Notes on the LS of Aesop

In the preface, it is specifically stated that Osborn Bergin is aiming to show the pronunciation of the generation of the 1850s.
Some words have alternatives:
* dálta can be /dɑːltə/ or /dɑːlhə/, and all similar words exhibit the same choice.
* seisean can be /ʃiʃən/ or /ʃeʃən/.
* gach éinne can be /gə xeːŋʹi/ or /gɑh eːŋʹi/.
* tíormaigh can be /trʹimigʹ/ or /tʹiːrmigʹ/.
* i rachtaibh/i riochtaibh can be /ə rɑxtivʹ/ or /ə ruxtivʹ/.
* Usage varies regarding the article in ar an mbórd, which may be /erʹ ə moːrd/.
Osborn Bergin also points out that final vowels are often and regularly elided before vowels:
* duine acu: /dinʹ ə’ku/.
* ag faire orthu: /ə farʹ orhə/.
* agus me im chodladh: /ɑgəs mʹəm xolə/.
Fluent readers should elide as shown above.

Chapters 1-5
roimh: transcribed as /rimʹ/, although I prefer to let roimh stand where it is found in the original.
fabhaill: transcribed as /foulʹ/ – I think there is great confusion between /ou/ and /au/ in WM Irish. /ou/ is found in labhair and a few words, and I believe both Osborn Bergin and Shán Ó Cuív overused /ou/. Here /faulʹ/ would be better.
chómhachtaibh: transcribed as /xoːx’tiːvʹ/, but as PUL had cómhachta and not cómhachtaí in the plural, I believe it is better to let dative plural ends whether long or short, stand as they were in the original text.
dá, ‘ghá: Bergin transcribes +the verbal noun as /dɑː/ and ‘ghá+the verbal noun as /ɑː/. Both are generally /ɑː/ in Irish today, although there may have been some use of /dɑː/, which is etymologically unsound. I transcribe as and dhá in my editions
shuigh sé: one of the few verbs that has an audible g in the preterite, /higʹ ʃeː/.
á rá, ag rá: with a slender r, /ɑː rʹɑː, ə rʹɑː/.
árdliaigh: I had thought it was pronounced with a broad g, but Bergin has /ɑːrd-lʹiə/.
aige: Bergin has /igʹ’i/.
gearánta: Bergin has /gʹi’rɑːntə/; I assumed the first vowel would be omitted and the g slenderised.
gcurfá: /gər’fɑː/. It seems PUL had a broad r in this word.
fheabhas: /ous/, where /au/ would be better.
beirthe: /bʹerhə/, with a broad r.
tar: /tɑr/ where tair, with a slender r, is widely attested as the local form.
ioscad ghaoil: transcribed “iosgad guíl”, possibly /iskəd giːlʹ/, but it is not clear why Bergin has removed lenition here.
is geárr: /iʃ gʹaːr/, but I am not sure it is correct to slenderise the s other than before third-person pronouns.
do rug: /də rʹug/ with a slender r.
cá: transcribed /ka/ with no long a, but this may be a typographical error.
an t-iománaí: /ən tʹu’mɑːniː/. I am wondering if a slender t provides a contrast with the apparently broad t of tiománaí.
marófar: /mə’roːfər/, where the slender r seems wrong, but the r was written slender in the original text. Maróidís in fable 6 has the same problem, showing this is no one-off mistranscription.
dtosnaímís: /dosə’niːmʹiːʃ/, where the epenthetic vowel seem wrong, unless Bergin heard that from some speakers.
mar seo: /mɑrʹ ʃo/, where the r is given as slender. And the same thing elsewhere in this text for mar sin.
imbriathar: spelt am briathar in the original and transcribed as if /əm brʹiahər/. It may be that the labial consonants m an b remain broad despite the slender r, and that ambriathar would be a better spelling?
do ghnó féin dein: /də ɣnoː fʹeːnʹ dʹeːnʹ/, as if the imperative dein is ossified in this proverb.
seabhac: /ʃouk/, where once again /au/ would be better.

Chapters 6-10
géill: hostages, transcribed as /gʹeːlʹ/. Yet I am left wondering whether gill would not be a better plural of geall, but the fact that the original glossary claimed the singular was giall may provide the answer here.
inníor: transcribed as /iː’ŋʹiːr/, but the length of the first vowel seems erroneous, conflicting with IWM.
thúirlic: the past tense of túirleacan is transcribed as if /huːrlʹigʹ/, resolving a long-standing query of mine as to the pronunciation. However, the context is thúirlig an phiast, and in fable 18 below thúirlic sí is transcribed /huːrlʹikʹ ʃeː/.
chruaigh sé sa ghadaíocht: /xruəgʹ ʃeː/.
gcroich, croiche: shown as /groh, crohi/, but I am wondering if /i/ pronunciations are also possible here.

