Irish Language Blog

Nature Words: the Irish for ‘almond’ and a baker’s dozen of related terms Posted by on Sep 18, 2019 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Aufgebrochener und verschlossener Steinkern des Mandelbaums ;; User:A,Ocram [Public domain]; Gemeinfrei 27 February 2016; Téacs Gaeilge le Róislín, 2019

Recently, we’ve been looking at the nature words stricken from the Oxford Junior Dictionary [English] about 10 years ago.  As you may recall, words like “acorn” and “almond” were removed from the dictionary and replaced by tech terms like “analog” and “MP3 player.”  I’ve posed the question several times now in this blog, how would users of an Irish dictionary feel if similar nature words were removed from Irish dictionaries and replaced by words like “analógach” and “seinnteoir MP3.”  Of course, there are many issues involved, too many for one short blog post (blagmhír ghairid amháin) or even a series of them (sraith acu).  There isn’t room here to dwell the average user age, the intended size of the dictionary, and especially important for Irish, whether it’s a bilingual (Irish to English, English to Irish) dictionary, or, that fairly scarce commodity, an Irish-to-Irish (monolingual) dictionary.

But, even if we can’t answer all the questions as such, we can at least look at the nature words and related terms, and make sure they will be well known and well used in the Irish language and everyday speech “i nGaeilge.”

We introduced the topic a few blogposts ago with “bluebell” (nasc thíos) and now we’re starting alphabetically, having done acorn (nasc thíos), so we’ll continue here with “almond”:

an almóinn, the almond (grammatically feminine, so “an almóinn bheag“, “an almóinn mhór,” srl.)

na halmóinne, of the almond (blas na halmóinne, the taste of the almond)

na halmóinní, the almonds

na n-almóinní, of the almonds (blas na n-almóinní, the taste of the almonds)

As for some other “almond” expressions, can you match these (1-13) up with their “Béarla” (listed below, a-m)?

1)) almóinn atá clúdaithe le siúcra  2)) almóinn bhánaithe  3)) almóinní mionstiallta  4)) almóinn scilte  5)) almóinn shiúcraithe  6)) almóinn ghearrtha  7)) almóinní meilte  8)) crann almóinní  9)) crústa luibhe agus almóinne  10)) flan úll agus almóinní  11)) leafaos almóinní  12)) ola almóinne  13)) úscra almóinne

a)) apple and almond flan

b)) blanched almond

c)) almond essence

d)) almond oil

e)) almond paste

f)) almond tree (note that in Irish it’s “tree of almonds,” with “almonds” plural)

g)) flaked almonds

h)) ground almonds

i)) herb and almond crust

j)) shelled almonds

k)) shredded almonds

l)) sugared almond

m)) sugar-coated almond

So, for any bakers (báicéirí) reading this, this should give you some nice ideas for bácáil (baking).  Or we could consider where almond trees mostly grow and are an important part of the economy, places like California and the Mediterranean countries (tíortha na Meánmhara).  But the bakers among you might be especially interested to know that the Irish for “marzipan,” a type of almond paste, is “prásóg,” with no reference to “almóinní” at all.  Go figure!   Well, actually, when you think about it, the word “marzipan” doesn’t reference almonds as such, either.  Apparently it has a complicated etymology, which includes the Italian “marzapane,” meaning “candy box.”  Sweet!  SGF – Róislín


1)) almóinn atá clúdaithe le siúcra m) sugar-coated almond

2)) almóinn bhánaithe b) blanched almond

3)) almóinní mionstiallta k) shredded almonds

4)) almóinn scilte j) shelled almonds

5)) almóinn shiúcraithe l) sugared almond

6)) almóinn ghearrtha   g) flaked almonds

7)) almóinní meilte  h) ground almonds

8)) crann almóinní f) almond tree (note that it’s “tree of almonds,” with “almonds” plural)

9)) crústa luibhe agus almóinne i) herb and almond crust

10)) flan úll agus almóinní a) apple and almond flan

11)) leafaos almóinní e) almond paste

12)) ola almóinne d) almond oil

13)) úscra almóinne  c) almond essence

Naisc:  iarbhlaganna ar an ábhar seo:  ‘Bluebell’ or ‘Broadbrand’: Which Word Should Be in a Children’s Dictionary? — A British Example and Irish Question Posted by róislín on Aug 20, 2019 in Irish Language

Nature Words: Should They Be in a Children’s Dictionary or Not? Let’s Consider the Irish Word “dearcán” (acorn) Posted by  on Aug 31, 2019 in Irish Language

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