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Gaelic parts in place names

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Help: pronunciation of irish place names (6)


MudGuard 07 May 00 - 03:47 AM
Amergin 07 May 00 - 04:08 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 07 May 00 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Crazy Eddie 07 May 00 - 08:07 AM
Snuffy 07 May 00 - 08:10 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 07 May 00 - 09:07 AM
Crowhugger 07 May 00 - 10:07 AM
MudGuard 07 May 00 - 10:44 AM
AoifeO 07 May 00 - 03:01 PM
GUEST 07 May 00 - 04:57 PM
sheila 07 May 00 - 10:23 PM
Snuffy 08 May 00 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Annraoi 08 May 00 - 08:38 PM
Snuffy 08 May 00 - 08:48 PM
Snuffy 08 May 00 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,Paddy(1) 08 May 00 - 08:59 PM
Brendy 09 May 00 - 01:30 AM
Áine 09 May 00 - 02:27 AM
MudGuard 09 May 00 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,Annraoi 09 May 00 - 02:25 PM
MartinRyan 15 May 00 - 05:36 PM
Penny S. 15 May 00 - 05:50 PM
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Subject: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: MudGuard
Date: 07 May 00 - 03:47 AM

Hi all,
is there some Gaelic speaker who can help me?
I have found the following parts in several Irish place names. With some of these parts I think I know the meaning, with others I don't.
PartMeaningExample
Ardford, crossingArdmore, Ardara
Athford, crossingAthassel
Bally, BallinavillageBallyheige, Ballinasloe
BegsmallKinsalebeg
Cahir???Cahir, Cahirsiveen, Caherdaniel
Carrick???Carrick-on-Shannon, Carrickfergus
Cashel???Cashel, Shanacashel
Clogheen???Reanaclogheen
Clon???Clonakilty,Clonmacnoise
Curragh???Curragh
Derreen???Derreenacarrin, Derreeny
Drumcastle, fortRathdrum
Dun, Dooncastle, fortDungarvan, Lisdoonvarna, Rathdrum
Glass???Ardglass, Curryglass
GlenvalleyGlendalough, Glen of Aherlow
Inis/InishislandInishmore, Inisheen, Inisfree
KilchurchKilkenny, Killarney
KnockhillKnockalough, Knocklomena
Liscastle, fortLisdoonvarna, Lispole
LoughlakeGlendalough, Lough Mask, Lough Corrib
MorebigArdmore, Inishmore
Owen???Inishowen, Dunowen Head
Rathcastle, fortRathdrum
Rosneck of landRosslare
SlievemountainSlieve League
TrabeachTralee
Can you please help me in completing the table?
Corrections are also welcome!
Thanks in advance,
Mudguard


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Amergin
Date: 07 May 00 - 04:08 AM

May be wrong, but I beleive that Curragh is a type of boat. Don't quote me on this though because I am not sure.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 07 May 00 - 06:48 AM

In Scottish Gaelic Ard = High.

I'm not sure if Curragh is Irish or Scottish, but yes, it is a type of boat. Usually small and round, I believe?

Ath = Next

Kin = Ceann = Head/Start/End/Finish

One of the others who is more familiar with Irish meanings can probably give more information. The above is Scottish Gaelic.


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: GUEST,Crazy Eddie
Date: 07 May 00 - 08:07 AM

Cahir = Cahir= City Carrick= Carraig= Rock Cashel=Caiseal=Castle Glass=Glas=Green Owen=Abhainn=River

These are Angicised phonetic spellings of Gaelic words. I've given the Anglicised version, the Gaelic spelling, and a translation into english. My Irish (Gaelic) is rusty so the Gaelic spellings may not be perfect, but I'm pretty confident of the translations. Eddie


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 May 00 - 08:10 AM

I'm not certain about the Irish, but I have a book "Place names on maps of Scotland and Wales", which gives the following:

ard,aird = height, promontory cathair = circular stone fort, chair, fairy knoll carraig = rock caiseal = stone wall, stone fort (Latin castellum) clachan = place of stones (stone house or church), cluain = green plain, pasture hamlet, burying place claigeann = skull, head, rounded hillock deri = oaks glais = stream glas = grey, green

No suggestions for clon or curragh

I had always assumed that Owen was a person's name (Inishowen = Owen's Island, Ardoyne = Owen's Hill, etc)

Hope this helps

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 07 May 00 - 09:07 AM

Owen would probably come from Eoghain, a person's name, as Snuffy says. It's not easy to say with names whether the Gaelic comes first or the English.

