Irish Language Blog

Irish Vocab Round-up for the “Corned Beef” (mairteoil shaillte) Blogpost Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 in Irish Language , Attribution 2.0 Generic 
(CC BY 2.0), Téacs Gaeilge le Róislín, 2018

 (le Róislín)

This blogpost is a follow-up to the recent post on “mairteoil shaillte agus cabáiste,” a typical St. Patrick’s Day dinner (dinnéar tipiciúil Lá Fhéile Pádraig) in America (nasc thíos)

Today we’ll look at the words for various food items in the corned beef and cabbage dinner and how they are described.  We’ll pay close attention to whether the words are grammatically masculine or feminine — it’s an issue you can’t escape in Irish.  The same is true for most (if not all?) European languages — English is the “ceann corr” (odd man out) in this case.

Let’s start with “mairteoil” (beef).  Like all words based on “feoil” (meat), it’s grammatically feminine, because “meat” is grammatically feminine (an fheoil, the meat).  That means we apply lenition (séimhiú) when we want to say “the beef,” “the pork,” etc.  The other types of meat mentioned in the following exercise were not in the “corned beef” post, but are mostly pretty well known, and have been covered in various “iarbhlagmhíreanna” (previous blogposts).  So we have the following, with blanks for you to fill in and definitions to match up.  BTW, the “banc focal” has one extra word for a type of meat, just for the dúshlán, but it’s explained in the freagraí thíos.

Banc Focal: a) beef  b) brawn  c) mutton  d) pork  e) veal  f) venison

1).an m__airteoil, the _____

2).an m__uiceoil, the _____

3).an laof__eoil, the _____

4).an c__aoireoil, the _____ (which is rarely eaten in the US, even for “stobhach Gaelach,” which American cooks typically make with beef, à la Dinty Moore — and for the Irish background of this cartoon character and food, please see the nóta below.)

5).an oiseoil, the _____ (and right, there are no blanks to fill in, since the word begins with a vowel, and vowels never take this change).

Before we completely leave the “meat section,” I’ll just note that we can say “circeoil” (lit. “hen-meat”) for “chicken,” but mostly I see “sicín” used, for both the animal and the meat.  A quick survey of “chicken” terms in revealed about 60 food-related terms with “sicín” and only one with “circeoil,” which curiously turned out to be “veigeatóir circeola” for “pollo vegetarian.”

Now for “saillte” (cured, “corned” if talking about beef).  It’s mostly with “mairteoil” that I’ve seen this word used, but it can also mean “salted,” as in “im saillte,” and as a different part of speech, for the verbal noun, it can mean “of salting,” as in “fearas saillte” (salting equipment).  Notice that since “mairteoil” is grammatically feminine, “saillte” becomes “shaillte,” but this doesn’t happen for “im” or “fearas,” which are masculine.  Also, though I’ve yet to see it in any Irish dictionary, I have found one (anyway) reference in a natural context (i.e. non-machine-sounding) to “caramal saillte” online – neamNasc don tagairt thíos.

There is another word for “salted” or “saline,” which is “goirt.”  Mostly it seems to be used in different contexts, like “riasc goirt” (salt marsh) and “uisce goirt” (brackish water), or even for tears (deora goirte, which are always salty, but here “goirt” can also mean “bitter”).  “Iasc” (fish) can either be “goirt” or “saillte” (a project to research further!) and the phrase “feoil ghoirt” (defined as “salt meat,” if that can be distinguished from “salted” meat).brings us full circle, back to the “mairteoil shaillte.”  My understanding is that salt meat, at least traditional salt meat, didn’t need refrigeration — that was the whole point of making it.

The two remaining keywords from the last blogpost are pretty straightforward, but each has some interesting additional phrases:

cabáiste, cabbage, which can be “dearg” (red) or “glas” (green). Other types include “cabáiste Síneach” and “cabáiste saváí” (or “Savoy”).  And then there’s the whole “cál” vs. “cabáiste” issue, which I’ll only allude to here, with a few terms: cál catach (curly kale), cál dearg (which literally means “red kale” but is defined as “Scotch [sic] kale”, and “cál rabach (kohlrabi).  See the nasc thíos for further discussion.  In terms of preparation, cabbage can be “beirithe” (boiled), suaithfhriochta (stir-fried), or “coipthe” (fermented), among other methods.  Watch out for “coipthe” though, since it can also mean “whipped” (as in cream), “creamed” (as in potatoes), plus “beaten” or “simmered.”  Fairly all-purpose, a bit like “bruith” which can mean all of the following: cook, boil, broil, bake, and grill.

And don’t mistake “cabbage white” for  a type of cabbage — it’s a butterfly (bánóg chabáiste, based on “bán,” the color white).

Since “cabáiste” and “cál” are masculine nouns, the words describing them don’t undergo any further change (so “dearg,” not “dhearg,” “glas,” not “ghlas“, etc.).  At least not until we get to the forms for an tuiseal ginideach, some day, down the road.

práta, potato, usually in the plural: prátaí, aka “fata, pl: fataí” (i nGaeilge Chonnachta) and “préata, pl. préataí) (mentioned regarding Gaeilge Uladh, although frankly, I don’t remember hearing this variation used much there.  Maybe others have.).

