"Some Gaelic for the Roadmap" Top 5 Page for this destination Isle of Skye Favorite Tip by RhineRoll

Isle of Skye Favorites: 35 reviews and 44 photos

  Suas leis a' Ghàidhlig -- up with the Gaelic!
by RhineRoll

Favorite thing: In these parts of Scotland, I am happy to tell you that it is inevitable that you come across words from one of the most intriguing and beautiful languages of Europe -- Gaelic! Most of the words you will see either on your road map or on bilingual signs. The Gaels have a deep relationship with their surroundings, so there are plenty of place names. Many names are descriptive, some Gaelic knowledge will help you to understand what the place is about.

This is what you could come across:

*Ath-, -Atha -- ford (Ballina -- Beal an Atha -- mouth of the ford, Broadford, An t-Ath Leathann -- literally the "broad ford")
*Bal-, Baile -- town -- (Ballachulish -- Baile A'Chaolais -- town of the narrows)
* Ben, Beinn --- Mountain (Ben Nevis)
* Sgurr -- sharp mountain, peak, pinnacle ( Sgurr Na Stri -- "peak of Strife")
* Meall -- Rounded Top, round ridge (Meall Gorm -- Blue ridge)
* Bealach -- mountain pass (Bealach Na Ba -- Pass of the Cattle)
* Eilean, innis -- Island (Eilean Ban -- the fair Isle)
* Aodann -- Slope, hill-face (An t-Aodann Ban -- Gaelic Name for Edinbane, the "fair slope")
* Allt -- stream -- the possessive case of allt is uillt -- taigh is a house. Hence Taynuilt -- Taigh an Uillt -- House of the Stream! It's not that difficult, is it? :-)
* Gleann -- Glen, valley
* Eas -- waterfall
* Druim -- back (meaning rounded ridge) -- Drumnadrochit -- Druim Na Droichead -- "Ridge of the Bridge"
* Sràth (pronounced Strah) -- wide valley
* Kil- (related to "cell") -- church
* Dun -- Castle, Fort (Dun Eideann -- Edwin's castle -- Gaelic name for Edinburgh)
* Coire -- corrie, gully
* Ceann (Kin-) -- Head, End -- Kinlochleven -- Ceann Loch Liobhain --" Head of the Lake of the grey water"
* Caol, Caolas -- narrow, narrows -- Kyle- Kyle of Lochalsh -- Caolas Loch Aillse -- the narrows of Loch Aillse

and, most importantly,

uisge -- water
beatha -- life
uisge beatha -- water of life -- Whisky! :-)))

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 8, 2005
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