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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:30 pm 
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jsluder wrote:
Growing up in northeastern Tennessee, we always called our leather farming/work boots "brogans". Don't hear that used much these days.

Huh. You know, I remember that, too. Mom and Dad, at least, used the word "brogan" when I was but a sprat, but I seem to recall that the word's days were already numbered in that neck o' the woods...er, rather, plains.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:23 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
jsluder wrote:
Growing up in northeastern Tennessee, we always called our leather farming/work boots "brogans". Don't hear that used much these days.

Huh. You know, I remember that, too. Mom and Dad, at least, used the word "brogan" when I was but a sprat, but I seem to recall that the word's days were already numbered in that neck o' the woods...er, rather, plains.


I've run across the word in books as well...usually to describe a type of leather Oxford.

I've always wondered where they got the "-an" suffix. If they took the word directly from Irish, it would be a bit odd, as "brógán" would mean "little shoe" (the "-án" suffix is an older diminutive that functions like the more familiar "-í" suffix). I wonder if, at one point, Irish immigrants used "brógán" to refer to low shoes as opposed to boots, or something like that?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:54 am 
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Redwolf wrote:
I wonder if, at one point, Irish immigrants used "brógán" to refer to low shoes as opposed to boots, or something like that?

Could be. We always used the term to refer to ankle-high leather boots like these:
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Which agrees with this definition.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:03 pm 
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Interesting. Did you notice they misdefined the Irish word? They were correct in that "brógán" is a diminutive of "bróg," but "bróg" doesn't mean "brogue," it means "shoe"! :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
Interesting. Did you notice they misdefined the Irish word? They were correct in that "brógán" is a diminutive of "bróg," but "bróg" doesn't mean "brogue," it means "shoe"! :lol:

Redwolf

Yeah, brogues were leather Oxfords, and brogans were ankle boots. I recall finding out about the apparent misdefinition a good while back and resignedly figured its adoption must surely have had nothing to do with the Irish themselves.

I think brogans should by definition be flip-flops. Or baby booties. Hey: baby booties look the same as so-called brogans, or at least they used to. I'm not up on that stuff. Anyway, by a long stretch could be it's a back-usage?

I remember the day when neither bootie nor booty meant "boo-tay". Bloody irritating how you can't talk about this stuff any more without risking a raised eyebrow or someone going all juvenile on you and thinking they're a wit. Sigh.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:27 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
I remember the day when neither bootie nor booty meant "boo-tay". Bloody irritating how you can't talk about this stuff any more without risking a raised eyebrow or someone going all juvenile on you and thinking they're a wit. Sigh.

Heh heh. He said "boo-tay". Heh heh.
Image

Like that? :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:54 am 
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Go díreach.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:16 pm 
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I never figured that the "moccasin/mo chasan" thing was likely to be correct, but I thought it was a funny story, anyway. The same friend also clings to the theory that the Spanish word "gringo" originated from Mexicans hearing American settlers in the SW US singing the Robert Burns song "Green Grow The Rushes O", which has also been long since discredited...

I liked the mention of the phrase "I'm just after having a cup of tea," which is very Gaelic, and reminiscent of how Gaelic speakers make use of the pluperfect tense, e.g.

Tha mi dìreach air òl cupa tì. ("I'm just after drinking a cup of tea.")

Bha i dìreach air tilleadh bho Glaschu. ("She was just back from Glasgow.")

In Scottish communities that were largely Gaelic-speaking until a generation or two ago, you can still hear a lot of expressions in the local dialect of English derived from Gaelic. For instance, take the use of the greeting "good morning", which is actually pretty rare outside of Germanic languages. In practically any Scottish Gaelic book, you'll find it on page 3 ("madainn mhath"), however actual Gaelic speakers rarely say it, and older speakers view it as a distinctly "English" concept. You hear it all the time on the BBC, but not so much in real Gaelic speaking communities. Here, people might say "latha math" ("good day"), or, more likely, they'd make a comment about the weather (e.g., "'Se tuil a th'ann, nach e?"). Anyway, in some Highland English speaking communities, this still remains true: you rarely hear people say something like "good morning." Rather, you'd still hear people make a comment about the weather or maybe say something like "It's yourself" (from the Gaelic "Sin thu fhèin.")

Likewise, you don't often hear Irish speakers say "madainn mhaith" either. The traditional greeting in Irish is "Dia dhuit" (lit., "God to you."). An Irish-speaking friend who worked in the Irish language programming office at BBC Northern Ireland said that she almost never heard anybody say "madainn mhaith" in her village in Kerry, but she would frequently hear people say it around the office in Belfast quite a lot. She figured this was because many of her co-workers were non-native fluent Irish speakers who wouldn't perceive saying "good morning" in Irish to be at all weird.

I do wonder how Irish-speaking atheists would greet each other, though...

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:53 pm 
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"Dia duit" is actually extremely formal, and rarely heard in the Gaeltacht. They're more likely to use a form of "how are you?" (Which form depending on dialect. In Donegal, you'd say "cad é mar atá tú?) or some other comment. "Dia duit" is usually reserved for strangers on formal occasions.

By the way, "maidin mhaith" is quite common in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Your friend from Kerry may have been confused by the Ulster convention, since I presume most of the people she would have been working with in the BBC would have been Ulster Irish speakers. The very formal way of saying "good morning is "Dia duit ar maidin."