Chapters 11-12
saighead: pronounced /siːd/ here, but I am thinking /səid/ may be a better transcription.
shraing: prounounced /hriːŋʹ/ here, but I am thinking /hriːŋgʹ/ is a better transcription.
urchair: transcribed as if /urəxirʹ/, but IWM has /ruxirʹ/ for this word. I suppose it depends on how quickly the first u is pronounced.

doimhneas: /doŋʹəs/, where /deŋʹəs/ is also possible.
agead chlaínn: transcribed as agat’chluíng, implying /igʹət xliːŋʹ/, i.e., the ch devoices the d of agead.
tar éis: /trʹeːʃ/.


abha: /ou/, where /au/ would have been the better transcription.
sula: Osborn Bergin transcribes as /sɑrə/.
cuilith: transcribed as /kilʹihi/, which conforms better to the accepted form cuilithe.
chosnóidh: /xosə’noː/ with an epenthentic vowel.
stoirm: transcribed as sdoirim, which implies a pronunciation /storʹimʹ/ with an o.
i riochtaibh: transcribed as if /ə rɑxtivʹ/, and i reachtaibh is a possible variant.

croiceann: transcribed as if /krokʹən/, where /krekʹən/ is also possible.
uime: transcribed as if /imʹ’i/, with the accent on the second i.
ná rug: transcribed as /nɑː rʹug/, and I would like to check that the r is definitely slender even in non-lenitable circumstances.


deól: transcribed as if from deol, possible a mistranscription.


os cómhair: transcribed as as côir, showing that os is or can be pronounced /ɑs/, although IWM shows /os/.
abhal: transcribed as if úll, showing that even if spelt abhal, as the traditional spelling, this is the same as ubhall or úll.
dias: transcribed as if dias (and not lias), showing that replacing d by l was not universal.
inead: transcribed as if from ionad here.
poillín: transcribed as pouilín, but I think this a mistranscription, although poll is definitely /poul/.
aoibhneas: transcribed as ívneas, without an epenthetic vowel between the v and the n. This seems a mistranscription, as shown in IWM.
doircheacht: transcribed as doirihacht, which seems to show the pronunciation is with an o.
ollbhúirth: transcribed as alavúirh, and I am wondering if oll- as a prefix is generally pronounced /ɑl(ə)/.
ghlam: transcribed as ghlaum, indicating the diphthong.
uallfairte: transcirbed as ulhirti, and ulfairte was found in the original text. I would like further confirmation that there is no diphthong in the first syllable.
ní beag liomsa dhe:  transcribed /ní beog lium-sa ghe/, which may show that ní beag liom doesn’t have to be /nʹiː bʹe lʹum/.

coileán an mhada ruaidh: pronounced cuileán a vada rueg, showing that ruaidh is pronounced with a slender g.
den altóir: transcribed do’n altóir, showing that den is don in pronunciation, but transcription like this is not consistent.
thúirling sí: transcribed as húirlic shí ( see also comment in ch 6-10 above): I am wondering if it is normally húirlig and húirlic before shí as the g is devoiced.
oinigh: transcribed oinig, implying the first vowel is o.
folláin: transcribed as fuláin, but better without the first vowel at all, fláin.


ar ghálaibh aonair: transcribed as er ghaluiv änuir, indicating correctly there should not have been a long á in the original.
luachra: transcribed as luachra, with no sign of an epenthetic.


tirim: transcribed as trim.
thiormaigh: transcribed as hriumuig, but híormuig would also be possible.
ionfhuar: transcribed as onuar.
táim dhom loscadh le tart: transcribed as táim am losga le tart, and I am very dubious over the authenticity of this dhom.

roinneamair: transcribed as roingeamuir as if there were no diphthong in the first syllable. I need more evidence on this one.
abhac: transcribed as ouc, where auc would be better, reflecting a continual confusion over whether /au/ or /ou/ is the vowel in such words. I assume that Brian Ó Cuív had it right in IWM that most of these are /au/, but there are some words like leabhar that have /ou/.

martaol: transcribed as mairtäl, but looking at the transcription in CFBB, there would be no need for the slender r here.
thíormaigh:  transcribed as hriuma, and I think this is the more dialectal form than híorma.
taispeánadh: tisbeánag with slender t.
taighde: transcribed as tuídi, where Shán Ó Cuív uses the transcription tayidi in this LS edition of Séadna.
fomoraigh: transcribed as fouruig, but the m is not lenited in the original text or the glossary there to. Even so, fomhóraigh is the form in Ó Dónaill’s dictionary.
trioblóid:  transcribed triubalóid, showing the epenthetic vowel, but I am still a little unclear as to the first vowel.  Paragraph 315 of IWM may imply /ə/.
tsaibhris: transcribed as toivirish, because LS finds it hard to show an /e/ after a broad consonant (see roiv for raibh).

corrán: transcribed corán, although I believe this would be better as crán.
dhruid: transcribed as ghrid, and Shán Ó Cuív also uses similar transcription in his LS version of Séadna, and I have only just realised that IWM also shows the first d in druid is slender.
ceannrach: transcribed as ceaunrach, but I would go with Brian Ó Cuív’s transcription in IWM showing deletion of the n.
a chonách air é: transcribed as chnách er é, confirming the elision of the o.

