudding and so far the only literary reference I see to it is in Aislinge Meic Con Glinne, in Middle Irish.  But somehow the word has made it into modern dictionaries (20th-century ones, at least), so presumably it has some relevance for our times.

Oh, and there’s also an inedible pudding out there, too, a nautical term (nautical terminology being a wonder unto itself).  That’s a protective padding made of ropes and used to prevent scraping against other vessels of jetties.  In Irish it’s “adhartán,” which also means cushion.  Hmm, perhaps calling it “pudding” is a variation of “padding”?

And then there are some pudding-like desserts that we don’t have time to discuss here: custard, traidhfil chustaird, crème brulée, and custard caramail, not to mention getting into “mousse,” which can be “mús” in Irish or remain in the original French, “mousse.”  Or desserts like “spíonánach,” “gruthrach,” and “crannachan,” the last being more Scottish than Irish, but of the same tradition.  Bhuel, tá an blag seo ag cur ocrais orm.  This blog is, dare I say it, pudding hunger on me, so I guess I’ll have to stop for now.  As for the “proof,” sin ábhar blag eileSGF – Róislín

Cá mbíonn tú ag obair?  Where do you work? (Workplace names in Irish)

Posted on 18. Aug, 2014 by in Irish Language

Cá mbím ag obair?  I mbád nó i mbanc nó i mbácús?  (Image:

Cá mbím ag obair? I mbád nó i mbanc nó i mbácús? (Image:

(le Róislín)

So the doctor works “san ospidéal” and sometimes “i gclinic.”  Let’s look at some more workplaces.  We’ll take some occupations from the previous blog (nasc thíos) and add a few new ones, some modern and a couple with a nod to “an t-am fadó.”  One, at least, is probably practiced more i gceantar na nAmanach, than anywhere else in the western world, these days.

This is another “cluiche meaitseála” blog, with the occupations given in the word bank and the workplaces listed below.  Freagraí thíos, as usual.

Banc Focal (na poist):  a) innealtóir, b) dochtúir, c) úmadóir, d) ealaíontóir, e) aisteoir, f) carbadóir, g) doirseoir, h) file, i) iascaire, j) báicéir

Na hÁiteanna Oibre (given with the typical preposition used, to show “urú” where applicable)

1. i mbád [ih mawd, silent "b"]

2. i stiúideo 

3. i gceardlann  [ig-YERD-lahn, as if it were one long word]

4. i mbácús [ih MAW-kooss]

5. in amharclann   

6. in otharlann [UH-hur-lann, silent "t"; and yes, there's some duplication to the sentence given in the introduction)

7. ag bun Mhainistir Tintern agus ag áiteanna áille eile

8. ar ármhá [erzh awr-waw OR awr-vaw, no "m" sound]  

9. ag óstán

10. i dtiúb Jefferies ; – )

Before we move on to the answers, did you notice how many of the workplaces end in the suffix “-lann” [lahn]?  As a noun, “lann” can mean “land,” “ground,” or, as we see here, “building.”  It’s a distant cousin of the Welsh word that some of you may recognize, “llan,” which these days is mostly used for “church” or “enclosure,” as in the place names “Llangollen,” (famed for “The Ladies” and the “Eisteddfod Ryngwladol”), the fictional (and hybrid) place name, “Llanview” in Pennsylvania, and the renowned Llanfair­pwllgwyn­gyllgo­gery­chwyrn­drobwll­llanty­silio­gogo­goch.”

Here are a few more “-lann” words, by the way: beachlann, bialann, cartlann, ceanglann, tolglann, uachtarlann.   An dtuigeann tú iad go léir?  An féidir leat Béarla (nó do theanga dhúchais más teanga nach Béarla í do theanga dhúchais) a chur orthu?  Aistriúcháin thíos. 

Bhuel, sin cuid de na poist agus cuid de na háiteanna oibre.  Céard faoi do phost féin agus d’áit oibre?  An mbíonn tú ag obair in oifig, i scoil, ag láithreán tógála, nó i siopa?  Siopa beag nó siopa ilrannach?  Scríobh isteach, más mian leat.  Seo struchtúr na bunabairte: Is _________ mé agus bím ag obair (i, in, ag, ar, srl.) _______________.  Ag tnúth le cluinstin uait, Róislín


1i) iascaire, i mbád

2d) ealaíontóir, i stiúideo 

3c) úmadóir, i gceardlann, nó i siopa úmadóireachta, le bheith níos beaichte

4j) báicéir, i mbácús

5e) aisteoir, in amharclann   

6b) dochtúir, in otharlann.  “Othar” [UH-hur] is the Irish for a “patient” (cf.”otharcharr“).  “Ospidéal” is based on “hospital,” itself based on the Latin “hospitare.”

