Irish Language Blog

Tuilleadh Téarmaí Oíche Shamhna (More Halloween Terms) Posted by on Oct 31, 2009 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)
An bhfuil culaith Oíche Shamhna agat?  Do you have a Halloween costume?

Má tá, cén sórt culaithe atá ann?

An mbeidh tú i do vaimpír?  [un may too ih duh VAM-peerzh?]     

Beidh [bay] / Ní bheidh [nee vay]

For these questions, note that you’re literally saying something like, “Will you be in your vampire?” and the answer is either “will be” or “won’t be.”  It doesn’t mean inside your own “vampireness,” but is simply a way to link a noun or pronoun (in this case “”) with another noun (in this case, “vaimpír”).  It’s very important to include the phrase “i do” (“in your” for sentences like this); normally one can’t use the verb “” to link two nouns. 

The full answer to a question like this is:

Beidh mé i mo vaimpír (I will be a vampire, using “i mo” for “in my”)

or for the negative, Ní bheidh mé i mo vaimpír

But one might simply answer “beidh” or “Ní bheidh” and then say what you’ll actually be, like “Ní bheidh, beidh mé i mo chonriocht.”  (No, I’ll be a werewolf).  

Hmm, that would actually be a tricky (úúps!) costume to create, wouldn’t it?  How would people know you were a werewolf and not just a regular wolf?  Maybe a costume that was “leathchonriocht” agus “leathdhuine” (half werewolf, half human), a sort of “fráma reoite beo” (living freeze frame) in the act of “trasdul” (transition)?  

Seo cúpla ceann eile:

An mbeidh tú i do thaibhse? [… ih duh HAIV-shuh, silent “t” and “b”]     

An mbeidh tú i do dhiabhal? [… ih duh YEE-uh-wul?

An mbeidh tú i do chat dubh? [… ih duh khaht duv?]

An mbeidh tú i do bhuachaill bó? [… ih duh WOO-ukh-il boh?]

An mbeidh tú i do phíoráid? [… ih duh FEE-ur-awdj?[

And of course, now that Halloween costumes for pets have become popular, we could have a series of questions like:

An mbeidh do mhadra ina chat dubh?  Will your dog [male] be a black cat?

An mbeidh do mhadra ina cat dubh?  Will your dog [female] be a black cat?

Or, thinking of an adorable costume I saw on a “smutmhadra” (pug dog) the other day:

Tá an smutmhadra ina phuimcín  (if the dog is male) or Tá an smutmhadra ina puimcín (if the dog is female).

Please do note the pronunciation of the first part of the compound word for “pug.”   The “u” is like the sound in English “put” or “book,” not as in “putt” (in golf) or “buck.”  And please keep in mind that the compound “smutmhadra” literally means “stump-dog” or “snout-dog”  The first element may look like English, but that is, in this case, sheer coincidence.

If you’re trying to put a culaith on your cat, I’d say, “Ádh mór!”  I’ve also seen costumes for pearóidí, but have never actually seen a parrot wearing one.  Tusa? 

And “mar fhocal scoir” for this topic, all of these questions imply a temporary state.  That is, you’re not permanently a devil, even though you’re wearing a devil costume.

If you’re truly and inherently a vampire or if your pug is truly and inherently a pumpkin, you’d use the linking verb and say “Is vaimpír mé” (I’m a vampire) or “Is puimcín é an smutmhadra sin” (That pug is a pumpkin).  The first of those sentences might be reasonably useful, depending on what kind of company you hang out with.  The second one is a stretch, at least as I understand eiseadh (existence).  Perhaps we should say, “Is smutmadra é an puimcín sin” [That pumpkin is (actually) a pug].  To me, that would suggest that some wizard had transformed a pug into a pumpkin and you were pointing this out, since most people would think the pumpkin was simply a pumpkin.  But if you wanted to imply that the pumpkin could be transformed back into a pug, you could say, “Tá an puimcín sin ina

smutmhadra” (That pumpkin is a pug). 

Of course, if your sense of identity with your costumed persona is really strong, you could use the “is” verb as well.  But if you wanted to say “I’m a vampire tonight, but if you want to know my job, I’m a programmer,” you’d say: 

Tá mé i mo vaimpír anocht ach má tá tú ag iarraidh a fháil amach cén post atá agam, is cláraitheoir mé. 

Whatever you choose to say with the Irish verb “is,” remember that it is pronounced like “hiss” or “miss,” not like its English look-alike, “is,” which is pronounced “izz.” 

SGF — Róislín









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