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Thursday, February 23, 2006



By: John Robert Mallernee, Clan Bard

Do you think you don't know how to speak Gaelic, just because you're American and speak only English?

Have I ever got news for you!

I'm copying this from a "WORD POWER" page taken from an old issue of "READER'S DIGEST" magazine.

It doesn't say on the page which issue it came out of, so I don't know which month or year it was, although it does mention "Saint Patrick's month."

Also, these words might be Irish, and not Highlander, but I suspect they're probably common to both languages.

So, here are a list of Gaelic words, with their definitions, which we use in our everyday English language.

KEEN - - - To wail in lament for the dead, from the Irish, "caoine"
(note the Americanization of the spelling, for there is no "K" in the Celtic alphabet)

SMIDGEN - - - A small amount

BARD - - - Once, a person who wrote and recited epic poetry; today, an accomplished poet

CAIRN - - - A pile of stones set up as a monument or landmark

SMITHEREENS - - - small pieces

GLOM - - - to catch or grab

GALORE - - - in plentiful amounts

DOUR - - - sullen; gloomy

REEL - - - To sway from a blow or shock, often as in dizziness

BLATHER - - - To talk foolishly or babble

BROGUE - - - Sturdy shoe (and originally a peasant's heavy shoe); also, strong Irish or Scottish accent in the pronunciation of English

DUN - - - A dull grayish brown, or a description of a horse of that color

KIBOSH - - - Nonsense

SLEW - - - A large number or quantity

GLEAN - - - To gather, learn, find out
(Gosh, gee whillikers, that word's even in our Holy Bible!)

HOOLIGAN - - - A young thug or street hoodlum

SLOGAN - - - A distinctive phrase often associated with a product or political party

Slainte mhath, y'all!

John Robert Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

"My personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

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