Irish Language Blog

LeathMhanannaigh, Leathbhádóirí, Leathchúlaithe agus Téarmaí Eile le “Leath-“ (Half-) Posted by on Mar 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

le Róislín

Thart fá mhí ó shin scríobh “LeathMhanannach” isteach nuair a bhí muid ag caint faoi dhaonra an liosta seo.  Manannach mná a bhí ina mháthair.  Go raibh maith agat, a LeathMhanannaigh, as scríobh agus as ábhar don bhlag a spreagadh.

Before we go further with “leath-“ terms, let’s clarify the alt above:

thart fá mhí ó shin: around a month ago (note the use of séimhiú, with “” changing to “mhí” after “” and “sin” changing to “shin” after “ó)

nuair a bhí muid: when we were

Manannach: Manxman

Manannach mná: Manxwoman, lit. more like “woman-Manxman,” using “mná” (of a woman), which is the possessive singular form of “bean” (woman).  A quick review of “bean” never hurts, since it’s such an irregular noun:

bean, woman (and remember the vowel sound is close to English “van” or “ tan;” it’s not at all like the English word “bean” as in “green bean,” for that matter, a “beanie” (the child’s hat)

mná, of a woman, as in “hata mná” (a woman’s hat)

mná, women (yes, this overlaps with the form above – c’est la vie!  Inflectionally-induced homonymity, we could call it.  Notice I said “could.”  I’m not insisting – just sayin.’).  Samplaí: Mná na hÉireann (The Women of Ireland), the tune and theme music to the movie Barry Lyndon, as played by The Chieftains, among others.

ban, of women.  As in “Cumann na mBan” (lit. the women’s association) or “hataí ban” (women’s hats)

a LeathMhanannaigh! O Half-Manxman! (probably not widely applicable outside the theme of this blog, but one never knows!).  That “O” is to show that the phrase is in direct address.  You don’t really need the “O” in translating the phrase, but it’s a bit of a convention for indication that you’re talking directly to the person (or greeting them in writing, etc.).  And just as reminders: a Mhanannaigh! O Manxman! (singular) and a Mhanannacha! O Manxmen, with a special ending for the vocative (direct address) plural

a spreagadh, to inspire.  And another remindereen here, this “a” is not at all connected to the vocative particle “a” we were just talking about.  It equates to the word “to” in English infinitives, and would also be found in thousands of other verb phrases, like “a bheith” (to be), “gan a bheith” (not to be), “a bheith ann” (to exist), or a little more down-to-earthly “a ghróigeadh” (to “foot,” as in turf), or a little more applicable to the 21st century, “a íoslódáil,” “a uaslódáil,” and “a photoshopáil.”  “A photoshopáil”?  Bhuel, I found two uses of it online, so I guess that’s a “tosach.”  Bíonn gach tosach lag!  Not that I really have any vested opinion as to whether we should or shouldn’t “verbify” nouns at the rate we’re doing these days (“to volumize your mascara” – a thiarcais!).  But I guess if we’re going to do it i mBéarla, we should be prepared to do it i nGaeilge

A thiarcais eile!  My goodness again (“another my goodness)!  This blog is getting fada go leor and I still haven’t gotten to the “leathbhádóir” and the “leathchúlaí.”  So here they are, just a mere dornán amongst the long list of terms with “leath-.”  But at least these will start us off.

leathbhádóir: shipmate (lit. “half-“ or perhaps “side-“ boatman) or colleague (which could also be “comhghleacaí”).  Additional meanings: comrade, partner, companion, mate (all of these can also be expressed with other words in Irish.

leathchúlaí: halfback (in sports).  This is from “cúl,” one of several words for “back” in Irish, including “droim,” “muin,” “deireadh,” and “ar ais.”  Can you think of different contexts for these different words for “back”?  Samplaí thíos (féach “tracking ‘back’”).    

Sin é don bhlag seo.  Níos mó faoin fhocal “leath-“ ag teacht. SGF, ó Róislín

Gluais: ábhar, subject; ann, in it, in him, can also mean “in existence”; íos-, down-; uas-, up-

Tracking “back”:

droim, usually the back of a person or animal (Tá mo dhroim nimhneach).

muin, upper back, usually re: animals and often used figuratively  (Níl na daoine sa chlár teilifíse Lost (de chuid ABC) ar muin na muice, i.e. they aren’t in luck).

deireadh: usually means “end,” but gets translated as “back” in phrases like “na rothaí deiridh” (the back wheels) or “deireadh na traenach” (the back of the train).

ar ais, “back” as an adverb, as in “Tar ar ais, a Phádraig Uí Raghailligh, go Baile Shéamais Dhuibh,” unless, that is, you’re using the verb “filleadh” (return, come back) to exhort him to return, in which case you’d have “Fill, a Phádraig Uí Raghailligh, go Baile Shéamais Dhuibh …”  Depends on the rhyme scheme, I guess.  And that thought could take us back to a súil siar (glance “back,” review) of the multi-blog “Ballyjamesduffiad” of last spring, which, as you may recall, practiced irregular verbs and relative clauses.  “Come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff” and all that!   By the way, I didn’t actually call it a “Ballyjamesduffiad” last year, so if you want to track it down, start with March 4, 2010, and work forward.  Or just search some combination of “Ballyjamesduff” (Baile Shéamais Dhuibh) and “Irish Blog” and “Transparent” and you should get to it.

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  1. Mise Áine:

    @ ‘But I guess if we’re going to do it i mBéarla, we should be prepared to do it i nGaeilge’

    Aontaím, cé nach ndearna mé ach leathshúil a chaitheamh ar an alt seo, go fóill…;-)

  2. Siobhan NicChathail:

    Is LeathMhanannach Mhna mo cholceathair! Not many people can say that…and please feel free to correct my mistakes above.

  3. róislín:

    leathshúil – sin sampla maith. GRMA, a Áine!

    Agus “leathchluas,” “leathchos,” “leathghualainn,” agus “leathlámh” chomh maith. Ach anois, ag smaoineamh air, dá mbeadh muid ag caint faoi Shíve, cén chiall a bheadh ar “leathlámh” ina chás-san? Lámh amháin nó leathchuid de na lámha go léir atá aige? Ar ndóigh, ní “Sive” de chuid John B. Keane nó Sive (Sadhbh), máthair Oisín, atá i gceist agam anseo ach Síve, an dia Hiondúch a bhfuil dhá lámh, ceithre lámh, nó sé lámh aige, de réir na foinse. An ionann leathlámh agus dhá lámh nó trí lámh, amanna?
    Tábhacht an tsínidh fhada!

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