Irish Language Blog

Cineálacha “ollywood-anna” agus “-álaithe” Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

le Róislín

We recently talked about the neologism “blagálaí-wood,” which I coined for a recent blog in this series.  Encouraged by the nóta tráchta deas ó Áine, I’ll add a little bit more about the word and the suffixes “-anna” (for plurals) and “-álaí” (for occupations).  By the way, Áine is herself a blagálaí iontach (wonderful blogger) and you might like to check out a blagsa (her own blog) at 

First, let’s do some practical vocabulary.  The suffix “-álaí” (plural: –álaithe) is used for lots of occupational terms, based on activities indicated by the verbal-noun suffix “-áil,” such as:

blagálaí, blogger (blagáil, blogging)

tógálaí, builder (tógáil, building)

ceantálaí, auctioneer (ceantáil, auctioning)

pleanálaí, planner (pleanáil, planning)

babhlálaí, bowler (babhláil, bowling)

sciálaí, skier, (sciáil, skiing)

ardghnóthachtálaí, high-achiever (ardghnóthachtáil, high achievement, not really used as a verb)

Any of those could be fit into sentences like “Is blagálaí mé” (I am a blogger), Is blagálaithe iad (They are bloggers), etc. 

Next, let’s look at the plural ending, “-anna,” which is widely used in Irish (examples: ceachtanna, lessons; codanna, shares; fadhbanna, problems).  Those words are quite traditional but “-anna” is also used with recent borrowings (bus, praghas, carr; plurals: busanna, praghsanna, carranna).  Likewise, “-anna” is used for certain numbers (na seachtanna, na hochtanna), for some symbols or abbreviations (plusanna, CDanna), and if a word is used outside its normal grammatical function, as in the phrase, “do chuid má-anna agus ach-anna.

The suffix “-anna” also pluralizes words that aren’t, well, exactly “words.”  Huh?  Sampla: if referring to letters of the alphabet as nouns, like “tá a lán h-anna san fhocal Béarla ‘chthonic’.”  How often do you actually talk about individual letters in the plural?  Maybe not often, but it certainly happens, especially if discussing litriú (spelling). Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin even croons about the letter “h” (in the plural) as he wistfully notes that one reason why he didn’t marry the cailín with whom he was “i ngrá, tráth” was that she didn’t have “smacht ar a cuid h-annaí.”  Of course, he “double-pluralizes” the word “h-anna” by adding “-í,” partly because it’s a dialect tradition and partly because it fits his rhyme scheme (h-annaí, croí, gramadaí, ).  I’ve included an nasc to his song “Amhrán an Ghaeilgeora Mhóir” before but, if you want to listen, seo arís é

So that, at least, takes care of the phrase “ollywood-anna” in the teideal of this blog.   Seo “ollywood-anna” eile a bhaineann le háiteanna eile agus teangacha eile:

Bollywood (Bombay, anois Mumbai, ach ní fiú an téarma a athrú mar tá Mollywoodanna eile ann)

Mollywood (Mailéalaimis / Malayalam)

Mollywood eile (scannánaíocht na Mormannach,, etc.)

Kollywood (Kodambakkam, scannánaíocht i dTamailis)

Tollywood (Teileagúis)

Jollywood (Jalandhar, Punjab)

Dollywood (Deilí, ach fadhb ansin le “Dollywood,” páirc siamsaíochta de chuid Dolly Parton.  Bunaíodh Dollywood i 1985, roimh úsáid ar bith de na téarmaí “ollywood” eile, sílim, seachas Hollywood féin)

Bengaliwood, self-explanatory but not widely used

Agus taobh amuigh den India:

Gollywood (Gána)

Rollywood (Rotterdam)

And perhaps all of this could be summed up as “Follywood,” but, hey!, I didn’t start the trend, just contributed a bit.  “Follywood” itself as a term generates about 171,000 hits in Google, sin amais go leor, so it seems plenty of other people are debating the issue. 

So, a léitheoir chóir, the similarity in sound made coining the neologism (-álaí / olly) simply was rómhealltach (too tempting) not to follow through with it! 

Now if any of Ireland’s dozen or so towns or townlands called “Baile Uí Dhálaigh” somehow became a center of film-making, we could have “Ballygawleywood” or a “Ballydawleywood,” depending on how you handle the voiced velar fricative (dh-) when pronouncing “Uí Dhálaigh.”  But somehow, creid é nó ná creid é, that doesn’t seem to be happening.  Sometime we could look more at all those place names but that will have to be ábhar blag eile

A little further searching does reveal that we have “Bollywood Ireland” ( which, among other activities, featured the first Indian Film Festival of Ireland in 2010.  Suimiúil!

Oh, and here’s a definite “há-nóiméad.”  I thought the idea of a “Ballywood” sounded vaguely familiar.  Turns out it was used in a 2005 movie called “Irish Jam,” about an African-American con-artist who lifted some rap lyrics, submitted them to an Irish poetry contest, and won a pub in Ireland, in a little town, called, you guessed it, Ballywood.  More or less a “Filleann an feall ar an bhfeallaire” plot.  The movie has mediocre reviews, so I’m not exactly recommending that you dash off “ar sodar” to rent it.  It presents a lot of steiréitíopaí cultúrtha, but it is a bit of a novelty and at least one reviewer online, for no less, admitted to getting a good chuckle out of it despite its shortcomings ( 

All that’s a bit aisteach (odd), ‘cuz I entered a similar win-a-pub contest for Guinness a number of years ago, even wrote my own entries, and I didn’t win anything.  Nach mise an créatúr!  Á, bhuel, if I had, I might not be “i mo bhlagálaí” today, discussing blagálaí-wood or an saol go ginearálta, an chruinne go ginearálta, agus ‘chuile rud (beagnach) atá eatarthu.   

SGF, Róislín

Gluais: amas, most current meaning is “hit” (on a website), but it can also mean “attack,” “opening,” or “grab” (Comhthéacs, a chara, comhthéacs!); CDanna, theoretically should be “dlúthdhioscaí,” and sometimes that word is used, but the English abbreviation tends to prevail; feall, deceit; nóta tráchta, comment; smacht, control

As for “do chuid má-anna agus ach-anna,” it means “your (share of) ifs and buts.”  Why the traditional phrase doesn’t include “ands” in Irish, 9L S am.  Seems like it could add “agus-anna.”  So I’ll add that to my list of “cén fáth-anna” agus “cad chuige-anna.

An Téacsais: 9L S am, níl a fhios ‘am (agam).

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  1. Mise Áine:

    GRMA, a chomhchara na Gaeilge…:-)

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