For instance, Avon is usually taken to be from the Gaelic word Abhainn for stream/river.


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Crowhugger
Date: 07 May 00 - 10:07 AM

Mudguard, thanks for this. The place names in my native Ottawa Valley are taking on a whole new meaning.

CH.


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: MudGuard
Date: 07 May 00 - 10:44 AM

Thanks for all your help!
MudGuard


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: AoifeO
Date: 07 May 00 - 03:01 PM

Ard= high, Glass= green


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 00 - 04:57 PM

bally sometimes comes from "bealach", a way or path, but usually from "baile" a town
drum, a ridge, from the word for a back
clon=cluain, a field
clogheen might mean a little rock or a small nunnery (clochar)?
"abhainn" can be pronounced "owen", but I agree with George that it represents a personal name in the place names sited
I think in place names "curragh" refers to the shape of the land


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: sheila
Date: 07 May 00 - 10:23 PM

Common usage in northwest Scotland has 'clachan' being a small group of houses - a township. Makes sense, since the old houses were made of heaps of stones.


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 May 00 - 08:45 AM

I think that probably when Owen is at the end it is someone's name, but at the beginning it could be River - there are a few rivers called Owenduff (Black River or Blackwater)

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 08 May 00 - 08:38 PM

Rather than useless speculation, why not spend some time searching the Net for books on Irish placenames ? there's no shortage. Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 May 00 - 08:48 PM

Speculation's free - buying a book ain't

And why let facts get in the way of riding a habby horse?

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 May 00 - 08:49 PM

Habby horse???

Must lern to profreed

Wassail!V


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: GUEST,Paddy(1)
Date: 08 May 00 - 08:59 PM

Right on Snuffy!

droim as in "drum" does mean back or ridge.

Don't confuse "curragh" with "currach" which is a small seafaring rowing boat.

Glass is green

Deire means the end of something

Cashel probably means "castle" so Seanacashel actually means "Old Castle"

Rath (pronounced "RAUH") means a collection of dwellings

or a fort.

Owen is a corruption of "Abhainn" (pronounced almost the same) which means river
This is similar to "Avon" in Anglo Saxon; hence Avonmore is "the big river" while Avonbeg is "the little river"

Paddy(1)


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Brendy
Date: 09 May 00 - 01:30 AM

Good suggestion, Annraoí. Have a wee look here

I'm also sure that a library could help you out

Or a good old search at Google could do the trick as well.

The thing about this subject, with all due respect, is that there is too much to explain, and translations can be ambiguous, as can interpretations of translations.
When I first saw your post, Mudguard, I said to myself: "Where do we start". That would be my reading of it.

For instance, I come from Portadown - County Armagh.

Portadown can be translated two ways;
Port an Dúnain - meaning 'The point of the fort'. This alludes to the fact that in the 1500's and onwards there was a British fort at what they call 'The Point of Whitecoat"

Port an dhá Ábhainn - meaning 'The point of the two rivers'.

The two places are actually the one, because 'The Point of Whitecoat' was also the place where the Bann River met the Cusher, 2 miles south of the town. The Newry Canal was later joined to this confluence.

But which one is the right one?

It's a HUGE topic, and one man's definition might not necessarily be the proper one, and would only serve to confuse you more.

Check out those links, go to a library; it really is a fascinating subject, and you'll find that a lot of the names of places have roots in something very local, their geography, for example, which make general translations innappropriate. Here's a good one, a townland outside of Portadown:
Knocknamuckley.

Anyone want to have a go?

B.


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Áine
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:27 AM

Brendy -- those are some great resource links you've provided.

