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We’ve recently looked at the Irish words for the parts of a fiddle and the parts of a fiddle bow (naisc thíos). Today we’ll look at a curious term for a part of a fiddle bow (or a bow for other “téaduirlisí” as well) — in English it’s “frog” and in Irish, it’s “froga” (pl: frogaí). The “froga” is the small box-like section near the end of the bogha that holds the mechanism that tightens and loosens the bow hairs (an rón). It often has an eyelet (súilín) for decoration.
“Froga” is also used for a “frog” as a decorative fastener on a coat (as in a “braided frog” or a “frog loop”) and for a “frog” in railway tracks (where the train changes direction). It’s not used for “frog,” the animal, which is simply “frog” in Irish (pl. froganna)
For all three meanings of “froga” (on a bow, on a coat, on a railway track), we use “an fhroga” to say “of the frog,” as in “méid an fhroga” the size of the frog (on the bow) or “dath an fhroga” the color of the frog (on the coat) or “láthair an fhroga” the location of the frog (on the track).
“Frog” (without the final “a”) in Irish doesn’t only mean “a frog” (the animal). It’s also used for a “frog” in woodworking (part of a plane for shaving or smoothing wood); the Irish is “frog” (pl. froganna). But wait, there’s more! “Frog” in Irish can also mean a “frog” in a horse’s foot, as in English. The plural of this “frog” is also “froganna” in Irish. BTW, in fact, there are two more words for this part of a horse’s foot: 1) “bradán” (unrelated to “bradán,” a salmon, which is a more widely-used meaning) and 2) “boilgín frisc” (from “bolg,” a belly, bulge, etc.). This supports my motto for Irish, or probably every other language, each in their own way — why have just one word for something, when you can have two or more! As the saying goes, “Dá mhéad is ea is fearr é” (the more, the merrier). Now if any úinéirí capaill or tréidlianna out there are reading this maybe you could let us know which term is most common for the horse-related term: frog, bradán or boilgín frisc — or are they dialect-based?
As for the animal itself, as is so often the case, there is at least one more word for “frog” (the animal) in Irish, perhaps a much older word, since it bears no resemblance to the English: loscann, or a variant loscán. This one also means “tadpole.” Not surprisingly, there’s yet another word that specifically means “tadpole,” namely “torbán.” But let’s not get too bogged down with frog terminology right now — maybe later!
For “of the frog,” when talking about the animal, the foot of a horse, or the woodworking tool, we say “an fhroig” [say: un rig, the “fh” is now silent]. Examples include: 1) “cos an fhroig” (the frog’s leg), 2) “ionfhabhtú baictéarach an fhroig” (bacterial infection of the frog, a condition also known as “thrush” in horses, unrelated to “thrush” in humans), and 3) “imeall an fhroig” (the edge of the frog, when talking about a plane for woodworking).
Well, if that didn’t make your head spin, I don’t know what would. To summarize, basically, we have
1). froga: a frog in a fiddle bow
2). froga: a frog in a railway track switch junction
3). froga, a decorative “frog fastener”‘ in fashion (sometimes referred to as just “frog,” to make our life more complicated)
4). frog, the animal, aka loscán or loscann, but these can also mean “tadpole”
5) frog: a frog in a horse’s foot, for which “bradán” or “boilgín frisc” can also be used
6) frog: a frog on a plane for woodworking,
Go figure! Or, to shamelessly reappropriate a perfectly innocent genitive singular masculine inflected form of a first-declension noun “Go froigiúr!”
So that’s six usages of “frog” in English and in Irish, three uses of “froga” and three uses of “frog.” As I’ve said before, regarding Irish — never a dull moment! SGF — Róislín
Iarbhlagmhíreanna ar an ábhar seo:
Páirteanna an Bhogha: Irish Words for the Parts of a (Fiddle) Bow (Cuid/Pt.1) Posted by róislín on Apr 14, 2018 in Irish Language
Páirteanna Fidle (Páirteanna Veidhlín): Parts of a Fiddle (labeled in Irish) Posted by róislín on Apr 11, 2018 in Irish Language
If you have further interest in reading in Irish about bows and a bowmaker, you might enjoy this “agallamh” with Noel Burke by Antaine Ó Faracháin: http://www.beo.ie/alt-noel-burke-deantoir-boghanna-den-scoth.aspx
Naisc d’iarmhíreanna faoi uirlisí ceoil sa bhlag seo
Irish musical instrument series, 2018:
Eleven Pipers Piping, but not for Christmas per se, or, Ó Mhálta go Mars ag píobaireacht linn Posted by róislín on Mar 31, 2018 in Irish Language
4-part series (Alpchorn go Xileafón), 2015
Ag seinm uirlisí ceoil, ó alpchorn go xileafón (Alpenhorn to Xylophone in Irish, pt. 1)Posted by róislín on Mar 19, 2015 in Irish Language
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