Gaeilge Mhanann Chomhráiteach (12)


Laa n’Ollick as Laa n’Ollck Beg

Lá Nollag a’s Lá Nollag Beag

Christmas Day and New Year Day

Row shiu rieau goll er y ‘Quaaltagh[1]?’

Robh siu riamh gol air a’ Comhaltach?’

Did you ever go on the ‘quaaltagh’?

Va dy jarroo, agh atreih!

Bha da dearbh, ach a truaigh[2]!

Yes indeed, but alas!

Cha nel ny Manninee cur monney geill da’n chenn chliaghtey nish

Chan eil na Manannaigh cur mona géill da’n tsean chleachta ’nois

The Manx people don’t pay much heed to the old customs now

Bleeantyn er-dy-henney[3], b’oayllagh[4] ny guillyn aegey goll er ny thieyn Oie’ll Voirrey as Laa ‘n Ollick Beg

Bliantan air-da-sheine, b’eólach na goillean éaga gol air na taigheann Oíche’l (i. oíche Fhéile) Mhoire as Lá Nollag Beag

Years ago, the young boys used to go (around) on the houses on Christmas Eve and New

Year’s Day

Ec y dorrys yinnagh peiagh aa-loayrt ny goan shoh: 

Aig a’ doras dhéanadh péachach a labhairt na gothan[5] seo:

At the door, (a person) one would recite these words:

Ollick ghennal[6] erriu[7] as blein feer vie

’Ollaig gheanail oraiu as bliain fíor mhaith

A Merry Xmas on ye, and a very good year

Seihll as slant da’n clane[8] lught-thie

Saol as sláint’ da’n c-slán[9] lucht taigh

Long life and health to the whole family

Bea as gennallys[10] eu bio[11] ry-cheilley

Beatha as geanaileas aiu bio re-chéile

Life and merriment living together

Shee as graih eddyr mraane as deiney

Síth as gráidh eadar mrán as daoine

“Peace and love ‘twixt women and men

Cooid as cowryn[12], stock as stoyr

Cuid as comharan, stoc as stór

Goods and wealth, stock and store

Palchey phuddase[13] as skeddan dy-liooar

Pailte phudás as scadán da leor

Plenty potatoes and herring enough

Arran as caashey, eeym as roayrt[14]

Aran as cáise, ím as reothart[15]

Bread and cheese, butter and beef

Baase myr lugh ayns uhllin ny soalt

Bás mar luch anns uileann na sabhalt

Death like a mouse in the corner of the barn

Cadley[16] sauchey[17] tra vees shiu ny Ihie

Cadla sáibhte tráth bhidheas siu na laighe

Sleeping safe when you’ll be in bed

As feeackle y jiargan[18] nagh bee dy mie

As fiacal a’ dearga(i)nn nach bidh da maith

And the tooth of the flea, may it not be good

Eisht veagh guilley lesh y kione dhoo cuirrit dy heet stiagh ayns y thie

Eist bheadh gille[19] leis a’ cionn[20] dubh cuirit da thíot ’steach anns a’ taigh

Then a dark-haired boy would be invited to enter the house

Va jough as greim dy vee currit da, yn chooid share v’oc ayns y thie

Bha deoch as greim da vee curait da, an chuid ’s fhearr bh’oc anns a’ taigh

Drink and a bite of food were given him, the best they had in the house

Tra v’ad giu[21], yiarragh y guilley

Tráth bh’ad guibhe, dhéaradh a’ gille

When they were drinking, the boy would say

Shoh slaynt as shee as eash dy vea, as maynrys son dy bragh

Seo sláint as síth as aois da bheatha, as meanras son da brách

Heres health and peace and age of life, and happiness for ever


[1]“THE first person who enters the house on New Year’s morning is called ” The Quaaltagh,” and it is a matter of considerable anxiety, particularly amongst the female portion of the household, that it should be a person of dark complexion, as a lighthaired male or a female is deemed unlucky (and a “agagh, a splay footed person, is considered as particularly so), to be the first-foot on that day, and many a plan is resorted to, in order to keep the unwelcome one outside, and many a sly peep is taken at the visitor, to ascertain if it is the desired one.” http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/manxsoc/msvol16/p135.htm;

“quaaltagh (G comh-dhaltach) n. [kwæ:ltax] JBo, [kwaltʰax] DK ‘first-foot’” (Boderick, John Rhŷs and his Manx Gaelic notebooks of his visits to the Isle of Man (1886-1893)

[2]Deirtear mar ‘troigh’ nó ‘treigh’ é déanta na fírinne.

[3] Cf. GÉ ó shin; GA bho shin (Bunadas). 

[4] Cf. GÉ eolach (Bunadas). Neu-oayllagh ‘unacquainted’. neamh-eolach. (Broderick)

[5] Cf. Ir. ‘gothán’ – Broderick, George, “Prof. Sir John Rhŷs in the Isle of Man (1886–1893): linguistic material and texts”, in: Karl, Raimund, and Katharina Möller (eds), Proceedings of the second European Symposium in Celtic Studies: held at Prifysgol Bangor University from July 31st to August 3rd 2017, Hagen/Westfalen: curach bhán, 2018. 35–70.

[6] = GA geanail (Bunadas).

[7] = GÉ oraibh. 

[8] = GÉ slán, i. ‘<tslán’. 

[9] Admháin gur áit agus gránna fiú an litriú ‘c-slán’ do Ghaeilgeoirí na hÉireann, ach léiríonn sé an Ghaeilge Mhanann.

[10] “jollity, glee, joviality, jocularity, amiableness, cheerfulness, geniality, conviviality, mirth, chirpiness, bonhomie” (Online Manx Dictionary – OLMD).

[11] = GÉ beo. Is é [b´jo] an fuaimniú a léiríonn an litriú, ach b’fhéidir [bl´o:] agus [bljo:] freisin (Broderick 2016). 

[12] “chattel(s), belongings, riches, effects (OLMD). Cf. cowrey (ScG. comharradh) (Broderick: 2016). Cf. GÉ comhartha. “cowrey= a sign, mark, omen, emblem, and the plural is “cowraghyn” the form “cowryn” means emblems of prosperity, wealth (Notaí Juan Y Geill).

[13] Cuireann an focal seo an leagan ‘purdas’ i gcuimhin dom, focal a bhí ag seanduine nó beirt i ndeisceart an Dúin ag deireadh an 20ú Chéad. 

[14] “roayrt = the flood tide. hence a great flow of anything. Beef was

a great luxury in the hard times of long ago (Notaí Juan Y Geill).

[15] Cf. GÉ ‘rabharta’.

[16] = GÉ ‘codladh’.

[17] Cf. “(Ir. sá(i)bhte + -as) n. [sauʒəs], [sɔuʤəs] CK ‘safety’” (Broderick, 2016). 

[18] = GA ‘deargann’.

[19] Bheadh sé chomh maith céanna an litriú ‘giolla’ a úsáid. 

[20] = ceann.

[21] i. ag+ibhe. Cf. GÉ ‘ibhe’, GA ‘ibh’.

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