Na Míonna, Na Mìosan, Ny Meeghyn (in Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx), Cuid 2 as 4 Posted by róislín on Sep 21, 2012 in Irish Language
In this blog, we’ll look more closely at the meanings of the Manx Gaelic names for the months and see what their names mean in Irish. For those who want an Béarla, that will also be provided i gcairt eile (thíos). It’s suimiúil to note how readily translatable the Manx names are into Irish, and if you say them out loud, they’ll sound a lot like Irish (or Scottish Gaelic). It’s just the spelling system that’s dramatically different. But that’s not really surprising, given that the Manx spelling system is not an offshoot of traditional Gaelic spelling, which gives us pairs like Irish “fuinneog” and “tá” and Scottish “uinneag” and “tha.” The Manx spelling system, in contrast, was devised more or less singlehandedly and is credited to John Phillips (ca. 1555-1633), the Welsh-born Anglican Bishop of (the diocese of) Sodor and Man. His system was based primarily on the orthography of English, with some influence from Welsh as well.
As for “Sodor,” if it sounds children’s-book familiar, the name was used for the island setting of the Thomas the Tank Engine series by their author, the Reverend Wilbert Vere Awbrey (1911-1997). It was a fictitious island, so Reverend Awbrey was free to develop the location as he wished. But he took the name from the Old Norse “Suðreyjar,” (Southern Islands), which got anglicized first as the “Sudreys” and later as “Sodor.” This was part of the “Kingdom of Mann and the Isles,” including the Outer Hebrides, governed in medieval times by Norway. The designation “Sodor and Man” is still in use and Robert Mar Erskine Paterson, MLC, currently holds the title of Bishop of Sodor and Man.
And back to the nitty-gritty. As you’ll see, in most cases, the Manx word isn’t the same concept as the Irish. But anyone moderately fluent in Irish will recognize the logic of the names (“Jerrey Geuree” means “Deireadh Geimhridh,” i.e. “end of winter,” etc.). I’ve given a pronunciation guide for the Irish translations as well – this is where you can really see the similarities between Irish and Manx sounds. If you read the Gaelg column and the Fuaimniú (pronunciation) column out loud, you’ll see what I mean.
As before, the second Gaelg column presents some alternate names for the months.
|Gaeilge||Gaelg||Aistriúchán (go Gaeilge)||Fuaimniú (Gaeilge)||Gaelg (alt.)||Aistriúchán (go Gaeilge)||Fuaimniú (Gaeilge)|
|Eanáir||Jerrey Geuree||deireadh geimhridh||DJERzh-uh Giv-ree||—||—||—|
|Feabhra||Toshiaght Arree||tosach earraigh||TUSS-ukh AR-ee||—||—||—|
|Márta||Y Mart OR Mayrnt||(an) márta||Un MAWR-tuh||Mean Arree||meán earraigh||myawn AR-ee|
|Aibreán||Averil||Aibreán||AB-rzhawn||Jerrey Arree||deireadh earraigh||DJERzh-uh AR-ee|
|Bealtaine||Y Voaldyn||an Bhealtaine||Un VAL-tin-yuh||Toshiaght Souree||tosach samhraidh||TUSS-ukh SOW-ree|
|Meitheamh||Mean Souree||meán samhraidh||Myawn SOW-ree||—||—||—|
|Iúil||Jerrey Souree||deireadh samhraidh||DJERzh-uh SOW-ree||Mee Vuigh||mí bhuí||Mee vee (OR wee)|
|Lúnasa||Luanistyn||Lúnasa||LOO-nuh-suh||Toshiaght Fouyir||tosach fómhair||TUSS-ukh FOH-irzh|
|Meán Fómhair||Mean Fouyir||meán fómhair||Myawn FOH-irzh||—||—||—|
|Deireadh Fómhair||Jerrey Fouyir||deireadh fómhair||DJERzh-uh FOH-irzh||—||—||—|
|Mí na Samh-na||Mee Houney||mí Shamhna [sic]||Mee HOW-nuh||Toshiaght Gheuree||tosach geimh-ridh||TUSS-ukh YEV-ree|
|Mí na Nollag||Mee ny Nollick||mí na Nollag||Mee nuh NOL-uk||—||—||—|
So what do these Manx phrases mean? Many of them follow a pattern of “beginning of (season),” “middle of (season),” and “end of (season). The translation to Irish is given above, but here’s the English:
|Jerrey Geuree||deireadh geimhridh||end of winter||—||—||—|
|Toshiaght Arree||tosach earraigh||beginning of spring||—||—||—|
|Y Mart OR Mayrnt||(an) Márta||March||Mean Arree||meán earraigh||middle of spring|
|Averil||Aibreán||April||Jerrey Arree||deireadh earraigh||end of spring|
|Y Voaldyn||an Bhealtaine||May||Toshiaght Souree||tosach samhraidh||beginning of summer|
|Mean Souree||meán samhraidh||middle of summer||—||—||—|
|Jerrey Souree||deireadh samhraidh||end of summer||Mee Vuigh||mí bhuí||yellow month|
|Luanistyn||Lúnasa||August||Toshiaght Fouyir||tosach fómhair||beginning of harvest|
|Mean Fouyir||meán fómhair||middle of harvest||—||—||—|
|Jerrey Fouyir||deireadh fómhair||end of harvest||—||—||—|
|Mee Houney||mí Shamhna [sic]||month of Samhain||Toshiaght Gheuree||tosach geimhridh||beginning of winter|
|Mee ny Nollick||mí na Nollag||month of Christmas||—||—||—|
Just as a reminder, the Irish given in the “aistriúchán” (translation) column isn’t the actual month name in Irish, it’s just a translation of what the Manx words mean.
Next blog, maybe we’ll look at the Scottish Gaelic terms and their literal meanings. SGF, Róislín
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