Irish Language Blog

A Short Glossary for the Irish Rap Song “C.E.A.R.T.A” by Kneecap (Rapcheol Gaeilge) [Cuid/Pt. 5] Posted by on Jan 23, 2018 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Mona Lisa:;
Leonardo da Vinci [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons;
The Scream [cropped]:
Edvard Munch [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons;
téacs Gaeilge le Róislín, 2018

Inniu, an cúigiú (5ú) cuid, agus tá súil agam, an chuid dheireanach den ghluais don amhrán “C.E.A.R.T.A.” leis an ngrúpa Kneecap (naisc thíos: lyrics, YouTube video and previous installments in this mini-series).  Tosóidh muid leis an bhfocal “stuama” atá i véarsa 8.  

ró-stuama: “ró-” of course is the prefix meaning “too” as in “ró-óg” (too young) and “róthe” (too hot).  Usually, these days, there is no hyphen when “ró-” is used before consonants (only before vowels), but these printed lyrics include the fleiscín (hyphen), so, so much for the rialacha nua poncaíochta.  Actually, is breá liom go mór na fleiscíní, and if I could I’d write “an t-súil” and “i n-Éirinn,” but these are no longer considered standard approaches to punctuation.  I think the fleiscíní help learners identify what’s a prefix and what’s a core part of a word, but, bhuel, sin mar atá.

As for “stuama” itself, it’s an interesting word with lots of meanings, including:

1)) level-headed (which can also be “ciallmhar” or “staidéarach”)

2)) clear-headed (which can also be  “grinn” or “géarchúiseach”)

3)) cool-headed (which can also be “fuaraigeanta”)

4)) well-adjusted (which can also be “socair” or “macánta”)

5)) prudent (which can also be “críonna,” “cúramach,” or “siosmaideach”)

6)) intelligent, as in “Fuinneamh Stuama” (Intelligent Energy), not typically for a person.  More typically, in discussing people, one would use either “éirimiúil” (intelligent, brainy, bright) or “meabhrach” (intelligent, brainy, bright) or “cliste” (intelligent, clever).  The latter is also used to describe Intelligent Energy (Fuinneamh Cliste) and appears in terminology for some other computer or technology applications (córas iompair cliste, mar shampla).  As for “Fuinneamh Stuama” vs. “Fuinneamh Cliste,” though, I don’t think there’s a technical difference, but my gut preference (were it up to me to choose) would be “stuama,” since “cliste” can have the implication of “crafty,” “devious,” or even “stealthy,” that is, a lot like the Irish word “glic” (clever, crafty, devious, or “cute” as in “devious,” not “puppy-cute” or “kitten-cute,” that is, “cute” in appearance).

7)) solid (which can also be “láidir,” which is usually translated as “strong”).  “Stuama” doesn’t mean “soladach” (i.e. not liquid or gas) as in “geoiméadracht sholadach” or “staid sholadach.”

And that’s not all.  There over 90 (!) more ways that “stuama” can be translated.  Interestingly though, “stuama” is one of those words that seems fundamental in Irish, but rarely seems to show up in textbooks.  Hmmm, some disconnect there?   I just double-checked about half a dozen of them that I have sitting around, ranging from 2011 back to 1928, and I don’t see “stuama” listed in the glossaries.  Of course, for this quick survey, I just stuck to books that have glossaries since I can’t comb every page right now searching for stray uses of specific words.  And of course, from now on, I’ll be on the lookout for “stuama” in a textbook context.  I’m sure it shows up often enough in Gaeltacht literature and Irish-medium journalism, but I’m thinking of material for learners.  Anyway, I’d say take your pick of the translations above for interpreting the phrase in Kneecap’s song.

If you want to know more about the word “stuama,” I’d suggest asking “Muldoon,” for after all, “he’s a solid man.”  At least so the song goes.  Actually, that song always suggested to me an image of trouble with the transporter in Star Trek.  If there were a character called Muldoon, he would be dematerialized and beamed off-ship.  There would be some moments of suspense because he doesn’t arrive as expected.  So  the transporter gets scanned and fixed, and at some point, once he arrives at his destination, all molecules intact, Muldoon would once again be a “solid man.”  But I doubt that that’s what Edward Harrigan had in mind when he wrote the song, ca. 1874.  Or that Gene Roddenberry intended to import characters from vintage Irish popular songs to populate his science fiction series!

But actually, you might want to check out one of the latest major uses of “stuama” in print — the Irish translation of six volumes of Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven series.  In Irish, the group of child detectives is called “An Seachtar Stuama.”  Not that “stuama” literally means “secret,” or anything close, but it does work to describe the kids’ problem-solving abilities and logical thinking.

The opposite of “stuama,” as you might guess from the graphic above, is “místuama,” (lit. “not-level-headed,” “not-clear-headed,” etc.)

Well, it looks like the vocab for verses 9 through 13 will have to wait for the next post after all. To slightly modify an Irish proverb, I’d say, “Tá dhá chiall (nó níos mó) ag gach uile fhocal i nGaeilge agus tá dhá chiall dhéag (nó céad, fiú) ag cuid acu.”  What’s the original proverb?  Féach an nóta thíos.  I’m also tempted to paraphrase Sir Walter Scott and note, “Oh what a tangled web we find, when first we practice to “define.”

So, next post for the next four verses, and meanwhile, thank you for your patience in reading this.  Many of you may have found the lyrics to “C.E.A.R.T.A” a breeze, but hopefully this glossary will help some learners and maybe add some insight even for more experienced speakers.  Go dtí an chéad uair eile — Róislín

Nóta: an seanfhocal (the proverb): Bíonn dhá insint ar scéal agus dhá leagan déag ag amhrán.

Iarbhlagmhíreanna sa mhionsraith seo faoin amhrán “C.E.A.R.T.A”:

Cuid a hAon den ghluais: A Short Glossary for the Irish Rap Song “C.E.A.R.T.A” by Kneecap (Rapcheol Gaeilge) [Cuid/Pt.1] Posted by  on Jan 7, 2018 in Irish Language

Cuid a Dó den ghluais: A Short Glossary for the Irish Rap Song “C.E.A.R.T.A” by Kneecap (Rapcheol Gaeilge) [Cuid/Pt.2]Posted by  on Jan 11, 2018 in Irish Language

Cuid a Trí den ghluaisA Short Glossary for the Irish Rap Song “C.E.A.R.T.A” by Kneecap (Rapcheol Gaeilge) [Cuid/Pt. 3]Posted by  on Jan 15, 2018 in Irish Language

Cuid a Ceathair den ghluais: A Short Glossary for the Irish Rap Song “C.E.A.R.T.A” by Kneecap (Rapcheol Gaeilge) [Cuid/Pt. 4] Posted by  on Jan 19, 2018 in Irish Language

nasc don amhrán:  “C.E.A.R.T.A” le Kneecap,

nasc do na liricí:  Foireann NÓS  15ú Nollaig 2017  CEOL#amhrán aoine  Amhrán na hAoine  ‘C.E.A.R.T.A.’, le Kneecap

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