Irish Language Blog

Irish Words ending with ‘-íceach’ and sometimes ‘-ícigh’ or ‘-ící’ – dosaen fada díobh Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in Irish Language

(le Róislín) (public domain); téacs Gaeilge agus dearadh le Róislín, 2018

From “-icí” [IK-ee] to “-ící” [EEK-ee]!  In the last blogpost (nasc thíos) we looked at some Irish words ending in “-icí,” either in their basic structure, like “dicí” or “soinicí”  or in an inflected form, like “picnicí,” “gúsnaicí,” or “ceimicí.”  Today we’ll look at a few Irish words ending in “-íceach,” which in certain phrases changes to “ícigh” [EEK-ee] or ”-ící” [also EEK-ee].  Aside from being interesting grammatically, they are kind of fun to say!

All of these endings are fairly unusual in Irish.  The “-icí” group (picnicí, teoiricí, dicí, ceimicí, srl.) from the last blogpost probably totaled about 100 at most.  That’s a pretty low number compared to word endings like “-án” (at least 3000) or “-aí” (well over 3000) or “-áil” (well over 1000).

For our “-íceach” words in today’s blogpost, about half of them say where someone is from or what their religion is.  Another six are generic adjectives, but somewhat limited in their usage.  They will be in part 2 of this blogpost, since describing the first group took up most of the blog space available.

Here are the geographical examples: Cósta Ríceach, Féiníceach and Sirifhéiníceach,  Móitsíceach, Mósaimbíceach, Pórtó Ríceach, and Suíceach (Saíceach).  This list gives  the words with the plural (which gives us the “-ícigh” ending) and the adjective form in the genitive singular feminine (gsf), which gives us the “-ící” ending.

1.. Cósta Ríceach, a Costa Rican, pl: Cósta Rícigh

Cósta Ríceach as an adjective ( gsf): blas na cócaireachta Cósta Rící (the taste of Costa Rican cooking)

2a.. Féiníceach, a Phoenician, pl: Féinícigh (and does that include people from Phoenix, AZ, where there is quite a lively Irish language renaissance, thanks to our friend and “seaimpín,” Vicki?)

Féinicíceach as an adjective (gsf): litreacha na haibítre Féinící (the letters of the Phoenician alphabet)

And related to “Féiníceach” is:

2b. Sirifhéiníceach, a Syrophoenician; pl: Sirifhéinícigh

Sirifhéiníceach as an adjective (gsf): Díbirt Deamhan Iníon na Mná Sirifhéinící (The Exorcism of the Syrophoenician Woman’s Daughter).  More on this scéal suimiúil will have to be ábhar blag eile.

  1. Móitsíceach (Mochica or Moche), a Mochica or Moche person. This word refers to an ancient culture of northern Peru, near the present day city of Moche. I see that Mochica is also the name of at least one restaurant, in San Francisco, serving Peruvian Fusion food.  4.6 stars out of 5 on . Any of our readers ever been there?  Or used the Irish word to describe the food?

Pl: Móitsícigh, Mochica or Moche people.

Móitsíceach as an adjective (gsf): ailtireacht na sibhialtachta Móitsící (the architecture of the Mochica civilization)

4.. Mósaimbíceach, a Mozambican, pl: Mósaimbícigh

Mósaimbíceach as an adjective (gsf): ealaíontacht na deilbhe Mósaimbící (the artistry of the Mozambican statue)

5.. Pórtó Ríceach, a Puerto Rican; pl: Pórtó Rícigh

Pórtó Ríceach as an adjective (gsf): dathanna na pearóide Pórtó Rící (the colors of the Puerto Rican parrot)

6.. Suíceach (Saíceach), a Sikh, pl: Suícigh (Saícigh)

Suíceach as an adjective (gsf): lann na miodóige Suící (the blade of the Sikh dagger), or … na miodóige Saící

So that’s our first group of terms ending in “-íceach,” all geographically based and all ethnonyms.  Please stay tuned for part two of this blogpost, which will cover the generic adjectives ending in “-íceach.”  As a little heads up, but also a dúshlán (challenge), here are five of them, but with one or two missing letters.  The word “íceach” is not in this list, since there’s nothing to leave out – the entire word looks the same as the ending for the other words.  But it will be thoroughly covered in part two as well.  In fact, I could say it inspired this whole thread!  Can you fill in the blanks?  Freagraí sa chéad bhlag eile.

cl__r__ifíceach, __eiti__íceach, __íceach,  __íceach, s__íceach

See you next time – SGF — Róislín

Nasc: Four Ways the Irish Word Ending “-icí” Can Be Used (Picnicí, Eiticí, Seicí, Vicí)Posted by  on Aug 27, 2018 in Irish Language

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  1. michelle bell:

    My middle name is Icy.. my mother spelt it as she heard it but I’ve been told it should be “Ici”. It was passed to me in honor of my Irish grandmother and a term of endearment. Any idea what it means??
    Thank you for any light you can shed.

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