Irish Language Blog

(Baoth)g(h)eilleagar nó Eacnamaíocht? Posted by on Dec 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

In the last few blogs, we’ve been leading up to talking about the economy.  Not that this will be any sort of “grinnanailís.”  My main goal here is terminology, so you can discuss the topic further among yourselves.  If you look up the word “economy,” you’re likely to find at least three different Irish terms: eacnamaíocht, geilleagar, and coigilteas.  All have their role. 

“Geilleagar” and “eacnamaíocht” are fairly closely connected to each other.  “Coigilteas” has quite a different meaning, as you’ll see below.   

“Eacnamaíocht” is the obvious cognate to the English word “economy,” which owes its origins to the Greek “oikonomía” (management of a household or of a state).  “Eacnamaíocht” can refer to the academic study, economics, or to the economy as such. 

Some additional terms using “eacnamaíocht” are:

taighde eacnamaíochta, economics research

Gradam Nobel san eacnamaíocht, Nobel Prize for economics

eacnamaíocht an tsaormhargaidh [un TEER-WAR-ug-ee], free-market economics

“Geilleagar” has more to do with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.  Originally, I think that was supposed to include the idea of wealth.  These days, however, níl a fhios agam an bhfuil aon saibhreas nó aon mhaoin ann!  More recently, it seems, what we have is baothgheilleagar.

Some additional terms using “geilleagar” are:

geilleagar eolasbhunaithe [OH-lus-WUN-ih-huh], knowledge-based economy

geilleagar na hÉireann, the Irish economy (lit. the economy of Ireland)

geilleagar atá ina phraiseach, an economy that is in a shambles (mess)

geilleagar domhanda [DOW-wun-duh], world economy

geilleagar caipitleach, capitalist economy

“Coigilteas” is really another matter altogether, more closely related to “tíos,” “fearachas” and “téagar,” that is, economy in the sense of thriftiness or frugal housekeeping.  Ironically, though, the term for “home economics” bounces back to “eacnamaíocht,” as we see in the term “eacnamaíocht bhaile.”  “Coigilteas” is based on the verb “coigilt,” which can mean anything from “saving up” to “covering a fire to preserve it overnight, smooring.”  Typical phrases with “coigilt” would be “ag coigilt na tine” (raking up the fire) and ag “coigilt a mhaoine” (saving his wealth, with implications of not being generous). 

“Tíos” is based on the word for house (teach, withas the possessive form). 

“Fearachas,” based on the word “fear” (man, husband) means economy in the sense of husbandry and the original idea of “husbanding one’s resources.” 

“Téagar” (substance, a substantial amount) is related to the adjective “téagartha” (substantial, thrifty, economical).  “Téagar” can also mean “darling,” especially in the vocative, “A théagair!” (O beloved one!).

Next up, there’s an endless array of topics connected to the winter holiday season.  Any particular phrases you’re interested in?  “Merry” (happy) Christmas” and “Happy New Year” are already in the works, but, of course there are many other angles.  At some point, we’ll return to the directions of the compass, and maybe even do more with the economy.  And I think I still have a blog to do on donkey sanctuaries, a topic mentioned more than cúpla ago.   

Gluais: baothgheilleagar [BWEE-YEL-yag-ar], fool’s economy; grinnanailís [GRIN-AN-il-eesh] in-depth analysis; maoin [mween], wealth, property, treasure; saibhreas [SEV-russ], wealth

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  1. Maidhc:

    Is breá liom an bhlag seo…Coinnigh suas an obair maith! <3

    • róislín:

      @Maidhc A Mhaidhc, a chara,

      Go raibh maith agat as do nóta. Tá áthas orm go síleann tú gur obair mhaith í.

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