Here's my list just for fun:

ard / hill, height / Ardagh, Ardmore
áth / ford / Adare, Athenry, Athlone
baile, bally / town, townland / Ballydehob, Ballina, Ballinlough
beag, beg / small / Beginish
cathair / city / Cahir
carraig, carrick / a rock / Carrick, Carrickfergus, Carrickmacross
caiseal / circular fort / Cashel
caisleán / castle (caiseal is used for a castle or rook when playing chess) / Caisleán an Bharraigh (Castlebar)
cloigín / little bell, a small cluster (cloigín tithe - cluster of houses) / Clogheen
cluain / meadow / Clones, Clonmel, Clontarf, Clontibret
ceathrú / quarter / Curragh, Carracloghy, Carrowcloghan
cruach / rounded hill / Croaghbeg, Croaghpatrick
doire / oak wood, grove / Derry, Derrycarna, Derrygarriv
droim, druim / ridge, hillock / Drumfin, Dromkeen, Drumanoo, Drumcondra
dún / fort, promontory / Doneraile, Dundrum, Dunloe, Dunmanway
glas, glaisín / small river, stream / Glasagh, Glasheencoombaun
gleann / glen, valley / Glendalough, Glenealy, Glenroe
inis / island, water meadow / Ennis, Inch, Inistioge, Lahinch
cill, kill / church / Kilmactranny, Killarney, Kildare
cnoc, knock / hill / Knock, Knockroe, Knocktopher
lios / ring fort / Lismore, Listowel
loch, lough / a lake / Lough, Loughbeg, Loughrea
mór / large / Ardmore
abhainn / river
ráth / circular fort, earth mound / Raheen, Raheny, Rathkeale, Rathmore
ros / wood, headland / New Ross, Roscommon, Roscrea
sliabh / mountain / Slievenamon, Slievenamuck, Slieveroe
trá / beach, strand / Tralee, Tramore


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: MudGuard
Date: 09 May 00 - 04:50 AM

Hello,
thanks for all the information you gave me!!!

Before I posted here, I tried the library at my home town. But there was not a single book about Irish place names or the Irish language. I did not only look on the shelves, but also in the computer-based catalogue which allows wildcard searching which I used heavily - I think if there is such a book it is not in the catalogue. (The problem might be that I am in a country with very few people with Irish ancestors: Germany)
The topic is not that important to me that I would invest any large sum of money in it - I did not find anything on the topic in the bookstores, also not in their catalogues of German books.
That is why I tried to gather the information here - sorry if I offended anyone with that.

MudGuard


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:25 PM

Mudguard: Don't apolgise. No-one of any consequence took offence. Snuffy: Knowledge is not free. I has to be earned and that process carries a price, be it in terms of time or money, effort or excercise of intelligence. Brendy: Thanks for the support. Place name study is a very complcated affair indeed. Even native speakers of Irish have different interpretations of place names e.g. Magheraroarty (anglicised version)in Donegal is either:- a) Machaire (an) Rabhartaigh : plain of the high tide. or b) Machaire Uí Rabhartaigh: (O')Roarty's plain. Place name study is fascinating indeed, but not for the linguistically naive or the wishful-thinker. Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 May 00 - 05:36 PM

"curragh" in placenames comes from a word for "marsh" - as in the Curragh of Kildare - not that its marshy any longer!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Nonmusic: Gaelic parts in place names
From: Penny S.
Date: 15 May 00 - 05:50 PM

I believe that Avon in England is not Anglo-Saxon except by adoption - like Derwent/Darent, Dour, Dee and so on, river names tend to be Celtic, even in the east. You could call words like pyjamas, bungalow, and didgeridoo Modern English, justifiably, but it does rather obscure something essential.

There are a couple of basic rules you need to remember - what is the earliest the name is known? If it predates the supposed reason for the name, then it indicates something about the folk etymology. Do the earliest versions resemble other words than the ones they resemble now, which may have been influenced by folk etymology? And places are more often named for features of the place than oddities of people, so you need to know the geography.

Penny


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