Irish Language Blog

Athleanúint don Athleanúint: Lóistíocht agus Córais Iompair (Cuid/Part 2) Posted by on May 27, 2017 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Bhuel, last time we looked at various methods of transportation used in lóistíocht shlabhra an tsoláthair, as well as in “córais iompair go ginearálta.” That post covered longa, traenacha, dróin, and started with leoraithe.  Today we’ll continue with “trucailí” and “truiclíní,” and look at when “lorry” or “truck” is used in English .  It’s actually pretty complicated when you consider the variety of English names for the same type of vehicle (bin lorry / trash truck), but I’ll try to at least present some of the bunrudaí here, and hope it will be reasonably useful for learners in Ireland and the UK, as well as in North America and other parts of the Irish language diaspora.

Remember that “leoraithe” was numbered “1” last time, we’ll continue with “trucks” as number “2.”

(2)  For “trucks,” there’s one main word (trucail), a few alternate choices, (truc, truiclín), and there’s always the fact that what might be called a “truck” in US English might be called a “lorry” in  Irish or UK English.  I always used to think of a “trucail” as a type of hand-truck or cart, but it seems like once the online dictionaries arrived, we got a whole flurry of “truck” words based on “trucail.”  Here are the main forms of the word, which is grammatically feminine:

an trucail, the truck

na trucaile, of the truck

na trucailí, the trucks

na dtrucailí, of the trucks

Some examples include:

cattle truck: trucail eallaigh, pl: trucailí eallaigh

refrigerator truck: trucail chuisniúcháin, pl: trucailí cuisniúcháin, lit. truck of refrigeration, with lenition of “cuisniúcháin” after “trucail” because “trucail” is singular and, as noted above, grammatically feminine.

right-hand drive truck: trucail dheas-stiúrtha, pl: trucailí deas-stiúrtha

left-hand drive truck: trucail chlé-stiúrtha, pl: trucailí clé-stiúrtha

For those who care, I’ve found about equal usage of “c(h)lé-stiúrtha” (with “fleiscín“) and “c(h)léstiúrtha” (no “fleiscín“), and both sample groups are quite small.  I lean toward the leagan fleiscínithe, since I think it’s clearer (just like I prefer to say “man-eating” when discussing sharks, rather than “man eating” — just for clarity’s sake).

(3) truiclín, a pick-up truck, or sometimes simply a small truck.  This seems to be the most common word for a pick-up, but I do note that while the Collins Gem Irish Dictionary gives “truiclín” for “pick-up” even though it also lists “pick-up” as a secondary definition of “trucail” itself.  It does get convoluted!  Anyway, if we accept “truiclín” as a more specific term for “pick-up truck,” we have:

an truiclín, the pick-up/small truck

an truiclín, of the pick-up/small truck

na truiclíní, the pick-up/small trucks

na dtruiclíní, of the pick-up/small trucks

(4)  And then there’s “truc,”, which I’ve almost never heard in daily life, especially for a physical truck.  It can also mean “dealing,” in the sense that Doc Velie used in the 1955 movie, Bad Day at Black Rock, “I don’t hold no truck with silence.”  For a physical truck, de Bhaldraithe’s English-Irish Dictionary does list this entry, “truc ag imeacht ceann scaoilte” (runaway truck, lit. a truck going “head-released”).  But, though a valuable classic of lexicography, de Bhaldraithe’s dictionary does date from 1959, so it seems like the meaning has mostly shifted away from “truc” for an actual truck.  And there are occasional listings of “truc tuisil” for “dumptruck,” but that’s the only example I’ve found so far for “truc” to indicate a category or function of the vehicle.  This word also has no plural, according to various dictionaries I looked at, again suggesting little use for a physical  vehicle.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t stick a plural ending on it if we wanted to but it wouldn’t be typical of actual usage.  So far, all I’ve found for this noun grammar-wise is that it’s fourth declension, with the exact same spelling (truc) for “of truck.”

(5)  Finally, we’ll mention here a few other types of trucks/lorries:

For a dump truck or tipper truck or tipper lorry, there are at least three choices: dumpaire, trucail dumpála, and the one stray usage I’ve found for “truc” as a category of vehicle, “truc tuisil.

For a bin lorry or refuse lorry or trash truck or garbage truck: leoraí bruscair

As for “monster truck,” we have the same prefix used for “university” (ollscoil) and “supermarket” (ollmhargadh):

an olltrucail, the monster truck

na holltrucaile, of the monster truck (rothaí na holltrucaile)

na holltrucailí, the monster trucks

na n-olltrucailí, of the monster trucks (Seó na n-olltrucailí)

Oddly, if we were talking specifically about monster pick-up trucks, we’d have “olltruiclíní,” combining a prefix to indicate great size (oll-) with a suffix to indicate small size (-ín).

And if we were talking about miniature monster pick-up trucks, we could have “mionolltruiclíní,” which seems like a tautology, but isn’t!

Well, sin é for today’s post, that’s a bit more vocab for lóistíocht (logistics).  Anyone work in the field?  In 2014, Fortune magazine reported that about 6 million people were employed in logistics in America alone, so it seems like a pretty good field to be in (

Somehow, I don’t think lóistíocht shlabhra an tsoláthair was much of an occupation for the SeanGhaeil, but after all, they did have carranna (in the old sense, “carts,”), cairteacha (another word for “carts”), baraí (wheelbarrows), and carranna sleamhnáin (sledges), as well as dromanna daoine and dromanna capall, not to mention ciseanna and cléibh.  And somehow the SeanCheiltigh moved themselves from their continental European homeland to Britain and Ireland, which must have taken quite a bit of supply chain management, as it were, back in the day.

I wonder if there are any advertisements in Gaelic for TruckNess, which has been held in Inverness since 2013.  If so, if would be interesting to see how they would handle “truck” in Gaelic.  Of course, they might simply say “Truck.”  The “Ness” part apparently means “roaring one,” which seems reasonably appropriate for a truck rally.  This sentence, describing the event, would seem to sum up the seamless transition we may find between truck and lorry: “Trucks, truckers and truck fans descend on Bogbain for a day and night of Lorry Loving!” (

On that note, we’ll keep truckin’ along (I don’t suppose we can say, “lorrying along” — or can we?), studying Irish vocabulary focal i ndiaidh focail, or, in this case, trucail i ndiaidh trucaile.  There’s probably one more blogpost’s worth here on córais iompair, and then we’ll move on to some completely different “ábhar.”  Hope you’ve been enjoying it — if so, please remember to “like” this post.   SGF — Róislín


Athleanúint don Athleanúint: Lóistíocht (Cuid/Part 1) Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Irish Language

Comhuaineach, Grafaic, Lóistíocht, Próiseáil, Veicteoireach: Some Irish Vocabulary from the Previous Blog Posted by on May 21, 2017 in

Irish Language‘Sceamhóg’ vs. ‘Scamhóg” in Irish (and for good measure ‘sceallóg’ and ‘scailleog’) Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Irish Language

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