Irish Language Blog

Cineálacha eolaithe (síceolaí agus bitheolaí, mar shampla … agus mar nuafhocal–*Pottereolaí) Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Ó “agraimeitéareolaí” go “zó-eolaíocht” tá a lán téarmaí leis na foircinn “-eolaí” agus “-eolaíocht” sa Ghaeilge. 

To back up, just as English has many “-ologists” and “-ologies,” Irish has many words based on “eolaí” (scientist) and “eolaíocht” (science), all related to an even more basic word, “eolas.”  You might recognize “eolas” from phrases like “eolas turasóireachta” (tourist information).

Unlike “-ologist” in English, “eolaí” is a word in its own right in Irish.  It has several meanings in Irish besides “scientist,” including “knowledgeable person,” “expert,” and “guide” (though a tour guide is usually a “treoraí turasóireachta“).  It can even refer to a non-person, when used for “directory,” as in “eolaí an teileafóin.”  A “directory” in the computing sense is usually either “comhadlann” [KOH-wud-lahn, lit. “file-place”] or “eolaire,” the latter being yet another word related to “eolas.”

So what are some of these “-ologist” words?  Does one of these describe your job?  If so, please write and let us know.  Or write in even if you’re not an “-ologist.”  There are lots of other occupational terms in Irish (Is dochtúir/ altra / dlíodóir / múinteoir / feirmeoir / ríomhchláraitheoir / ceoltóir, srl. mé).

The words below are listed with the Irish for the job term and the field of study, with pronunciation when it seems helpful.  The English is given in the Nóta, so you can see if you can work them out yourself.

1) agraimeitéareolaí  (agraimeitéareolaíocht)

2) bia-eolaí  [BEE-uh-OH-lee]  (bia-eolaíocht)

3) bitheolaí [BIH-HOHL-ee]  (bitheolaíocht)

4) cairdeolaí  (cairdeolaíocht)

5) feiniméaneolaí  (feiniméaneolaíocht)

6) gaistreintreolaí  (gaistreintreolaíocht)

7) síceolaí [SHEEK-OHL-ee] (síceolaíocht)

8) uaimheolaí [OO-iv-OHL-ee]  (uaimheolaíocht)

9) úfó-eolaí [OO-foh-OHL-ee, if really carefully pronounced, more likely “OO-fohl-ee, with the “-oh-” sound sort of drawn out in rapid speech]

10) zó-eolaí [ZOH-OHL-ee]  (zó-eolaíocht), also called “míoleolaí,” with “míoleolaíocht” as the field of study.

Well, that’s a sampler.  There are scores more.   And then there are a few terms in English for which I haven’t yet found an official Irish equivalent.  Some are “focail ócáide,” some are, perhaps, tongue in cheek, and some are simply very new, but they all provide food for thought.  Any thoughts about the meanings of the following words, which I have newly coined (fad m’eolais)?

a) *beoireolaí [ByOHRzh-OHL-ee, the “b” as in “beauty,” not “booty,” and the “r” slender as in the Czech name “Jiří“]

b) *coineolaí

c)  *measceolaí

d) *straoiseogeolaí [STREESH-ohg-OHL-ee]

e) *Pottereolaí

Aistriúcháin do 1 go 10 agus do “a” go “e” thíos.  Tá súil agam gur bhain tú sult as seo, fiú murab í an fhocleolaíocht an cheird atá agat.   SGF – Róislín

Nóta: na haistriúcháin

1) agraimeitéareolaí, agrometeorologist

2) bia-eolaí, food scientist (this one doesn’t end up as an “-ologist” in English)

3) bitheolaí, biologist

4) cairdeolaí, cardiologist

5) feiniméaneolaí, phenomenologist

6) gaistreintreolaí, gastroenterologist

7) síceolaí, psychologist

8) uaimheolaí, speleologist

9) úfó-eolaí, ufologist.  Self-explanatory.  “Úfó” can be used in Irish although there is another term based on the actual idea in Irish words:”réad eitilte gan aithint” (lit. flying object without recognition).    Can’t say I’ve heard that latter much i ngnáthchaint na sráide though.  Or should that be “i ngnáthchaint na dtiúb Jefferies.”   

10) zó-eolaí, míoleolaí, zoologist

And the newly coined words:

a) *beoireolaí, beerologist.  Coincheap nua, an ea?  Well, you might want to check out this website, or the exhibit itself, which has been held over through Summer 2015, in San Diego.  The description starts with the intriguing lead-in: “Modern civilization is beer civilization!  Agriculture, cities, writing, and religion all have ties to ancient craft brewing.”  See more at:

An cheist atá agam faoi — an bhfuil an taispeántas ag taisteal go cathracha eile?  Ba dheas an smaoineamh sin! 

b) *coineolaí, cynologist (specialist in the study of dogs).  Based on “” (hound) with its historic dative/plural forms, “coin” (ag an choin, na cointe, both non-standard forms today), to more closely match the Greek root, “kyn-,” from which we get both “canine” and “cynical.”  But the study of cynics, in contrast, would be ” *ciniceolaíocht ” (another word I just coined, fad m’eolais).  More on how cynicism is connected to dogs will have to wait for blag éigin eile, but the key is in the ancient Greek for “churlishness.”  ‘Nuff said, for now (or should that be “Wuff said”?).  Pronunciation tips: coineolaí [KwIN-OHL-ee], coin [kwin], choin [khwin] and cointe [KwIN-tchuh].  These days, the plural of “” is usually “cúnna.”

c)  *measceolaí, mixologist

d) *straoiseogeolaí, emoticonologist.  If this is new to you, you might want to check out  “Straoiseog” [STREESH-ohg] is the Irish for “emoticon.”  And I wonder who coined that one, since I’m sure the word wasn’t “ag na Gaeil san am fadó!”

e) *Pottereolaí, Potterologist.  A Harry Potter specialist.  I got 21,300 results (unsorted) for “Potterology” on a Google search, so it’s clearly a viable word in English.  OMG, “Potterologist” just got 134,000 hits (unsorted).  But for ” *Pottereolaí ” and “Pottereolaíocht” I got no hits (amas ar bith), even with the various possible permutations of the word (an Phottereolaíocht, na bPottereolaithe, srl.).  I guess that says something faoin saol, faoin chruinne, agus faoi ‘chuile rud (about life, the universe, and everything).   But I’m not sure what yet.  Guess I’ll have to ask “an brádán feasa.”  Or should that be “an brádán amhrais“?


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