Letter from PUL on military terminology

Caisleán Ua Liatháin
Cae. Chorcaí. 24. X. 1914

A Sheáin a chara,

Sin chút na téarmaí chómh maith agus d’fhéadaim cuímhneamh orthu. Táid do théarmaí féin maith go leór ach amháin an focal “dualgas”. Is ionann “dualgas” agus “right”, i gcéill “duty” nú “prerogative”. Ní haon ní ní acu san atá uait anso ach an rud ar a dtugann duine “a cheart”. Féach: “an deichiú haon beidh Gaeil ag seasamh a gcirt”.

Is dó’ liom gur focal maith ar “uniform”, “cómhéadach”. “Táid siad i gcómhéadach”=“They are in uniform”. “Cómhéadaithe”=“uniformed”, &c.

Na focail Bhéarla atá glacaithe ón Laidin is feárr iad do ghlacadh mar atáid siad mar atá “rigimint”, “seictíó”, “bátaillió”. Tá oiread cirt againne chun na Laidne agus atá ag muíntir an Bhéarla chúithi.

date = “dáta”, nú, “lá”; lá a bháis=the date of his death.

Is dócha gurb ionann “ballation” agus an focal úd na bhfiann, .i. “cath”. Seacht catha na féinne”=“The seven battalions of the Fianna Éireann”. Focal Laidne amu’ ’s amach is ea “section”, .i. “sectio”.

Ansan tá agat, “cuideachta” agus “cuallacht”, agus “buíon”, agus “gasra”, agus “banna” (a band), agus “scabhta”, agus d’airíos go minic “scabhdrún” mar Ghaelainn ar “squadron”.

Tá téarmaí ár ndóthain mór againn ach iad d’fháil amach. Cuardaigh iad ins gach aon bhall, lastiar agus lastuaidh, agus ansan greamaigh ar an gcuid is feárr acu.

Do chara,

Peadar Ua Laoghaire.

Foclóirín

amach: “out” (directional), pronounced /ə’mɑx/. See under amu’.
amu’: “outside” (locational), or amuigh in GCh. PUL used the spelling amuich, probably to forestall a pronunciation in /gʹ/, as the pronunciation is /ə’mu/. Amu’ s amach, “out and out”.
ball: “place, spot”. Gach aon bhall, “everywhere”, pronounced /gəh ‘eːvəl/.
banna: “band”, a word used in the musical sense and to refer to a group of people. This word was traditionally spelt bannda, and IWM shows the pronunciation /baundə/, but PUL doesn’t appear to draw a distinction between this word and banna, traditionally spelt banna, meaning “bond, security”. So it seems both meanings of banna are pronounced alike, regardless of the traditional spelling, and the word banda, meaning “band” is the one pronounced /baundə/.
bátaillió:PUL here advises use to the Latinate word bátaillió for “battalion”, where cathlán has since been adopted in GCh.
cath: “battalion”, with catha here in the plural. Cathanna is often found in the plural in PUL’s works, and is the form found in GCh.
cómhéadach: “uniform”, a word that doesn’t seen to have caught on. GCh simply recommends éide, with “in uniform” being faoi éide.
cómhéadaithe: “uniformed”, or faoi éide.
cuideachta: “company, the people present” Pronounced /ki’dʹaxtə~ki’lʹaxtə/. Note the evidence given in CFBB that whereas some Muskerry speakers used an l in the related word cuideachtanas, AÓL had a d, indicating that the best speakers kept a d here.
Fiann (an Fhiann): the roving band of warriors celebrated in the Fenian cycle of myths, with Féinne in the genitive. Often plural as Fianna Éireann.
gasra: “band, group of people”, pronounced /gɑsərə/.
glacaim, glacadh: “to accept”. Note that this takes a direct object (rud do ghlacadh), whereas GCh has glacadh le rud.
greamaím, greamú: “to fix, fasten”. Dictionaries don’t show greamú used with ar, but greamaigh ar an gcuid is feárr acu here probably means “grab the best of them”.
i: i becomes ins before the article (in sna), and before gach in WM Irish.
Laidean: “Latin”, or Laidin in GCh, with Laidne in the genitive and Laidin in the dative. Pronounced /ladʹən, laŋʹi, ladʹinʹ/.
nú: “or”, or in GCh.
rigimint: PUL here advises use to the Latinate word rigimint for “regiment”, where reisimint has since been adopted in GCh.
scabhdrún: “squadron”, or scuadrún in GCh.
scabhta: “scout”.
seacht: “seven”. This numeral would normally eclipse a following word, but we find seacht catha here, where the final t of seacht devoices what would have been the g of the eclipsed catha.
seictíó: PUL here advises use to the Latinate word seictíó for “section” (in the military sense), where gasra is used in GCh.

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