gídh gur: transcribed as cé gur. I think gídh gur is an older form, but in my view if it is so written, it would be better to pronounce it that way to show the archaism.
dtigheadh: transcribed as díoch, this is the older form of dtagadh.
ollphiast: transcribed as olafiast, this shows that oll- is followed by a vowel, but the quality of the vowel is shown here as /o/, and not the /ɑ/ indicated above in ollbhúirth.
air sean: transcribed as er shon, but I think air sin in the correct interpretation of this, and the sean here is some kind of cleaving towards more classical norms.

nothing exceptional


gairgeach: transcribed as goirigeach, probably indicating an i in the first syllable.
a ‘nín ó: transcribed as a nín ó, confirming that the feminine noun iníon is aligned with the masculine declension in the vocative, at least in so far as it is slenderised.
maróinn: transcribed as maireóing, but this appears to be a constant mistake in LS to put a slender r in this word and its cognates.


ruaidh: transcribed rueg in the genitive.
rugadh: transcribed rugag, as the autonomous does not take lenition
scoileann: transcribed sgoileann, with no sign of an h (scoiltim is also possible).
leamhán: transcribed liován.


ghlaeigh sé: transcribed ghlaeg shé, showing the g.
scéidh sé: transcribed shgég shé, showing the g is pronounced.
sháigh sé: transcribed háig shé, showing the g is pronounced.


an ghaoith: gaoith as a nominative is transcribed here as gäh.
fhulag: transcribed as ulag, although olag would be possible too.
scuainne: transcribed as sguenhi, where I had expected sguengi.
dhúinne: transcribed as ghúing-na.
anois: transcribed as inìsh, but it seems a mistake to put a slender n in here.
dtigeann: transcribed as dtagan, although the older form was not wrong.
i ndiaidh na fearthana: transcribed a nie na fearhana, and the -dh should be deleted in pronunciation before na.


in aghaidh an lae: transcribed as a nay ‘n lä showing the -dh should be deleted before the article.


sula: transcribed as sar a.
phréamhaigh sé: transcribed as friàvuig shé, but the presence of the g seems a mistake.
loirgnibh: transcribed as loiriginiv, whereas the LS edition of Séadna transcribed this word as loraganuiv. I assume Osborn Bergin has it right here.
shlinnibh: transcribed as hlíngiv, but I would like to check the length of the vowel, as I believe the addition of a syllable in the dative should shorten it.
sceímhealaibh: transcribed as shgiviàluiv, but IWM gave the pronunciation of sceímheal as /ʃkʹiːl/.


faoiseamh: transcribed as fäshav. I hadn’t spotted it before, but IWM also concurs in this, and so the original spelling is misleading.

34 – nothing exceptional.


greadadh chút, mar ghaoith: transcribed greada chút, mar ghäth, but it seems correct to use the dative here.
leagthí: transcribed as leagtí, but autonomous endings were often with th, and I prefer to leave them as is where th occurs in original texts.


peoca: the transcription pé ‘cu doesn’t really attempt to give the pronunciation.
munab: transcribed as marab.


gliocas: transcribed as gliucas, implying a u.
curtar: transcribed as curtar, confirming this pronunciation as against cuirtar.

38, 39 – nothing exceptional.


Tair: transcribed as tar, which was probably the original spelling, but not the local form.


me féin: transcribed mi hén whereas thu féin earlier in the sentence was hu fén.
mhuineál: transcribed as vuineál, whereas CFBB shows this should have a slender m.
tslabhra: transcribed tloura, with the constant confusion of /au/ and /ou/ in LS.
churfá: transcribed chuirfá, but it seems from the general spelling in PUL’s works that chuirfá is better.
réidh: transcribed , but seems mistaken.


ghearán: transcribed ghreán.
do tánathas: transcribed do hánahas, and I had been dubious about tánathas, as irregular verbs are normally lenited in the autonomous.
choisíocht: transcribed chushycht, but it seems there is an o here.


líntibh: transcribed as líontuiv.
ó chiainibh: transcribed as ó chianuiv, but this is not the local form.


gcosnóidís: gosanóidísh, with an epenthetic.
mharódh: transcribed vaireóch, but  the slender r is wrong.
led chluais: transcribed let chluesh, as the ch would devoice the d of led.


giob: pronounced giub.
fógra: an epenthetic vowel is not shown.
shampla: transcribed as houmpala, but, apart from the ou/au problem, the LS of PUL’s An Teagasg Críostaidhe does not show an epenthetic vowel.
beirthe: transcribed bèarha, and maybe I should write bertha, lest beirthe be confused for beirithe.
dtairrigthear: transcribed as dtaruigtear.
éascacht: trasncribed as iasgacht, but this seems a mistake, as IWM says éasca is /e:skə/.
casachtach: the transcription shows this is accented on the middle syllable.
is amhlaidh mar atá an scéal: amhlaidh is pronounced amhla in this phrase.


shiopa: transcribed hupa, ie without the slender ch sound that lenited slender s sometimes, but not always, gives.

