Irish Language Blog

Tuilleadh Téarmaí faoin gCroí (More “Heart” Terms) Posted by on Feb 5, 2012 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

As you might imagine, there are lots more terms and phrases involving the heart besides the terms of endearment such as “A ghrá mo chroí!” “A chuisle mo chroí!” or “Mo chroí thú!”  What better month to look into them than Feabhra, mí an chroí (i Meiriceá agus sa Bhreatain).  Since there are way more entries than can be discussed in one blog, perhaps we’ll revisit the topic again, for Irish Heart Month, in September.

Can you match up the following “croí” expressions with their English counterparts?  As usual, there is freagra amháin breise, just le haghaidh an dúshláin.

1. croíbhriste a. How dare you!
2. croíchruthach b. cordial (adj.)
3. croídín c. crux of the question
4. croíúil d. heart-broken
5. croíbhrúite e. contrite
6. i mo chroí istigh f. heart of the matter
7. Nach mór an croí duit é! g. heart-shaped
8. ó mo chroí amach h. heart’s-ease (the plant)
9. croí an scéil i. little darling
10. lus croí j. with all my heart
  k. in my heart of hearts

If you encounter any other words that start with c-r-o-i, be sure to check whether the “i” vowel is long.  If not, the word may be completely different in meaning, as in “croit” (a croft), “croiftín” (a fetlock), “cróitín” (a small sheep fold), “croiméal” (a moustache), or “cróimiam” (chromium).  Never a dull moment where Irish vocabulary and gutaí fada are concerned!  Ar an nóta croíúil sin, SGF, Róislín

Freagraí: 1d. croíbhriste, heartbroken; 2g. croíchruthach, heart-shaped; 3i. croídín, little darling; 4b. croíúil, cordial (hearty, cheerful, etc.; the “-íú” [ee-oo] combination is a relatively rare instance of two long-vowels in a row in Irish); 5e. croíbhrúite, contrite; 6k. i mo chroí istigh, in my heart of hearts (lit. in my inner/inside heart); 7a. Nach mór an croí duit é! How dare you! (lit. “Isn’t it big the heart to you?” but note, this isn’t “big-hearted” as such, which would be “mórchroíoch”), 8j. ó mo chroí amach, with all my heart (lit. from my heart out); 9f. croí an scéil, the heart of the matter (of the story); 10h. lus croí, heart’s ease, aka “field pansy” (Viola arvensis), at least in Ireland and presumably the UK.  In parts of the US, “heart’s ease” can also be the common persicary, which, as far as I can tell, is Polygonum persicaria, aka heartweed, spotted knotweed, lover’s pride, arsemart, or smartweed; as “arsemart,” this plant was known to kill fleas, cf. its German name, “Flöhkraut.”  OK, we could call that a “scéal thairis” but who could resist, I mean, really – “arsemart”!  Mhuise!  As usual, tuilleadh eolais from luibheolaithe or feithideolaithe (dreancaideolaithe?) on this list would be welcome.

And for anyone wondering, the extra answer is c, the crux of the question, which would be “croí na ceiste,” lit. (the heart of the question)

Gluais: briste, broken; brúite, crushed; cruth, shape; dreancaid, a flea; dúshlán, challenge; lus, plant, herb (vs. “planda,” which is simply “a plant,” though it also means “scion,” akin to the Welsh word “plant,” which is the ordinary word for “children,” not to be mistaken with the “Welsh Plant” from the former Welsh Plant Breeding Station in Aberystwyth, ach sin scéal eile, or should I say “chwedl arall”?); scéal thairis, digression 

Nóta don ghluais: the Welsh Plant Breeding Station (WPBS) is now part of IBERS, the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences.  Of course the name was different in Welsh (Gorsaf Fridio Planhigion Cymru, with “planhigion” instead of “plant), but it was still always an eye-catcher to see the WPBS sign on the road to Penrhyncoch.  Dátheangachas abú! (Dwyieithrwydd am byth!)

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