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Irish in ordinary speech 1930s

Adhastar, a halter

Ascail, armful, hay, straw

Aiteann Gaelach, Tufts of furze

Amadán, a fool

Ainniseoir, a miserable person

Asal, a donkey

Bacán, treadle of spade

Barrfhód, top sod (turf/peat)

Barrghaois, phosphorescence

Bainbhín, little banbh (piglet)

Bainne Buí, beasting (first milk of cow)

Bainnc cioch Anna, splurge,

Balcais, tattered clothes

Barra liobar, numbness in finger, parathesia

Bastún, blockhead, eejit

Beach Ghabhair, a wasp, horse fly

Beart, bundle on back

Birineach, short pointed rush

Blathach, buttermilk

Bladaire, a flatterer, blower

Bogan, egg without shell

Boithrin, laneway

Braon, drop (whiskey)

Bothán, hut, hovel

Bro, a quern

Brosna, firewood, kippins

Brus, small pieces (as of turf)

Buachalán, ragworth, noxious weed

Buarach, spancel (milking)

Budan, stump of animal’s horn

Buaileann Sciath, boaster

Buailtean, striking staff or flail

Cabóg, a rustic labourer

Cabhlach, ruin of an old house

Cadarail, gossip

Caibin, an old hat

Caillichin, ash plant (cattle herding)

Caoch, blind

Carraigin, edible seaweed, moss

Caoran, small piece of dried turf

Ceis, a young sow

Ceartaigh, as when milking

Codladh griffin, Pins & needles

cabhóg, old hat

Cip-idir-ril, commotion

Cisean, basket

Cleamhnas, made match

Cleas-na-peiste, a type of knot which kills worms in cattle

Cliotar, clatter

Cnaimhseail, grumbling


Coincin, upturned nose

Cabaire Cailleach, an old hag

Caisearbhan, dandelion

Caol-fhod, narrow sod in furrow

Ceannrach, a halter or bridle

Ceartaigh, as when milking

Ceol, music

cip I’do ril, racket (disorder)

Ciaróg, beetle or cockroach

Ciotog, left handed person

Ciseach, path or bridge in wet ground, bog

Clais, furrow

Cliamhain isteach, Son-in-law in bride’s house

Corra mhiol, midge

Corra thronach, restless

Cleibhi, mantle over fireplace

Craobhabhar, Sty (eye)

Crobhnasc, Rope tied from cow’s foreleg to horn

Cruibin, Pig’s hoof

Cuingeal, Coupling rope ploughing

Culog, Riding behind another (horse)

Cupóg, dock plant

Cliotar, clatter

cnocan, hillock or knoll

Cniopaire, A miser

Codladh griffin, Pins & needles

Coinncin, Upturned nose

Cois ceim na trocaire, Three return steps when meeting a funeral

cri  neatness

Corra-giob, posterior

Corrabhuais, smirk, concern, uneasiness

Corrathonach, restless

Crain, sow

Creathan, small potato

Creatar, drop of drink

cunsog, nest of honeybees

Croitin Cuas, narrow inlet of sea

Cuigion, chur

Cuirliun, curlew

Cunsog, nest of honey bees

Deoch an dorais, One for the road

Diabhal, devil

Doirnín, Handle of scythe

Dorn, fist

Dramhail, refuse, trash

Dreadaire, good for nothing

Driodar, dregs (liquid)

Duileasc, edible sea weed

Dreoilín, Wren

Duchas, heritage, likeness ancestor

Eascu luachra, a lizard

Eist do bheal, shut up

Faire go deo, what a pity

Failte, welcome

Fear a’ti man o’the house

Feasóg, beard

Feochadan, thistle

Fite fuaite, mixed up, entwined

Fionnan, coarse grass on hill

Flaithiúil, generous

Fluirse, plenty

Fothain, shelter

Fuachtan, chilblain

Fustaire, a fussy person

Follain, healthy

Fraochan, hurtleberrry

Fuadar, rush hurry

Gabhail, hay in two arms

Gabhairin reo, jack snipe

Galloge, gállóg’ would apply to the fork handle of a catapult as having its mouthful of sling shot.