47 – nothing exceptional.


caismirt: I thought this had an epenthetic vowel, but none is shown.
mórán: this is transcribed as mórán, aligning with the transcription in IWM that shows a long vowel in this word. Yet Brian Ó Cuív uses muarán in his CFBB.


údhálta: this is transcribed as if pronounced údhálta here, but two varying transcriptions in the LS edition of Séadna indicate variously údhalta and úáltha. More research required here.


phlaoisc: pronounced /fliːʃkʹ/ (I had wondered whether the long e sound of the nominative would be kept).

Aesop in Letiriú Shímplí

I am delighted that someone on my email list, who is known to many as An Lon Dubh, has gone to the trouble of sending me a PDF of the Letiriú Shímplí edition of Aesop a Tháinig go hÉirinn, which helps to nail down the pronunciation of all the words. I will be studying every word carefully! These things are hard to get hold of nowadays, and the PDF has been uploaded here.

94. An Fear agus an tAthair Nímhe.

Bhuail an fear amach óna thig féin maidin sheaca. Bhí an mhaidin an-fhuar agus an sioc an-fhada síos sa talamh. Chonaic an fear athair nímhe fé scairt agus é geall leis marbh ón bhfuacht. Thóg sé ar a bhaclainn é agus thug sé leis isteach é, agus chuir sé ar lic an tínteáin é in aice na tine. Nuair a chuaigh teas na tine fén athair nímhe tháinig sé chuige féin. Chómh luath agus ’ tháinig aon neart ann, is é céad rud a dhein sé ná iompáil go fíochmhar ar an bhfear a thug isteach as an bhfuacht é, agus mura mbeadh a thapúlacht do léim an fear uaidh bhí an fhiacal nímhe curtha aige ann. Do mhairbh an fear é le buille den ursail a bhí ’na láimh aige.

“Nách maith an gnó a bhí agam,” arsan fear, “ad thabhairt isteach as an sioc agus ag banaltranas ort ar lic mo thínteáin féin go dtí gur thugas thar n-ais ón mbás tu!”

An Múineadh.

An té go bhfuil an drochmhianach ann taispeánfaidh sé é do charaid nú do namhaid, agus is cuma leis ceoca.

Más duine atruach tu, seachain agus ná bíodh aon trua agat don athair nímhe. Cuirfidh sé, má fhéadann sé é, fiacal nímhe sa láimh a shaor ón mbás é.

An chroch don chuirpeach, le trua do sna daoine macánta.


atruach: “compassionate”.
bacla: “the arms (where something is held in)”. ’Na bhaclainn, “in his arms”. Pronounced /bɑkələ, bɑkəliŋʹ/. The dative has replaced the nominative in the CO, which has baclainn.
banaltranas: “nursing; to nurse”, pronounced /bɑnərhlənəs/.
drochmhianach: “poor quality; by extension, viciousness of character”.
dul fé: “to affect”, usually in a negative sense, but here nuair a chuaigh teas na tine fé means “when the heat of the fire got to it”.
maidean: “morning”. PUL usually keeps the nominative, maidean, and the dative, maidin, separate, but here we have an mhaidin, used for the nominative. Maidin sheacha is different, as this is an adverbial phrase, correctly given in the dative, “on a frosty morning”. Maidin has replaced the nominative in the CO.
scairt: “thicket, hedge”.
tínteán: “fireplace, hearth”. Leac an tínteáin, “hearthstone”.
ursal: “firetongs”. This word is feminine in WM Irish, and therefore has ursail in the dative, as here; this word is masculine in the CO.

93. Herculés agus an Cairréir.

Bhí cairréir ag tarrac adhmaid. Bhí dhá chapall aige ag tarrac an charra agus bhí ualach trom ar an gcarra. Tháinig sé go háit den bhóthar a bhí róbhog agus chuaigh ceann de sna rothannaibh síos go mol tríd an mbóthar, agus do stad na capaill. Bhuail sé na capaill. Ní raibh aon mhaith dho ann. Ní fhéadfaidís aon bhogadh ’ bhaint as an ualach. Chaith sé é féin ar a dhá ghlúin agus ghlaeigh sé ar Herculés, agus d’iarr sé air teacht agus fóirithint air. B’é Herculés dia an nirt ag na págánachaibh.

D’fhéach Herculés anuas air.

“Cuir féin do ghuala fén ualach, a chladhaire dhíomhaoin!” ar seisean.

Do chuir. Ansan do chuir Herculés a neart féin ag cabhrú leis, agus do tógadh an roth as an bpoll.

An Múineadh.

“Fear na bó féin féna heireaball.”

“Is maith le Dia cúnamh ’ fháil.”

Is ait an obair do dhuine bheith ag lorg cabhartha ar Dhia agus gan aon phioc de dhua na hoibre aige féin dá fháil. Ní ceart don duine sin bheith ag brath air go bhfaigheadh sé an chabhair. Dein féin do dhícheall ar dtúis agus ansan iarr cabhair ar Dhia agus b’fhéidir go bhfaighfá an chabhair.

