Does "ball" mean "member"?

Hi, I just received my copy of Cath Ruis na Rí for Bóinn, by PUL, an update into modern Irish of an Old Irish story (for=an old version of ar). He provides a list of notes, which are specifically stated to have been composed by him and not by an editor. And one of his notes is this:

Lucht cómhairle: members of a council. The use of the Irish word ball in the general sense of the English word member is a horrible mistake. The Irish word ball has no such general meaning. The fundamental meaning of ball is a place. Its sense as a member [I think he is talking of a limb here] is a secondary meaning. It is ridiculous, intolerably ridiculous, to hear the members of an association called baill. Cá bhfuil na baill? does not mean where are the members? It means where are the places?


About dj1969

at the conservative end of the libertarian spectrum
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One Response to Does "ball" mean "member"?

  1. For a biograhical essay I am writing on 19th/20th century Irish bibliographer Ernest Reginald McClintock Dix, I am looking for information on his wife, Elizabeth Rachel (Leech) Dix, AKA Una Bhean Ui Dhiosca, who wrote under the pen name “Breanda.”

    On your site ( you have a brief entry about Una Bhean. Could I ask you, please, what was or were your source or sources? She is mentioned in a few recent books (e.g., Philip O’Leary’s “Gaelic Prose in the Irish Free State”) but I am unable to find any meaningful biographical material about her.

    Any help you can provide will be appreciated.

    –Peter K. Fallon

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