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The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2004 (July-September) » Archive through August 22, 2004 » What does this mean? « Previous Next »

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Alevans
Member
Username: Alevans

Post Number: 117
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 07:55 am:   Edit Post Print Post

This is a line from _An tOileánach_ that I can't seem to make any sense of at all:

Tomás Maol do tugtaí air, mar ná raibh oiread cnaipe do dhá chluais air...

Buttons? Ears? What does all that have to do with being bald?

--Al Evans

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OCG (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 82.69.43.128
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 11:05 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Maol can also mean smooth, I believe, if that might help.

He hadn't enough buttons for two ears???

I dunno...

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 14
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 04:12 am:   Edit Post Print Post

"mar ná raibh oiread cnaipe do dhá chluais air"
"he didn't even have the size of a button of ears"

or better: there wouldn't be enough in his two ears to make a buttton

i.e. his ears were very small

Maol means a lot of things, in this case it refers to the absence of ears!

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Alevans
Member
Username: Alevans

Post Number: 119
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 08:09 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Aonghus:


"mar ná raibh oiread cnaipe do dhá chluais air"
"he didn't even have the size of a button of ears"

or better: there wouldn't be enough in his two ears to make a buttton


So they were calling him "Thomas The Smooth" instead of "Bald Thomas", then?

Cool. Thanks, Aonghus!

(Incidentally, if you like memoirs of "the way things were", _An tOileánach_ is REALLY interesting, though you may find it rather difficult to read. There are a lot of words that are hard to interpret even after you find them in a dictionary, which is not necessarily a straightfoward operation. Sometimes you have to consider several possible alternate spellings!)

--Al Evans

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 18
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 11:56 am:   Edit Post Print Post

It ought also be remembered that an tOileánch was written a long time before standardisation. Therefore is is in the dialect of the island, which may or may not have been standardised in the edition you have. I think most editors go for minimum stanardisation, in favour of leaving it as intact as possible.

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Alevans
Member
Username: Alevans

Post Number: 120
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 03:56 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

As far as I can tell, nothing much has been "standardized" in the edition I have (Seán Ó Coileáin, editor, Cló Talbóid, 2002). I was shocked when I first started in on it, as I fancied I had become fairly good at reading Irish after reading all of four other more recent books:-)

The syntax is often difficult, and finding the words in Ó Donaill is usually difficult, and even determining the right meaning for the word after it's found is sometimes difficult.

But it's worth the trouble. There is no other way to get the real flavor of a time and place than to read the tales of people who lived in it.

Talking of a shipwreck which provided thousands of bags of flour, without which "there wouldn't have been anyone alive on this island":

"For a long time, a part of Ireland's living has come to us from the sea -- it's how she gives us a way to harvest her, the people say to one another."

That's not a thing I would have thought of, on my own....

--Al Evans

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Aonghus
Member
Username: Aonghus

Post Number: 19
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 04:06 am:   Edit Post Print Post

If you can read the old typefaces you should get Dinneens 1934 dictionary.

As far as Tomás Maol goes, both Dineen and an Foclóir Beag give "Bó Maol" a cow with no horns.

I suspect Tomás Maol got his name by analogy.

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Kathy (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted From: 198.81.26.47
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 04:16 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

In the USA, a "An Ri Ra' " festival was celebrated on the Weekend of August 13 - 15,'04. I understand that Ri Ra' means 'chaos' or 'unbridled'. By putting 'An' before 'Ri Ra' does it change the meaning or put a religious significance to the phrase? The "Assumption" is celebrated on Aug. 15 by Catholics - are these festivals connected?

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PAD (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted From: 12.76.15.31
Posted on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Rírá means hub bub or upheaval. An RíRá means the hubbub or hullabaloo , a general term for a rather noisy party or gathering, an being the word the. There is no religious significance to a rîrá and they can be held anytime the humor strikes.



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