The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45147   Message #667605
Posted By: GUEST,Philippa
12-Mar-02 - 09:00 AM
Thread Name: Help: What does 'asthore' mean?
Subject: RE: Help: What does 'asthore' mean?
Greg (10 March): It does look to me like the word 'stór' derives from the English, as in "treasure store", " a store of gold" . But in English we have not derived the endearment, "o, store!", but rather the unromantic "grocery store" (American example).
Gaelic and English have both borrowed words from each other. Probably Irish as a minority language for the last few centuries has borrowed more from the coloniser's language than vice versa. But often enough when English and Gaelic (whether Irish, Scots or Manx varieties) words seem similar, both word derive independently from Latin or occasionally from Norse.
I was interested to see the use of "Asthore" as a name. (I imagine it is a first name not a surname, used as a middle name in the case of Joan Asthore Higgins…can't be sure). This is very similar to the more familiar "Alanna", from the word "leanbh" (child) which can be used endearingly in the vocative, much the same way as we might call someone "pet" in English. As far as I've noticed, Alanna /Alana is not a very common name in Ireland.
In Ulster we more often address sweethearts as "a thaisce", which has the same meaning as "a stór". The endearment can be used quite casually, to a child or to a friend who is not a lover.

I certainly agree about the spelling of "crack". Although, it has survived most strongly in Ireland, the use of the word to mean conversation and conviviality derives from English language. It seems to have been popular in Scotland; there are poetic examples such as in the song "The work of the weavers", who all met together "for to sit and to crack". Recently there has a vogue in Ireland itself to write always write "craic" when the word has this meaning. Well, I suppose it's useful to distinguish enjoyable crack from crack cocaine or a crack in the ceiling, but really I think "craic" should only be the spelling when we are actually writing in Irish.

Bill Kennedy (11 March), I would translate "a chara" literally as "o friend". It has the same function as "Dear" in letter-writing. After all, "Go raibh maith agat" literally means something like "may you have good" but it is usually correct to translate it as "thank you".
In Irish, "Erin go bragh" would be "Éire go brách" (but 'g' and 'c' are somewhat interchangable in Irish/Gaelic orthography). Éire is the name of the country. The genitive "Éireann" as in "Mná na hÉireann" (women of Ireland) and the dative "Éirinn" as in "Ar Éirinn ní n-eosfainn cé hí" (for Ireland – i.e., not for anything - I wouldn't say who she is) are pronounced similarly to "Erin".