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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2003 (January-June) » French = rat?!?! « Previous Next »

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Bradford (216.16.15.66 - 216.16.15.66)
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A chairde,

First off, let me start this thread by saying that I'm not asking this as an implied insult to the French, rats, or anyone/anything else for that matter. It's simply an observation.

As I was browsing some Gaeilge words last night, I noticed that the word for rat is "francach" as Gaeilge, and the word for French/French Woman is "Francach" as Gaeilge.

Does anyone know if this is pure coincidence, or did the Irish have a problem with the French a long time ago?

Slán,

Bradford

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Seosamh (12.42.245.2 - 12.42.245.2)
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 05:44 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

No, it's not a coincidence. Long ago, rats were called "French mice", at least in Irish and Welsh. In Irish, at least, the phrase was shortened to just "French". For all the English have done to the Irish, the latter seem to reserve their truly worst aspersions for their fellow Catholic, but worldly, French.

Maybe the term "French mice" was more widespread in the British Isles or even Europe -- I'd be interested in finding out.

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Bradford (66.231.2.128 - 66.231.2.128)
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 06:04 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

A Sheosamh,

Very interesting, mo chara! It's always interesting to hear the origins of words.

Slán,

Bradford

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.162 - 193.122.47.162)
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 07:50 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I read somewhere that the Normans brought the first rats to Ireland, and since they were French speaking rats.......

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Pádraig (63.175.172.119 - 63.175.172.119)
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 10:05 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Is that some of the anthropomorphism that Aonghus eschews, or might their be a hint of displeasure with William and his cohorts from across the channel? I wonder -- what might the Angles, Jutes, and Saxons have been like if William had stayed home. No Stuarts. No Tudors. No Cromwell. Oh, well. Ere long the dawn in russet mantle clad walks o'er the brow of yon yatadah yatadah. Don't break your rotten watch.

Oiche mhaith,
P.

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Oliver Grennan (193.122.47.178 - 193.122.47.178)
Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2003 - 04:49 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I think the Saxons would have stayed put, they had a similar system of regional kings like we had in Ireland. They weren't thinking big, like the Normans. Those guys even had a kingdom in Sicily.

Still, water under the bridge now.

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 04:51 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Yes well. If humans were given to staying put we'd all still be in the Olduvai Gorge.

I'll research the Francach business.

I remember frightening (unintentionally) my parents one morning by waking them up with the news "Tá beirt Francach ag an ndoras". They assumed rats, but it was in fact a french couple!

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 04:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

A cursory look at Dineen last night yields the fact that "Francach" was loosely used for all things foreign and exotic.

But I don't know when Luch francach became contracted to just Francach.

A rat is also known as luch mór.

Tuilleadh le teacht, le cúnamh Dé.

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Seosamh Mac Bhl (12.42.245.2 - 12.42.245.2)
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 05:45 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

GRMMA,a Aongus. Suimiúil.

Bheadh an t-eolas ag Seosamh Mac M.-- murach ar bharr a ghoib é, bheadh na leabhartha cearta aige. Tá a lán de na leabhartha cearta ag Donncha fosta, chomh maith le eolas ar an tsanasaíocht i gcoitinne.

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Aonghus (193.120.237.66 - 193.120.237.66)
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 04:00 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Bheadh cinnte, ach ní rabhadar anseo le tamall, mór an trua é.

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Seosamh Mac Muirí (193.1.100.104 - 193.1.100.104)
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 - 05:31 am:   Edit Post Print Post

(Gabh mo leithscéal a chairde thiar, nár thugas sciuird an treo seo le tamall oraibh. Brú agus an-bhrú oibre is bun leis sin. Ní bheidh mé in innimh tabhairt faoina dhath eile, seachas an obair, go ceann míosa ar a laghad. Bead crom leis an obair do dtí sin.)

Is ait le roinnt daoine i dTír Chonaill go fóill go dtugann roinnt eile de mhuintir na Gaeilge 'francach' ar an luchóig mhóir. Is údar leis sin, is dócha, nár theagmhaigh lucht labhartha na Fraincise, na Normannaigh, leis an taobh sin tíre seachas ruaig amháin, nó péire, a thug na Gaill orthu. Faoin mbl. 1281 AD bhí Gaill Uladh ag drannadh geábh trí lár Uladh le Tír Chonaill. Ba aneas as Íochtar Chonnacht a bhrúadar uair eile. Murar ghreamaigh cumhacht Normannaigh na Fraincise i dTír Chonaill go dtí bunú an tSaorstáit, níor go dtí sin, is cosúil, gur theagmhaigh an focal 'francach' leo ar an luchóg mhór!

Ní thig liom a rá a choitinne is atá 'cearc Fhrancach/coileach Francach' mar ainm ar an turcaí i dTír Chonaill, ach is cinnte gurb shin na focail a bhíodh i mBréifne Thoir/an Cabhán.

Eachtrann eile chugainn as tobar fíoruisce i gColáiste na Tríonóide in Áth Cliath ba ea an frog. Loscann a bheirtear air ó thuaidh. Meabhraíonn sin dom 'lispeen' m'óige dom, iascán srutháin a cheapaimis le searróg ghloine. Níl 'lisp' an lispín rófhada, samhlaím, ó 'losc' an loscainn!

Go bpille mé ar an gcur is cúiteamh anseo agaibh ar ndíbirt mo chuid ualaí oibre, guím gach rath ar an obair abhus agaibh.

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