Má tá do bhó i bpoll cad é mar obair duit fanúint ar an bport go costirim ag féachaint ar na cómharsain dhá tarrac as an bpoll!


cabhair: “help”. Note ag lorg cabhartha here, where ag lorg cabhrach might have been expected. Cabhartha is the past participle of the verb cabhraím, and therefore the genitive of the verbal noun cabhrú. In the CO, the past participle would be cabhraithe, as cabhartha is the part participle of the verb cabhraím, cabhradh, “to emboss”. Further research required to determine if cabhrach is ever used in WM Irish, or always replaced by cabhartha.
cairréir: “haulier”, or carraeir in the CO.
carra: “car, wagon”. Note that this is an ancient Celtic word, and not a foreign borrowing.
costirim: “dry-footed, reluctant to get your feet wet”. Spelt cos-tirm in the original, but probably pronounced /kos-trʹimʹ/.
dua: “trouble”. Dua ruda a dh’fháil, “to put oneself out, to go to some trouble”.
fear na bó féin féna heireaball: “the owner of the cow takes the tail end himself”, i.e. people should clean up their own mess.
Herculés: Hercules, the Roman god noted for his strength.
is maith le Dia cúnamh ’ fháil: “God helps those who help themselves”.
mol: “hub, axis”. IWM shows the pronunciation as /mohl/, as if spelt molt. Chuaigh ceann de sna rothannaibh síos go mol tríd an mbóthar appears to mean “one of the wheels went through the road (through a hole or gap in the road) down to its axis”.

92. An Buachaill agus an Machtíre.

Bhí an buachaill ag aeireacht na gcaorach. Cheap sé go mbeach spórt aige ar na daoine a bhí sa chómharsanacht. Do rith sé agus do liúigh sé; “Ó,” ar seisean, “an machtíre! an machtíre! ag marú na gcaorach!”

Do rith na daoine chun na háite ’na raibh na caoire. Ní raibh aon mhachtire ann, agus bhí ana-spórt ag an mbuachaill ar na daoine a tháinig.

Tamall ’na dhiaidh san dhein sé an rud céanna, agus bhí an spórt céanna aige.

Fé dheireadh tháinig an machtíre dáiríribh. Do rith an buachaill agus do liúigh sé, “Ó, an machtire! an machtíre!” ach níor cuireadh aon tsuím ann.

“Sport a theastaíonn uaidh a bheith aige orainn,” aduairt na daoine, “fé mar a bhí aige orainn seachtain ó shin.”

Do mhairbh an machtíre na caoire, mar ní raibh éinne chun iad do chosaint air.

An lá ’na dhiaidh san bhí duine iasacht ag gabháil an treó. Chonaic sé an buachaill ag gol.

“Cad ’tá air siúd?” ar seisean le duine de sna cómharsain.

“Tá,” arsan chómharsa, “gol an gháire a bhí aige seachtain ó shin.”

An Múineadh.

Má thugann tú mar bhéas duit féin bheith ag ínsint an éithigh ní creidfar an fhírinne uait.

Is féidir do dhuine déanamh gan a ghaolta, ach ní féidir do déanamh gan na cómharsain atá ’na thímpall. An té gur maith leis deá-chómharsanacht d’fháil ní foláir do dea-chómharsanacht a thabhairt uaidh.

Droch-chómharsanacht is ea bheith ag magadh agus ag fonóid fé dhaoine. Ní raibh an rath riamh ar a leithéid.

Ná deinse inniu gáire nách ceart duit a dhéanamh, le heagla go ndéanfá gol an gháire sin amáireach.


aoraim, aeireacht: “to shepherd, herd”, or aoirím, aoireacht in the CO. Traditionally written aodharaim, aodhaireacht, the spelling change of the mid-twentieth century has produced a CO spelling of the verbal noun that yields the incorrect pronunciation for speakers of Munster Irish. Pronounced /e:rimʹ, e:rʹəxt/.
béas: “custom, habit”. Rud a thabhairt mar bhéas duit féin, “to get into a habit of doing something”.
déanamh gan: “to make do without”. Déanamh gan do ghaolta, “to make do without your relatives, without the support of your relatives”.
fonóid: “to mock, jeer, scoff”. Originally spelt fonomhaid, I am wondering if this word is pronounced /fo’nu:dʹ/ or /fə’no:dʹ/.

91. An Mada Rua agus an León Breac.

Bhíodh an león breac coitianta ag maíomh as an gcroiceann breá breac a bhí air. Bhí a leithéid sin de mheas aige air féin mar gheall ar a chroiceann gurbh ar éigin a labhradh sé le héinne eile de sna hainmhithibh.

“Is breátha an croiceann atá orm,” adeireadh sé, “ná mar atá ar an león mbuí féin!”

Bhíodar go léir bodhar aige. Fé dheireadh do bhuail an mada rua chuige suas agus do labhair sé leis, go dána.

“Féach,” ar seisean, “a fhir bhric, tá a bhfuil d’ainmhithibh san áit bodhar agat.”

