Irish Language Blog

Cén Ghaeilge atá ar “lazy hazy crazy”? Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Lár an tsamhraidh atá ann.  So it seems like a good time to pick three keywords from Nat King Cole’s “The Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer” and see what they’d be in Irish.  Not that they’re going to have the clever (-azy-azy-azy) rhyme scheme of the song, but still, vocab is vocab, and the more the merrier.

Fear in ámóg ag ól Guinness (?) agus ag úsáid fean chun é féin a fhuarú. Cén chaoi a bhfanann tú féin fionnuar sa samhradh? Ag snamh? Ag ligean do do scíthe in ámóg? Dóigh eil? -- grafaic:

Fear in ámóg ag ól Guinness (?) agus ag úsáid fean chun é féin a fhuarú. Cén chaoi a bhfanann tú féin fionnuar sa samhradh? Ag snamh? Ag ligean do scíthe in ámóg? Dóigh eile? — grafaic:

So let’s start with “lazy.”

Most of us probably learned how to say a person was lazy, before thinking about “lazy days.”  So let’s review that.

For lazy people, we use either the word “leisciúil” [LESH-kyool] or “falsa.”  The latter I’ve heard mostly in Donegal Irish.

But for a “lazy day,” it’s really a different concept, so we have some completely different word choices:

lá suaimhneach, a lazy day (i.e. peaceful, easy, quiet, calm)

lá sámh, a lazy day (i.e. peaceful, easy, restful, etc.)

lá sómas, a lazy day, lit. a day of ease / comfort

Similarly, we could have:

aimsir mharbhánta, lazy weather (i.e. close, heavy, muggy weather)

This might bring up the question of how do we say “lazing around/about,” which is what we (or our cats or dogs)  might be doing on a lá suaimhneach or on a lá sámh or on a lá sómais or during aimsir mharbhánta.  Some samples are:

Tá siad ag glacadh a suaimhnis.  They are lazing about, lit. They are “taking” their “calmness / composure / leisureliness / peace / peacefulness /quietness / repose / restfulness / serenity / tranquility, etc.”  There are actually about half a dozen more translations of “suaimhneas” but they don’t apply quite as closely here.  “Suaimhnis” is the “tuiseal ginideach” form, used here following “glacadh.”

Tá siad ag leadaíocht thart.  They are lazing about.

If it’s our pets we’re talking about, we could say:

Tá mo chait sínte amach faoin ngrian, lit. My cats are stretched out under the sun, or, as my dogs often manage in the winter:

Tá mo mhadra sínte amach ar an bpaiste gréine ar an mbrat urlár sa seomra suite.   Remember, this “paiste gréine” is quite a different matter altogether from a “páiste gréine“!  Páiste gréine, lit. child of the sun, but it really means … (féach an ghluais thíos).

So the full sentence literally means, “My dog is stretched out on the patch of sun on the carpet in the living room.”

And if there’s an implication that perhaps one should be more industrious:

I lár an tsamhraidh is fearr léi a bheith ag leisceoireacht timpeall an tí, jin agus tonaic ina lámh, agus an t-aerchóiritheoir ar siúl ná a bheith ag obair amuigh sa ghairdín, spuaiceanna ag teacht ar a lámha, agus í ag cur allais sa teas.

As for “hazy,” we have several choices, including:

doiléir, as in “amharc doiléir,” lit. a “not-clear view”

rósamhach, as in “atmaisféar rósamhach,” from “ró sámh” (a heat haze)

scimeach, based on “scim” [say “shkim”], whose meanings include “a film,” “a thin coating,” and “a veil of haze or mist”

smúránta, based on the word “smúr” (ash dust, rust soot, grime)

And finally, more specifically about the weather:

ceobhránach.  This one is interesting because “ceobhrán” is one of the standard words for “haze,” together with “ceo” (which also means “fog” or “mist”) and “smúiteán.”  “Ceobhrán” matches up with “ceobhránach/hazy”, but another word, “ceomhar,” apparently is more specifically “foggy” or “misty,” not “hazy.”  I assume that thickness or density is the distinguishing factor.  And then, of course, there’s always “anraith pise“!

If I were to separate out these meanings a little more, I’d say:

ceo: is the most basic work for fog or mist.  But even that raises a question in my mind.  I think of mist as rising but fog as rolling in.  So, is there a technical difference, and if so, how do we differentiate this in Irish?  Ach, once again, sin ábhar blag eile.

ceobhrán: means haze, mist, or light drizzle, so it suggests something lighter than ordinary “ceo,” which as many of you know, can be treacherously thick and impossible to see through.

smúiteán: its basic meaning is more like “smudge” (looks like a cognate), and other meanings, besides haze, include: a cloud of smoke, a cloud of dust

Part of the issue I think is that the more particles of pollution there are in the air, the quicker it will look hazy.  So some “haze” is probably completely natural, and some is man-made or in combination with natural phenomena.  Beyond that breakdown, we’ll need a réamhaisnéiseoir aimsire or a meitéareolaí.

And that’s not even getting into “hazy memories” or “hazy recollections,” ábhar blagmhíre eile!

The third adjective in the lazy-hazy-crazy series is “crazy,” for which there are at least half a dozen words in Irish, plus about 20 more related expressions, which deserve a mblagmhír féin!  For our context, I think “craiceáilte” is the most flexible.  Some of the other choices, without getting too technically into the “insane” aspect, are “bán” and “éadrom.”

Well, there’s “lazy” “hazy” and “crazy,” and a few ideas for future blogposts.  Fan fionnuar!  – Róislín

Gluais: páiste gréine, love-child, more officially “leanbh tabhartha” or “leanbh mídhlisteanach.”

P.S. I had almost forgotten the Nat King Cole’s song also refers to “weenies.” Hard to escape hot dogs at this time of year!

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