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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (April-June) » 1999 » Shillelagh ? « Previous Next »

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Beverly Vidrine (bg-tc-ppp635.monmouth.com - 209.191.59.69)
Posted on Wednesday, November 03, 1999 - 04:01 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Regarding the word shillelagh-some sources say that it is the old Irish
name for the word "oak," while others say that it is the name of an
Irish town. Would you please tell me the correct meaning of the word
shillelagh? I thank you in advance for your time in this matter.
Beverly

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Seosamh
Posted on Saturday, November 06, 1999 - 04:12 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Webster's 10th says it comes from a town in Ireland but does not say which town.

Irish language dictionaries like Dinneen, de Bhaldraithe and Ó Dónaill all give sail éille as the Irish for shillelagh. So the word would seem to come from that.

Dinneen defines sail éille as a 'leashed cudgel' which is also the literal meaning of the words. Sail means the willow tree or osier (salix), not oak. By extension, it means a cudgel, beam, joist, counter or (by extension once again) 'anything big, heavy or strong'. It was also the word that stood for the letter 's' in long ago times. Éille is the genitive of iall (thong, strap, leash).

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Kay (dialup-0932.dublin.iol.ie - 193.203.147.164)
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 1999 - 08:13 am:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

There is a place in County Wexford called Shillelagh, go south from Tinahely and it is near the border with Carlow. The name of the place is an anglicization of Síol Éalaigh. I havn't been there yet but I will look out for it next time we go to Wexford.
Kay.

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Seosamh (2cust108.tnt10.nyc1.da.uu.net - 63.16.19.108)
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 1999 - 09:31 pm:   Small TextLarge TextEdit Post Print Post

Kay,

Go raibh maith agat as an eolas sin. Thanks for the info. I wonder how the name would have attached itself to the stick. Seems likely now, but there could be an interesting story involved.

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