Gaelic Place Names: Creggan etc

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Cortamlet, corr tam leacht, ‘the round burial place’
Cortresla, corr trioslog, ‘the hill of the jumps’
Cranncrea, crann chrith, ‘the trembling poplar tree’
Creenkill, crion choill, ‘the dry rotten wood’
Camily, cam mhullaigh or cam liath, ‘crooked hills’ or ‘grey bend’
Cappagh, ceapach, ‘cultivated place’ [pron. ‘cappy’]
Carrickrovaddy, carraigh ruadh a’mhadaidh, ‘the dog’s red rock’
Carmeen, corr min, ‘the smooth round hill’
Carnally, carn ayeill, ‘the side of a sloping hill’
Carrickacullion, carraigh an chuilinn, ‘rock of the holly’
Carrickamoan, carraig na monadh, ‘the bog rock’
Cavanakill, cabhan na coille, ‘the hollow of wood’
Carran, carr

Pennyworth of Lies

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There’s them that would ridicule me for telling stories out a’ school, but if ye don’t get them from me, where wud ye hear them nowadays?  Me grandfather and namesake toul’ this one to all he’s, an’ he wasn’t the author he’s-self!  There cud be words missin’ and others outa place but I can on’y do me best.


It called the Pennyworth of Lies and it was Jack’s party-piece, a century ago.

Read morePennyworth of Lies

Ullans

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                             Ulster-Scots is now known as Ullans.  How can you tell the difference between somebody who is talking Ullans and somebody who is just using Ulster Dialect?  Easy.  Just use the guide below, made out by Philip Robinson, author of ‘Ulster-Scots: a Grammar of the Traditional Written and Spoken Language’. 

He advises:  ‘listen for a number of ‘markers’.  These are the most common words used by Ulster-Scots speakers and which are not used by other dialect speakers.  The Scots words thon, dander and wee [for that, stroll and small] have simply been borrowed into Ulster dialect.  But words like nicht, cannae and gye [for night, cannot and very] are very common markers for Ullans.  Almost all Ullans speakers will only use these markers at home or in each other’s company.  Outsiders may never hear it spoken because Ulster-Scots speakers also know English and use it with them. 

But it is a language spoken widely in four counties, Donegal, Londonderry, Antrim and Down, and has regional and social variations within these counties.  It is fully comprehensible only to native speakers.  It is distinct from English in many aspects of pronounciation, vocabulary and grammar.   

GUIDE

If you often hear – and sometimes use – less than 20 of the words below, your experience of Ullans is very limited and ‘ye cud dae wi a bit mair lairin’.  If you often hear – and sometimes use – more than half, you are already part of the Ulster-Scots speaking community.  More than that you are very familiar with current, everyday Ulster-Scots.’

ENGLISH

  • ULSTER DIALECT

ULLANS

of

o

o

yes

ay

ay

no

na

na

remember

min[d]

mind[d]

small

wee

wee

that

thon

thon

stroll

dander

danner

today

the day

the day

tomorrow

the morra

the morra

with

wi

wi

lane

loanen

loanen

path

pad

pad

there

thonder

thonner

to

til

til

ditch

sheuch

sheuch

brat

skitter

skitter

shout

gulder

gulder

tip over

coup

coup

sly

sleekit

sleekit

than

nor

nor

endure

thole

thole

awkward

thran

thran

have

have

hae

give

give

gie

not

nat

no

from

from

frae/fae

any

any

onie

several

lock

wheen

stone

stone

stane

more

more

mair

most

most

maist

home

home

hame

sore

sore

sair

head

head

heid

round

roun’

roon

house

house

hoose

town

town

toon

foot

fut

fit

none

noan

nane

over

over

owre

couldn’t

cud’n

cudnae

wouldn’t

wud’n

wudnae

won’t

won’t

winnae

one

wan

yin

bright

bright

bricht

light

light

licht

 

Street Rhymes

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We had street chants for most occasions and most circumstances.  I can remember only a few.  When you wanted to vex someone, or to distract your mate from something else, you would point determinately until she/he looked in that direction.  Then you would chant:
 
I made you look
I made you stare
I made the barber cut your hair!
He cut it long
He cut it short
He cut it with a knife and fork!
 
If you remember others, please post them on Guestbook!

Blackmen or not?

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There was a programme on Radio Ulster recently about the Bessbrook Mill.  It reminded me of a story told to me by Billie McCaigue who was, at the time, a Unionist Councillor for Newry Town. 

During the Second World War some Divisions of the American Army were stationed in Bessbrook prior to their departure to France.  One afternoon one of the soldiers came into a shop in the village and the young lady asked,

‘ Sir, what can I get you?’

Read moreBlackmen or not?

Place Names/Irish: Latt etc

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Tullyhappy Tulach Apaidh  – the ripe mound
Sturgan      – the peak
Skegatillida  Sceach a’tSeilide – the snail’s thorn bush
Maytown Maigh Tamhain – plain of the herds
Maghernahely Machire na’chilin – plain of the little church
Lissummon  (actually Lissemor) – great fort
Goragh      – goat-grazing place
Latt     – cattle-grazing place
Killybodagh  coil na mBodach – churl’s wood
Keggal cagal   – cockle or tare’s land
Drumbanagher  druimbeanchair – peaked ridge
Duvernagh Dubh Bhearnach – black gap
Cloughreagh  cloch riach  – grey stones
Carrickcruppen carraig chropain – outcrop rocks
Carricknagalliagh [na gCailleach]- rock of the veils
Ballynaleck  baile na leac  – townland of flagstones
Carrickbracken [bhreacain] – speckled rock

Newry Journal