7h) file, ag bun Mhainistir Tintern agus ag áiteanna áille eile

8f)  carbadóir, ar ármhá

9g) doirseoir, ag óstán

10) innealtóir, i dtiúb Jefferies

Aistriúcháin ar na focal le “-lann” mar iarmhír: beachlann, apiary; bialann, restaurant; cartlann, archives; ceanglann, bindery; tolglann, lounge (lit. “sofa-place”); uachtarlann, creamery.
Nasc: Cén post atá agat? (How to say what your job is in Irish) Posted on 14. Aug, 2014 by róislín in Irish Language

Cén post atá agat? (How to say what your job is in Irish)

Posted on 14. Aug, 2014 by in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Cad iad na poist atá ag an triúr fear seo?  Na téarmaí i nGaeilge? (, public domain super heroes)

Cad iad na poist atá ag an triúr fear seo? Na téarmaí i nGaeilge? (, public domain super heroes)

From “agraimeitéareolaí” to “zó-eolaí” (míoleolaí), we recently looked at a lot of “-ologist” occupations (Naisc thíos).

But there are many other occupational terms in Irish that don’t have the “-eolaí” ending, which, after all, implies some kind of a scientist.  Some of the other typical endings include:

“-óir” and its slender variant “-eoir,” (stiúrthóir, múinteoir),

“-aire” (iascaire), and

”-éir” (búistéir), which is undergoing change in Conamara Irish to become “búistéara,” for the common form, at least for some speakers.

Other occupations may have no discernible ending as such, especially with shorter words, such as “file” [FILL-uh], “oide” [IDJ-uh}, and “údar.”

So we’ll look at those and add a few more.  Maybe your job is among them.  If so, please let us know.  We can practice sentences like “Is dochtúir mé” or “Is múinteoir mé.”  If you write in, letting us know your job, we can work up a few phrases and sentences that could go with it, like “Is dochtúir mé.  Bím ag obair in ospidéal agus amanna i gclinic.  Bainim úsáid as steiteascóp agus lansa, i measc uirlisí eile.

You might remember some of these from some blogs from April 2010, which also dealt with “jabanna,” “poist,” agusslite beatha.”

So let’s look at some examples with the structure, “I am a _______.”  Can you translate these?  Freagraí thíos:

1) Is múinteoir mé.

2) Is stiúrthóir mé.

3) Is aisteoir mé.

4) Is iascaire mé.

5) Is gruagaire mé.

6) Is grúdaire mé

7) Is grósaeir glasraí mé (nó: Is siopadóir glasraí mé)

8) Is búistéir mé.

9) Is file mé.

10) Is oide mé

11) Is údar mé.

12) Is altra mé. (another occupation with no distinct suffix, although the whole word used to be the ending of “banaltra,” another term for the same occupation.  “Banaltra” is now considered dated because it appears to limit the profession to woman, with the prefixed element, “ban-,” which is based on “bean” (woman).

13) And one more for good measure, with the hint that by giving thirteen examples instead of an even dozen, we’re invoking this occupation: Is báicéir mé.

An bhfuair tú do phost i measc na dtéarmaí sin?   Hope so, but if not, why not write it in?  SGF – Róislín


1) Is múinteoir mé.  I’m a teacher.

2) Is stiúrthóir mé.  … director.  OK, maybe we don’t ordinarily just say, “I’m a director,” but we’re just trying to practice the basics here.  Actually, I do seem to remember a Newfoundland version of “Casey Taking the Census” in which the husband’s job is simply “director.”  When asked for more detail, what does he direct, the answer is simply “envelopes.”  I’ll have to see if I can track down that reference, or perhaps a reader knows it?

3) Is aisteoir mé. … actor

4) Is iascaire mé. … fisherman (or, these days, just “fisher”)

5) Is gruagaire mé.  … hairdresser

6) Is grúdaire mé. … brewer

7) Is grósaeir glasraí mé (nó: Is siopadóir glasraí mé).  … greengrocer

8) Is búistéir mé. … butcher

9) Is file mé.  … poet

10) Is oide mé. … tutor.  Can also mean “teacher,” although that is usually “múinteoir,” and historically meant “foster-father,” in the aristocratic system of fosterage.  Today’s concept of a “foster-father” is “athair altrama.”

11) Is údar mé.  … author

12) Is altra mé.  … nurse.

13) Is báicéir mé. … baker

With “butcher” and “baker” in tow, I now feel I should add one more.  Cén post é seo:

déantóir coinnleoirí

NB: it’s not quite the same as a “coinnealóir,” although they are related.

Cineálacha eolaithe (síceolaí agus bitheolaí, mar shampla … agus mar nuafhocal–*Pottereolaí) Posted on 31. Jul, 2014 by róislín in Irish Language

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Poist: Ó ‘A’ go ‘V,’ Cuid a hAon: ‘A’ go ‘I’ Posted on 27. Apr, 2010 by róislín in Irish Language

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