Irish Language Blog

Bróga vs. Buataisí (Boots and Shoes in Irish, and some other types of footwear — to boot) Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Flip fleapanna i meaisín díola. Cén uimhir i bhflip fleapanna a chaitheann tú? (grianghraf: by Francisco Anzola (Flip fop vending machine) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Flip fleapanna i meaisín díola. Cén uimhir i bhflip fleapanna a chaitheann tú? (grianghraf: by Francisco Anzola (Flip fop vending machine) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Which to say — “bróg” or “buatais“?   Well, there seems to be some overlap in the terms, as we briefly addressed in the last blog (nasc thíos).  There we focused mostly on “buataisí,” the related word “buataisíní” (bootees), and a related word outside the realm of coisbheart, “búiteanna.”  Remember “búiteanna“?  Muna cuimhin leat é, féach an nóta thíos.

Let’s start with “bróg,” first as “shoe,” then with a few examples where “bróg” may be translated as “boot.”  A few more “shoe” terms, and then, to wrap up, we’ll review “buatais” and “buataisín” and consider a few other types of footwear.

Here are the basics:

an bhróg [un vrohg], the shoe

na bróige [nuh BROH-ig-yuh], of the shoe

na bróga, the shoes

na mbróg [nuh mrohg], of the shoes

Some of the “shoe” phrases that may be translated as “boot” include:

bróga cnaipí, button-boots

bróga gréasaí: handmade boots, lit. “cobbler shoes”  — hmm, how do we know they’re boots and not simply shoes?

brógchrann, a boot-tree

bróga peile, football boots

bróga marcaíochta, riding boots

Last time we also mentioned “bróga troma” (heavy boots) and “bróga tairní” (hobnailed boots, and I promise, sometime we’ll look at the multiple translations of “hob”).

Bróg ard” seems to pretty specifically mean a “boot.”  Literally, it means “high shoe,” which I suppose, by default, is a boot.

And, of course, there was “Cat i mBróga” (aka Cat na mBróg aka Puss in Boots)

And back to “shoes” as such:

bróigín, a little shoe, and I think this was a leprechaun’s name in at least one children’s book.

clib barréille, a shoe-lace tab

iall bróige OR barriall, a shoelace

ladar bróige, a shoe-horn

And now a quick review of boots and bootees:

buatais, an bhuatais, na buataise, na buataisí, na mbuataisí

buataisín, an buataisín, an bhuataisín, na buataisíní, na mbuataisíní

Here are a few more useful terms for  footwear:

cuaráín, sandals

flip fleapanna, flip-flops

forbhróga, overshoes

miúileanna, mules

paitíní, clogs, pattens

pampútaí, pampooties

slipéir, slippers

So, that’s the tip of the iceberg for cineálacha coisbhirt.  But wait, there could be more.  Is there an Irish spelling for “mukluk”?  That’d be ceist mhaith for the Ceanadaigh ar an liosta seoA Cheanadacha?   We do have “anorac” and “parca,” the letter “k” being virtually non-existent in Irish, and “íoglú.”  So far, I don’t see anything specifically for “ulu,” “umiak” or “inukshuk,” although I think it would be interesting to talk about them  — can I go ahead and pluralize them? — *ulunna, *umiakanna,” and *inukshukanna,” as Gaeilge.  That pretty much exhausts my working knowledge of Ionúitis.  A few of the words I learned from the 1970s-wide-eyed-cute little classic, _Inuk: An  Buachaill Eiscimeach_.  And a couple of the others I learned either from studying antraipeolaócht or watching Robert Flaherty’s 1922 film Nanook of the North.  I know, I know, “Eiscimeach,” or its English original, “Eskimo,” is no longer “DRNDCP” (de réir na dtuairimí cearta poiblí, i.e. politically correct), but that’s how the book was written.

Oh, speaking of “Nanook,” yes, that’s one more word in my stóirín focal IonúitiseCiallaíonn sé “béar bán” (polar bear, lit. “white bear”).  A closer traslitriú of the original (like ᓇᓄᖅ, one of several variations), apparently would be “na nuq,” which is starting to look suspiciously like Tliongáinis.  But, yes, I guess I digress.  Anyway, Irish doesn’t seem to use “polach” to describe polar bears, just “bán.”  Which takes us back to mukluks (*muclucanna?) and coisbheart in general.      

If you’re interested in Inuk: An Buachaill Eiscimeach, you may be able to find out-of-print copies.  The series is by Daniel Bas, was translated into Irish in the 1970s, and includes seven other children:  Katia, Yukiko, Panchito, Juliana, Hamad, and Téanaí.  Can you guess which country they’re from?  Ábhar blag eile, b’fhéidirSGF — Róislín

Nóta: búit, an búit, sa bhúit OR sa mbúit (depending on dialect), na búiteanna, na mbúiteanna, meaning, in order: boot (of a car), the boot, in the boot, the boots, of the boots.  This follows the usage for Ireland, the UK, Australia, and, I suppose, New Zealand.  I’m not really sure about other countries where the English language legacy is traditionally British (An India, Singeapór, srl.).  Eolas ag duine ar bith?   “Trunc” would be closer to the typical American usage.  A lucht labhartha na Gaeilge i gCeanada — cé acu is mó a deir sibh: búit nó trunc?  Fáilte roimh fhreagraí agus buíochas le duine ar bith a scríobhfadh isteach leis an eolas sin! (Buataisí, Buataisíní, agus Búiteanna: Variations on a theme of “boot” in Irish, posted on 28. Jul, 2015 by róislín in Irish Language)

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