“Conas?” arsan fear breac.

“Ní stadann do bhéal ach ag maíomh as an gcroiceann san ort,” arsan mada rua.

“Agus nách croiceann breá é?” arsan fear breac. “Cá bhfuil an t-ainmhí eile ’na bhfuil croiceann chómh breá leis air?”

“Bíodh go bhfuil sé breá,” arsa mada rua, “ar nóin ní tusa a dhein breá é. Agus cad é an mhaith an bhreáthacht ná téann thar chroiceann isteach? Dá mbeadh do chroí agus t’aigne chómh breá leis an gcroicreann ba rud éigin duit bheith ag maíomh as. Ach dá mbeidís, níor ghá dhuit aon mhaíomh a dhéanamh ansan, mar bheimís go léir ad mholadh. Bíodh ciall agat agus cuir uait an maíomh.”

An Múineadh.

Bíonn aigne ghránna, uaireanta, laistigh de chroiceann álainn.

Ná mol an croiceann go bhfeicir cad ’tá laistigh de.


ar: “on”. Used with body parts that are considered to be “on” (as opposed to “under”) the body: an croiceann atá ar an león, “the lion’s coat”; an eireaball atá ar an mada rua, “the fox’s tail”. Compare na cosa atá fén ngiorrae, “the legs of the hare”.
ar nóin: “of course, no doubt”, or dar ndóigh in the CO. Ar ndóigh and dar ndóigh are both found, and dóin (whence nóin) is given by Dinneen as a corruption of dóigh. Ar neóin is also found in PUL’s works with the same meaning.
león breac: “cheetah, leopard”. Most versions of Aesop’s Fables in English include The Fox and the Leopard, and so “leopard” may be the correct translation here, but this Irish phrase does not make a detailed distinction among the great cats, merely referring to all great cats with speckled coats. Cheetah would be siotá in the CO and leopard liopard.
león buí: “lion”.

90. An Crann Úll.

Bhí crann úll ag feirmeóir in’ abhallórd. Crann ana-mhaith ab ea é agus na húlla a bhíodh air dob fheárr agus ba bhoige agus ba mhísle iad ná na húlla a bhíodh ar aon chrann eile dá raibh sa ghort. Bhíodar chómh maith san go gcuireadh an feirmeóir bronntanas díobh ag triall ar a mháistir i gcónaí, nuair a bhídís aibidh. Tháinig a leithéid sin de dhúil ag an máistir in sna húllaibh sin gur órdaigh sé an crann d’aistriú isteach in’ abhallórd féin. Do haistríodh an crann. Bhí an crann róchríonna chun aistrithe, agus do mhairbh an t-aistriú é. D’fheóch sé. Níor fhás a thuilleadh úll air. Do hínseadh don mháistir go raibh an crann tar éis feóchadh.

“’Sea!” ar seisean. “Sin í an tsainnt agam. Dá mb’áil liom bheith sásta leis an mbronntanas a gheibhinn bheadh sé le fáil fós agam.”

“’Sea!” arsan feirmeóir. “Dá mb’áil liomsa gan aon bhronntanas a thabhairt riamh do ní bheadh ’ fhios aige iad a bheith chómh maith, agus ní thiocfadh an dúil aige iontu, agus bheadh mo chrann breá agam féin fós.”

“’Sea!” arsan chómharsa. “Tuilleadh tubaiste chúibh araon! Ar mhaithe leat féin a thugthása an bronntanas uait. Nách maith nách do dhuine bhocht a thugthá é! Ní hé do leas a dheinis, áfach, sa ghnó. Ní maith a tháinig as duit, ach olc. Dhein seisean an éagóir ort, áfach, agus tá a thoradh aige.”

“Ar mhaithe leis féin a dheineann an cat crónán.”


abhallórd: “orchard”, or úllord in the CO. This was spelt ubhall-ghort in the original, but IWM shows the word traditionally spelt abhall-ghort is pronounced /au’lo:rd/. More research required here to reveal whether /u:’lo:rd/ is also found in the dialect and whether abhall and úll (ubhall in the traditional spelling) both exist as words for “apple” in the WM dialect or not.
ar mhaithe leis féin a dheineann an cat crónán: “the cat purrs for its own good”, i.e. people act out of their own selfish motivations. Also found as mar mhaithe leis féin, etc.
nách maith: “isn’t it good?”, used in a deprecatory rhetorical way to suggest something was in fact bad. Nách maith nách do dhuine bhocht a thugthá é!, “a fine thing it was too that you didn’t give it to a poor person!”
sainnt: “greed.” The traditional double n, not used in the CO, is preserved here to show the diphthong: /saintʹ/. Sin í an tsainnt agam, “that will teach me to be greedy”??
tubaist: “calamity, misfortune”, or tubaiste in the CO. Tuilleadh tubaiste chúibh araon, “it serves you both right!” PUL’s Séadna has both tubaist and tubaiste as the base form of this noun, but Cnósach Focal ó Bhaile Bhúirne shows tubaist as the nominative in WM Irish.

