Irish Language Blog

Feabhra: Mí an Chroí i Meiriceá agus sa Bhreatain (February: Heart Month) Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Nach deas an neas-suíomh é: Feabhra mar “Mhí an Chroí” (i Meiriceá agus sa Bhreatain) agus Feabhra mar mhí do leannáin (lovers) go ginearálta, mar gheall ar Lá Vailintín. 

I’ve actually been poking around online trying to find out what year February as American Heart Month started, but gan éifeacht (to no avail, lit. without effect).  Eolas ag duine ar bith?  I did find that 2002 marked an chéad bhliain for what I shall now name in Irish “Lá Caite an Deirg” (The Day of the Wearing of Red, i.e. “Wear Red Day”), in honor of heart health.  I Meiriceá ceiliúrtar sin ar an gcéad Aoine i mí Feabhra (3 Feabhra, i mbliana).

I see that Britain also has National Heart Month i mí Feabhra and that its “Lá Caite an Deirg” is ar an 26ú lá d’Fheabhra gach bliain.

Ireland has a “heart month” also but it is held i mí Mheán Fómhair, so it isn’t so neatly “neas-suite” with Valentine’s Day as the February celebrations are.  Bhuel, c’est “la mhí”!

If anyone is still looking for ways to wear red and also support the Irish Heart Foundation, you might want to check out the hataí, scairfeanna, agus mitíní which are handknit by members of the ICA (Irish Countrywomen’s Association):  All proceeds benefit the Irish Heart Foundation.  Instructions for volunteering to knit are at  I’m not sure if you have to be i do bhall to participate.  Although the biggest push for these items appears to be in September, they are currently listed for sale in the website.  Na dathanna atá ar fáil: dearg, corcra agus bánbhuí (dath an uachtair).  Nach mbeadh sé go deas cúpla foireann a fháil le haghaidh “measc agus meaitseáil”? 

In addition to being “Heart Month” (sna Stáit Aontaithe agus sa Bhreatain, ar a laghad), February is also, hmm, how shall I say it, “Mí Náisiúnta Díograiseoirí Prátaí,” again, sna Stáit Aontaithe (details:  Whether there should be a “Potato Lovers’ Month” in Ireland, is perhaps a moot point, since I think every day meets the needs of “Potato Lovers” in Ireland.  As for the term “díograiseoir” (enthusiast), I decided not to use “leannán” (lover) or “suiríoch” (lover, courter, wooer), since they are way too romantic for potato-fancying, I think!  In general , I find that phrases like “opera buff,” “cat fancier,” “sports fan,” and “language enthusiast” are quite intriguing in any language, but it’s easy to go astray with them.  For example, would we ever describe ourselves as “cat buffs” or “hockey fanciers”?   Ní dóigh liom é, ní go minic, ar a laghad (ach féach an nóta thíos).  There are various choices in Irish (mostly ábhar blag eile), but I will note here that I was toying with “daoine móra prátaí,” along the lines of “daoine móra peile” (football enthusiasts) or daoine móra ceoil (music lovers).  But somehow “daoine móra prátaí” conveyed more of an image of “*tolgachas” than I intended.  So, “díograiseoirí.

Anyway, getting back to our príomhthéama [PREEV-HAYM-uh], or should I say, to the heart of the matter, the word “croí,” here are its basic forms:

An croí, the heart

An chroí, of the heart, sláinte an chroí (the health of the heart).  Note the pronunciation, with the guttural “kh” sound of “chroí” [khree].

Mo chroí, my heart, or in some contexts, “of my heart” (cuisle mo chroí; pulse of my heart, a term of affection, when used in direct address: “A chuisle mo chroí“)

For the plural: croíthe [KREE-huh], hearts (note that the “í” stays long); na croíthe, the hearts, and na gcroíthe [nuh GREE-huh], of the hearts.

Le buíochas ó mo chroí (with heart-felt thanks) as do shuim sa bhlag seo, ó Róislín

Le haghaidh tuilleadh eolais faoi Irish Heart Month:; presumably there will also be another one in Meán Fómhair 2012.

Gluais: ceiliúrtar, is celebrated; cuisle, pulse; (a bheith) i do bhall, (to be) a member; le haghaidh, for; neas-suíomh, juxtaposition; tuilleadh, more

Regarding tolgachas: well, what can I say?  Perhaps “couchiness”?  “Couchiness” has several hundred hits online, which is more than I anticipated.  But even that catch-all of every word under the sun (and some that have never seen the light of day),, says “Couchiness isn’t defined yet.”  Mo léan, ní fheicim lorg ar bith den fhocal sin, “tolgachas,” ar an Idirlíon.  “Mwya’r piti,” mar a deir na Breatnaigh.  To get back to the material side of it, “tolg” is “couch” or “sofa” and “-achas” is suffix of abstraction (as in Béarlachas, Gaelachas, etc)

Nóta: As for “hockey fanciers” vs. “hockey fans,” I do find about 200 references to hockey fanciers (plural) online but only 10 for “hockey fancier” (singular).  As for “hockey fan,” do I need to even quote the figures?  About 2.3 million hits for “hockey fans” and, surprisingly, about the same for “hockey fan” (singular).  I think the point is clear – certain activities tend to go with certain words for expressing one’s interest in them.

Nóta ginearálta: For other blogs in this series that deal with Valentine’s Day and related terminology, please see: (“Sweet Nothings” as Gaeilge), from 12 Deireadh Fómhair 2011, which deals with “Baothbhriathra mealltacha,” and a “mionsraith” that started on 9 Feabhra 2011 ( and continued with An Briathar “Gráigh!” (Love!) i nGaeilge,” and Níos Mó Téarmaí Vailintín,then segueing intoCineálacha “-philes” i nGaeilge (leis an iarmhír “-bhách”) [Eurabhách, Francabhách, srl.] before resurfacing withBeagáinín Eile faoi Théarmaí Vailintín: ‘Macushla’ Mar Ainm Bóand Cuisle vs. Artaire vs. Féith! (Cé acu atá ina théarma muirnéise?)

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