Irish Language Blog

Ag an mBeárbaiciú (At the Barbecue) Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

‘Sea, seo séasúr na mbeárbaiciúnna [… nuh MyAWR-buk-yoo-nuh]!  Cad a íosfaidh [EESS-hee] tú?

Yes, this is barbecue season!  What will you eat?

burgair agus madraí teo

burgair agus brocairí teo

Here are some of the typical foods that we like to grill.  Can you translate them?  Each one is given in the singular and in the plural.  (Gluais thíos)

1) burgar [BUR-uh-gur], pl: burgair (alternately: borgaire [BOR-uh-gurzh-uh], borgairí).  Watch out for subtleties though–“burgaire,” with a “u” and the “-aire” ending, means a “burgher” as in a “burgh-administrator.”  Also watch out for those “helping vowels,” between the “r” and the “g,” making “burgar” three syllables and “borgaire” four syllables.

2) burgar mairteola, pl: burgair mhairteola (alt. borgaire mairteola, borgairí mairteola). “Burgar” by itself usually implies “beef” but if you want to be more specific, you can add “mairteola” (of beef)

3) brocaire te, pl: brocairí teo (curious that it’s not “madra te” and “madraí teo” but so be it–I’d love to know who coined this phrase!)

4) ceibeab, pl: ceibeabanna

5) glasra (but surely no one would eat just one!), pl: glasraí

And getting more specific about those burgair, here are a few more choices: burgar Haváíoch, burgar sicín, burgar tófú, burgar turcaí, burgar veigeatóra.

If you want to have a little fun with this vocabulary, how about the following phrases:

a) burgar an bhurgaire [BUR-uh-gur un WUR-uh-gurzh-uh]

b) burgar mairteola an bhurgaire fhéitheogaigh [… AY-hyohg-ee, note the silent “fh” and the absorption of the “-gh” into the “ee” vowel sound, although that latter point wouldn’t be true for most speakers in Munster dialect]

c) burgar mairteola an bhurgaire fhéitheogaigh ar bogmheisce [BOG-VESHK-yuh]/  That’s “bog.” with the “o” pronounced as in Irish “pota” or “botún,” not like the English word “bog,” which is more of a “bahg” sound.  The “bog” of “bogmheisce” (lit. “soft-drunkeness) is the standard Irish “short o” sound.

d) burgar mairteola agus burgúin an bhurgaire fhéitheogaigh ar bogmheisce

and, for when an burgaire féitheogach ar bogmheisce becomes a veigeatóir,

e) burgar bulgair [BUR-ug-ur BUL-ug-irzh] agus burgúin an bhurgaire fhéitheogaigh ar bogmheisce,

which leads me, losing all linguistic self-control, to postulate:

f) burgar bulgair Uí Bholguidhir [… ee WUL-ug-eerzh]

And they mean, respectively:

a)  the burgher’s burger

b)  the beefy burgher’s beefburger (I visualize a sort of Vernon Dursley-looking burgher, as played by the late and much missed Richard Griffiths)

c)  the beefy beery burgher’s beefburger (I couldn’t resist)

d)  the beefy beery burgher’s burgundy and beefburger (why he’s beery if he’s drinking burgundy goes outside the logical (blogical?) parameters of today’s blog.  Call it a “poll plota,” if you wish, to the extent to which blaganna have plotaí.  Just make sure you don’t call it a “ceapach burgáiste” (burgage plot)– yes, such a type of plot exists, in history terminology.

e)  the bulgur (wheat) burger and burgundy of the beefy beery burgher

f)  Bulger’s bulgur (wheat) burger.  There are two main pronunciations of this surname, with the traditional Irish version fitting our pattern here better.  Using the typical American English pronunciation of the surname “Bulger,” the sound of the “g” would change to the “soft g” (as in “giraffe” or “bulge”), but if we keep the surname in Irish, the phrase would be pronounced with the “hard g” (as in “good” or “go”), giving us “BUR-uh-gur BUL-uh-girzh ee WOL-ug-eerzh).  And with Whitey B.’s Irish and Irish-Newfoundland ancestry, why shouldn’t we discuss burgair Uí Bholguidhir in Irish, even if he’s most (in)famous for deeds far beyond our scope here?

On that tasty but convoluted note, SGF, Róislín

Gluais: borgaire, burgar, burger; brocaire te, hot dog (on its own, “brocaire” means “terrier”); ceibeab, kebab; glasra, vegetable; mairteoil, beef; séasúr [SHAY-soor], season; ‘sea [sha], yes, here used in a general way, not answering a specific question

P.S.  Foirmeacha eile den sloinne “Ó Bolguidhir”: Ní Bholguidhir, Bean Uí Bholguidhir; also, with a spelling variant, Ó Bolguír (note the “i-fada” where the “-dh-” was), Uí Bholguír, Ní Bholguír, Bean Uí Bholguír

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