89. An Tarbh agus an León.

Fadó riamh, san aimsir ’na n-itheadh taraí caoireóil, duairt an león leis an dtarbh, “Tair chun dínnéir chúm amáireach,” ar seisean. “Tá caíora bhreá mhéith marbh agam, agus caithfirse do chion den fheóil ’ fháil.”

“Tá go maith, a rí,” arsan tarbh.

Tháinig an tarbh amáireach a bhí chúinn. Nuair a tháinig sé isteach d’fhéach sé ’na thímpall. Chonaic sé corcáin mhóra, agus oigheanna móra, agus sceana móra, agus beara móra, agus tine bhreá mhór, agus ní fheacaigh sé aon chaíora. D’iompaigh sé láithreach agus do rith sé leis féin.

“Stad! Stad!” arsan león. “Cad é sin ort mar sin?”

“Ó,” arsan tarbh, “is mithid dómhsa bheith ag imeacht. Dheallródh an t-ollmhúchán mór so nách caíora is maith leat a bheith chun dínnéir agat, ach tarbh!”

An Múineadh.

Scéal ana-dhoimhinn is ea an scéal san. Tá daoine áirithe sa tsaol agus nuair ba mhaith leó thu ’ bhailiú chúthu agus a chur ’ fhéachaint ort rud éigin a dhéanamh dóibh gurbh fheárr leatsa gan é ’ dhéanamh, tabharfaid said cuireadh dínnéir duit. Ar ball, “over the walnuts and the wine,” beid siad ad mhealladh agus ag cimilt bhaise dhíot go dtí go mbeidh geallta agat go ndéanfair an rud san ná ceadófá, b’fhéidir, ar Éirinn, a leithéid do dhéanamh. Fan uathu ar fad. Nú dein mar a dhein an tarbh, rith leat féin uathu.


bailím, bailiú: “to gather, collect”. Duine a bhailiú chút appears to mean “to get someone on your side”.
bas: “hand, palm of the hand”, or bos in the CO.
bior: “spit (for roasting meat)”, with the plural here beara, where the CO has bioranna.
caoireóil: “mutton”.
cimlím, cimilt: “to rub”, or cuimlím, cuimilt in the CO, which preserves the classical forms with a broad c. Ag cimilt bhaise de dhuine, “coaxing someone”.
fadó riamh: “ever such a long time ago”.
oigheann: “oven”, with the plural here spelt adhanna (=oigheanna) in the original, where the CO has oighinn. Cnósach Focal ó Bhaile Bhúirne shows the plural as aigheanta (=oigheanta). Dinneen shows the word can also mean “pan, cauldron”, which might fit the context better here. Pronounced /əin, əinə~əintə/.
ollmhúchán: “preparation”, ullmhúchán in the CO. Pronounced /o’lu:xɑ:n/. Spelt ullamhúchán in the 1931 edition, as if the pronunciation were /oləvu:xɑ:n/, but the Letiriú Shímplí edition of PUL’s Séadna shows the pronunciation to be without a /v/.
tarbh: “ox, bull”, with the plurals tairbh and taraí both found in PUL’s Aesop, where the CO has only tairbh. Pronounced /tɑrəv, tarʹivʹ~tɑ’ri:/.

88. An Bramach agus an León.

Chonaic an león an bramach. Bhí an bramach go beathaithe agus go sleamhain.

“Is breá méith an greim feóla a gheóbhainn ann,” arsan león in’ aigne féin. “Ní mór dhom teacht suas leis ar chuma éigin agus é ’ mharú dhom féin.”

Thug an bramach fé ndeara go raibh an león ag faire air.

“Ní mór dhom mo shúil a chimeád ortsa, a bhioránaigh!” ar seisean.

Chuir an león fógra amach dhá rá gur dhochtúir é féin agus go raibh árdeólas aige ar leighseannaibh.

“’Sea go díreach,” arsan bramach, “agus curfar mise ag triall air le leigheas agus maróidh sé me, agus déarfaidh sé gur den ghalar a fuaras bás! Ach beadsa suas leis.”

Do leog sé air leis an mbuachaill go raibh ciscéim bacaí ann. Do rugadh chun na ceártan é agus do cuireadh cruite nua fé. Ní raibh aon bhacaí air ag teacht abhaile. Do scaoileadh amach ar an bpáirc é. Chonaic sé an león ag faire air. Bhuail sé chuige anonn agus ciscéim bacaí i gcois deiridh leis, mar dhea.

“Féach, a dhochtúir,” ar seisean, “do cuireadh cruite nua fúm ó chiainibh agus is eagal liom gur chuir an gabha tarainge i mbeó sa chois deiridh seo liom atá bacach.”

“Leog dom féachaint uirthi,” arsan león.