Gaillseach, earwig

Gam, a foolish person

Garbhog, bees nest in a ditch

Garsún, a young boy

Gearrach, a nestling

Gealas, braces, suspenders

Gibiris, prattle

Giobal, rag

Gioballach, untidy

Glaise, stream

Glib, hair hanging over eye

Gligin, hairbrained

Gob, big mouth

Go leor, ample

Gollan, large standing stone

Gliogar, an addled egg

Grafán, grubber

Gramhar, loving

Grideal, griddle

Griosach, red coals in ashes in turf in morning

Grabhas, ceartaigh, milking

Hum no Ham, word or movement

Iomaire, ridge of potatoes

Ladhar, handful (oats for horse)

Lairin, a little mare or pony

Leadhb, a useless person

Leadranach, untidy

Leath Sceal, excuse

Liudraman, useless lazy person

Luban, loop, tangle

Hulla builin, outcry, noise of hunt

Laincis, spancel

Lamh laidir, violence

Leadranach, lingering, slow

Liobar, untidy, hanging lip

Lubaire, a rogue

Luidín, little finger

Meadhbhán, dilisk,edible seaweed

Mar dhea, as he says

Maith go leor, tipsy

Mointean, reclaimed bogland

Meiscre, cracked skin on hand

Meascan Mearai, bewilderment

Meitheal, a group of helpers

Mi-adh, misfortune

Mi na Meala, honeymoon

Murdail, horror of horrors

M’hanamsa, oh! My soul

Mothal, bushy hair

Munlach, animal urine, dirty puddle

Muing, a fen, morass

Oinseach, foolish woman

Ologon, wailing (bain si)

Pilibin Miog, lapwing, plover

Pleidhche, simpleton, fool

Poc-leim, jump with joy

Poitín, poteen, illict whiskey

Portach, bog

Praiseach bui, stirabout

Piseog, superstious practice

Plucamas, the mumps

Pocan gabhar, male goat

Portach, bog

Puca padhail, a toadstoll

Raidse, plenty

Ri Ra, bedlam

Rogaire, a lovable rogue

Ruthail, rooting (pig)

Ruaille Buaille, commotion


Sceabha, askew

Sciollán, cut potato seed

Scolb, thatching spar

Scoraiocht, nightly visiting

Sean Saor, Cheap Jack, dealer

Slisne, thin wedge, (under nail), tiny chip of wood

Spagai, clumsy legs

Raidhse, plenty

Ri-ra, fuss, commotion

Rogaire, rogue

Salach, Mud sludge at bottom of stream/river

Scailp, sod, a scraw

Sceabha, askew

Sceach, a thorn bush

Sceartan, tick, bug

Scolb, thatching spar

Scoraiocht, nightly visiting

Scrogall, throat

Si-gaoithe, whirlwind

Sibín, illict pub

Sleán, turf-cutting tool

Slachtmhar, tidy

Slibire, a tall ungainly man

Sláinte, health

Slog, a gulp of liquid

Smidiriní, fragments

Slisne, thin wede of wood

Spailpín, migratory labourer

Spairt, poor quality turf

Sponnc, energy

Stail, stallion

Stracail, struggling

Staimpi, potato cake

Straille, untidy girl

Sugán, rope of straw of hay

Suiste, flail for threshing

Taith-fheithleann, honeysuckle

Taoibhin, patch on the side of a shoe

Taoscán, a small quantity

Teaspach, exhuberance

Tathaire, impertinent boy

Tobar na carriage, well cut into a large rock on way to school.

Tochas, itch

Traithnín, strong blade of grass

Trom Lui, nightmare

Tri cois ceimeanna na trocaire, about turn and take three steps with oncoming funeral

Tuistiun, a four penny piece

Taoscan, a small quantity of liquid

Tri co is ceimeanna na trocaire, about turn and take three steps with oncoming funeral

Tóin, bottom

Tomhaisin, a small quantity

Tri-na-cheile, confused

Tuairgin, a pounder

Uisce beatha, whiskey

Uisce faoi talamh, intrigue

Utamail, fumbling, groping

These phrases were collected from the ordinary speech of Durrus people in the 1930s by Joe O’Driscoll NT, Dunbeacon.

Additional words

Buachallán, ragworth

Muise muise, exclamation wisha wisha mhuishe

Durrus/Cork c 1965

Scoraí (Scorai): Hawthorn Haw

A book published recently (June 2013) by Críona Ní Gháirbhith on the Irish of Co. Clare contains around 2,500 words and phrases.  The publisher is COISCÉIM  www.coisceim.ie

Phrases 19th century in old Irish with English translation. These were photographed by permission of Mr. Deacon, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, 1965. They may go back to mid 19th century for Skibbereen/Bantry area. he was born Co. Kerry 1895, living in Skibbereen 1911 with family father born Co. Wexford mother nee O’Herlihy and uncle James O’Herlihy, Pubican