All three of these words are grammatically masculine, so, again, no further changes to the adjective, except if we start including the tuiseal ginideach, which we’re not here, because this post is “fata go leor” as it is (I duck, you groan).  So, with adjectives, we have “práta mór,” “fata beag,” or “préata blasta.”  But if we got into “sceallóga” (chips, French fries), then we’d have a feminine noun (sceallóg), so “sceallóg mhór,” “sceallóg bheag,” or “sceallóg bhlasta.”  But that’s a horse (capall) of a different color and we could talk about that topic till the cows (na ba) come home, so I think I’ll put the kibosh on this topic for now, just adding with a few more references to iarbhlagmhíreanna on the topic (naisc thíos).  Hope this was a helpful review/overview. – SGF — Róislín

Freagraí: 1).an mhairteoil, the beef; 2).an mhuiceoil, the pork; 3).an laofheoil, the veal; 4).an chaoireoil, the mutton 5). an oiseoil, the venison.  And “brawn,” by the way, is “toirceoil,” from “torc (allta), meaning “(wild) boar.”

Iarbhlagmhíreanna ar na cineálacha bia a luaíodh sa bhlagmhír seo:

dinnéar mairteoil shaillteCén fáth a dtugtar ‘corned beef’ ar mhairteoil shaillte muna bhfuil ‘corn’ ar bith i gceist? Agus cad a itheann tusa i gcomhair ‘St. Patrick’s Day’?Posted by  on Mar 7, 2018

prátaí: A Práta by Any Other Name: Téarmaí Bia agus Cócaireachta (Food and Cooking Terms)Posted by róislín on Jun 23, 2009 in Irish Language

Nite, Bruite, is Ite — Na Prátaí (aka Fataí), That Is!Posted by róislín on Nov 5, 2013 in Irish Language

Speaking of ‘Nite, Bruite, is Ite’ (and who can prepare and eat potatoes the fastest)Posted by róislín on Nov 9, 2013 in Irish Language

Dóigheanna le Prátaí a Réiteach (Irish Terms for Ways to Prepare Potatoes)Posted by róislín on Nov 26, 2015 in Irish Language

Not just ‘bruite’ — some Irish terms for preparing potatoesPosted by róislín on May 6, 2017 in Irish Language

Speaking of Spuds: Sceallóga (Prátaí) and Sceallóga Eile (Irish Words for Chips, Potato and Otherwise)Posted by róislín on May 12, 2017 in Irish Language

Tagairt do “charamal saillte” (i nGaeilge):

Alt faoi “chabáiste Saváí” agus “cál” (i mBéarla):

Nóta maidir le Dinty Moore, táirge stobhach mairteola a dhéanann an comhlacht Hormel  — an stobhach Gaelach é?  Agus le cúpla nasc eile

In the cartoon series “Bringing Up Father” by George McManus (1884-1954), about the nouveau-riche Irish characters Maggie and Jiggs, there is an Irish tavern/restaurant-owner named Dinty Moore in Jiggs’s original working-class neighborhood.  No coincidence that the cartoonist was of Irish heritage, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri! Jiggs is depicted as an immigrant while his wife, Maggie, is “lace-curtain Irish.”

“Dinty” served both Irish stew and corned beef and his establishment was frequented by Jiggs.  As a result of the cartoon’s popularity in Newfoundland, Jiggs lent his name to the corned beef dinner as served there, where it is known as a “Jiggs’ dinner.”  Curious, isn’t it, how the name “Jiggs” latched on there, given the frequency of both “squid-jigging” and dancing “jigs” (and reels, of course).  Na téarmaí sin i nGaeilge?  Jigeáil scuideanna, or to use the more expressive term, “jigeáil máithreacha súigh, lit. jigging of, errmm, mothers of, well, let’s say, suction.  A “jig” for catching squid is simply “jig” in Irish also (pl: jigeanna).  And then Newfoundlanders also dance plenty of “poirt” (jigs) as well as “ríleanna” or “cora” (both meaning “reels”).  Jigs, jigs, Jiggs — all just coincidence, of course.  BTW, the cartoon strip lasted from 1913 to 2000 — longer than the life of its creator.

When Hormel (déantóirí Spam agus Dinty Moore) created their own cartoon character for marketing Dinty Moore stew, it was a brawny, toque-wearing lumberjack, not any stereotypical Irish figure.  OK, toque is basically Canadian, but Minnesota (where Hormel and its Spam Museum are headquartered) is close enough, I guess, and probably cold enough to warrant the toque almost year round.  No doubt this could turn into an interesting examination of Gaeil-Mheiriceánachas through cultúr pobail, but suffice it to say here that it has always intrigued me to see the varying opinions about whether Irish stew should be made from beef or mutton.  Is Dinty Moore beef stew actually Irish?  Do bharúil féin, a léitheoir?

Naisc: , The Farm: Reader wants beef stew recipe and who’s Dinty Moore?, F.Y.I. … Stew From the Funnies

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