D’iompaigh an bramach a dheireadh leis an león agus bhí sé ag druidim chuige i ndiaidh a chúil. Do thuig an león nár bhaol do féin an chos, toisc an tarainge i mbeó ’ bheith inti agus í ’ bheith bacach. Bhí sé ag feitheamh agus ag faire go dtí go mbeadh an bramach cóngarach a dhóthain do chun léimt in áirde air agus breith ar bhaic mhuiníl air. Bhí an tsúil go daingean ag an mbramach air, áfach, agus é ag druidim chuige i ndiaidh a chúil. Tháinig sé chómh fada agus d’oir do teacht. Ní raibh san chómh fada agus d’oir don león é ’ theacht. Do chrom an león a cheann, mar dhea chun féachaint ar an gcois. Lena línn sin, chómh tapaidh leis an splannc, do bhuail an bramach é idir an dá shúil, leis an dá chois deiridh, agus dhein sé dhá leath dhá phlaosc.

Do thit an león marbh ar an bpáirc.

An Múineadh.

“Is mairg a bhíonn thíos ar an gcéad bheárnain.”

“Ná bíodh iúntaoibh agat a cois deiridh an chapaill go dtí go bhfeicfir í ag imeacht ar ghualainn an mhadra.”

Is álainn an rud “cor in aghaidh an chaim.”

Sáraigh do namhaid más féidir é. Cas an feall ar an bhfeallaire.


bacaí: “lameness”.
beó: “quick; sensitive or exposed flesh”. Tarainge a chur i mbeó sa chois deiridh, “to drive a nail in the quick of the hind leg”.
bioránach: “lad”. A bhioránaigh!, “my boy!”
bramach: “colt”, or bromach in the CO. While the spellings bramach and bromach would both produce the pronunciation /brə’mɑx/, the distinction becomes significant in the plural, where WM Irish has bramaigh, /brɑmigʹ/.
cam: “bend”. Cor in aghaidh an chaim, “tit for tat”. Is álainn an rud “cor in aghaidh an chaim”, “give as good as you get; play someone at his own game”.
ciscéim: “footstep”, or coiscéim in the CO. Note this word is masculine in PUL’s works: ciscéim bacaí a bheith ionat, “to have a limp”.
crú: “shoe for an animal’s hoof”, with the plural here cruite where the CO has crúite.
cúl: “back”. I ndiaidh a chúil, “backwards”.
leigheas: “cure, remedy, medical treatment”, with the plural here leighseanna where the CO has leigheasanna.
léimim, léimt: “to leap”, or léimim, léim in the CO. The verbal noun is also found as ag léimrigh in PUL’s works. Léim is also found in PUL’s Niamh to describe the sport or act of leaping.
is mairg a bhíonn thíos ar an gcéad bheárnain: “woe to him who falls at the first hurdle”, i.e. you can pay for a mistake early on later in life or later in the course of events.
méith: “fat, juicy”.
ná bíodh iúntaoibh agat a cois deiridh an chapaill go dtí go bhfeicfir í ag imeacht ar ghualainn an mhadra: “don’t leave anything to trust; wait until you see something before you believe it”.
tapaidh: “quick”, or tapa in the CO. Pronounced /tɑpigʹ/.
tarainge: “nail”, or tairne in the CO. The pronunciation is /tɑriŋʹi/.

87. An Mada Rua agus an León Breóite.

Bhí an león breóite. Sin é an ráfla do chuaigh amach, pé in Éirinn é. Bhí na hainmhithe go léir ag teacht, mar ba chóir, ag féachaint an rí. Thug an león fé ndeara nár tháinig an mada rua. Chuir sé an seacál ag triall ar an mada rua dhá fhiafraí dhe cad ’na thaobh nár tháinig sé ag féachaint an rí fé mar a tháinig an chuid eile de sna hainmhithibh.

“Goibh mo leathscéal leis an rí,” arsan mada rua leis an seacál, “agus abair lena shoíllse go bhfuil oiread urrama agam anois do agus ’ bhí riamh agam do. Agus abair lena shoíllse go ndeigheas go minic, ó buaileadh breóite é, chómh fada le béal na pluaise ’na bhfuil sé ’na luí, agus go dtagadh scannradh orm nuair a chínn rian cos na n-ainmhithe eile ann, agus aghaidh gach riain isteach, agus gan aghaidh aon riain amach. Nuair a chínn an ní sin thagadh scannradh orm, agus ní fhéadainn dul isteach.”

Bhí ’ fhios ag an mada rua ná raibh aon bhreóiteacht ar an león, ná raibh sé ach dhá leogaint air go raibh sé breóite i dtreó go dtiocfadh na hainmhithe uathu féin agus nár ghá dho bheith dhá bhfiach.

An Múineadh.

“Ní hionann dul go tigh an rí agus teacht as.”

“Is sleamhain iad leacacha an tí mhóir.”

An chiall a cheannaigh duine eile dhuit tabhair aire mhaith dhi.


is sleamhain iad leacacha an tí mhóir: “the flagstones of the great house are slippery”, a saying referring to problems arising in dealing with the authorities.
ní hionann dul go tigh an rí agus teacht as: “going to the king’s house and coming out of it are two different things”, i.e. you may get a great disappointment when trying to consort with people who look down on you.
seacál: “jackal”.