Irish-speaking atheists say "Dia duit" the same way that English-speaking atheists say "goodbye" (which comes from "God be with you") or Spanish-speaking atheists say "adios." The greeting may literally mean "God to you," but is essentially divorced from that meaning in terms of everyday use. I have atheist friends who quite happily say "Dia duit" and don't bat an eye (though they appreciate the irony). It's the same way with "slán" (goodbye), which technically means "safe/healthy" (it's a shortened form of "slán abhaile"..."safe home"). People don't say it thinking of it as a caution or a wish for good health, however...it's just what you say when leaving someone.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 10:50 am 
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The Sporting Pitchfork wrote:
I never figured that the "moccasin/mo chasan" thing was likely to be correct, but I thought it was a funny story, anyway. The same friend also clings to the theory that the Spanish word "gringo" originated from Mexicans hearing American settlers in the SW US singing the Robert Burns song "Green Grow The Rushes O", which has also been long since discredited...

No, I didn't mean to suggest that you yourself needed the opposite end of the argument. Sorry if I was unclear. I provided that bit of info for the sake of your Scottish friend in case you meet again and the subject comes up, if making free to burst his bubbles is okay for you.

I've heard the "Green Grow" theory before, too. As it is said, never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Redwolf wrote:
"Dia duit" is actually extremely formal, and rarely heard in the Gaeltacht. They're more likely to use a form of "how are you?" (Which form depending on dialect. In Donegal, you'd say "cad é mar atá tú?) or some other comment. "Dia duit" is usually reserved for strangers on formal occasions.

By the way, "maidin mhaith" is quite common in the Donegal Gaeltacht. Your friend from Kerry may have been confused by the Ulster convention, since I presume most of the people she would have been working with in the BBC would have been Ulster Irish speakers. The very formal way of saying "good morning is "Dia duit ar maidin."

Irish-speaking atheists say "Dia duit" the same way that English-speaking atheists say "goodbye" (which comes from "God be with you") or Spanish-speaking atheists say "adios." The greeting may literally mean "God to you," but is essentially divorced from that meaning in terms of everyday use. I have atheist friends who quite happily say "Dia duit" and don't bat an eye (though they appreciate the irony). It's the same way with "slán" (goodbye), which technically means "safe/healthy" (it's a shortened form of "slán abhaile"..."safe home"). People don't say it thinking of it as a caution or a wish for good health, however...it's just what you say when leaving someone.

Redwolf


Again, I was aiming for a bit of humor at the end there...

Indeed, I noticed when I was recently in Belfast that most of the Irish I heard was Donegal dialect. Many of the people that I met there had been to Irish colleges in Donegal, and one young woman I met had been raised as a native Irish speaker in the Bóthar Seoighe/Shaw's Road mini-Gaeltacht. Her Irish nonetheless sounded distinctly Donegal-esque as well because presumably her parents had learned their Irish from Donegal Irish speakers. My friend from Kerry mentioned that she's had a couple of miscommunications with people due to some of the pronunciation differences between her speech and that of her friends/co-workers.

I seem to recall quite a few people greeting each other with "Dia dhuit/Dia is Muire dhuit" when I was spending the summer in Kerry a number of years ago. (For instance, when people went into shops and things.) I suppose I heard it more often among older people, though. Greeting someone with "Conas tá tú/Conas tá agat/Cen chaoí a bhfuil tú/Cad é mar atá tú/Ciamar a tha thu?"probably works fine if you know that person already, but I'd guess it would seem a bit odd to someone if uttered by a stranger. I still find it weird if a stranger says something like "Hey, how's it goin'?" to me on the street.

Part of the reason I brought much of this up is that there's a debate that's recently been going on on another message board I peruse from time to time, the http://www.foramnagaidhlig.net Scottish Gaelic message board, about just how you go about greeting a stranger in Gaelic. The most common conclusion seem to be that you'd probably be strongly inclined to switch to English because if you're a Gaelic speaker, chances are most of the people you tend to speak it with will be people that you know. Indeed, there's quite a lot of evidence from minority speech communities the world over that people will feel a strong inclination to switch to the dominant language of the region when they encounter people that the don't know, even if said people attempt to interact in the minority language. In this regard, some of the speech acts that occur among strangers at places like Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Oídeas Gael, and elsewhere might strike some native speakers as inauthentic or a little odd because people are compelled to use Gaelic/Irish all the time, even when it wouldn't seem natural for a native speaker to do so.

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Last edited by The Sporting Pitchfork on Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:10 pm 
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...Aaaaaaanyway/Co-dhiù, back to the topic at hand...

As for the confusion about brogan/brógán, don't forget that the -an suffix (w/o fada or sràc) is the most common plural marker in Scottish Gaelic, often used much in the same way that -í is used in Irish. (e.g., "píobairí" in Irish vs. "pìobairean" in Gaelic). In Gaelic, "brògan" simply means "shoes"; there's no implication of a diminutive form being used.

And another Irish word to add to the pile: snas, meaning gloss or polish (the adj. form being "snasta"), as the origin of the English "snazz"/"snazzy."

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Well, Donegal is in Ulster, after all. Not surprising that other speakers in Ulster would speak the same dialect. Derry, for example, is just across the Foyle from Donegal (used to be part of Donegal, actually, before partition) and it's not all that far from Derry to Belfast. The Derry Irish speakers I know definitely have the same dialect as the folks in GCC.

Here's one that is not, to the best of my knowledge (and research) related, but which always strikes me (no pun intended) as an interesting coincidence. The Irish word for "discipline" is "smacht," which sounds very like the English "smack" (as in to "hit or strike"). As far as I can discover, however, "smack" has solidly Germanic roots, so unless they're related back at the Proto-Indo-European level, it's probably just a coincidence.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:44 pm 
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It is also said that the Hiberno-Irish word for an Irish accent comes from the Irish word 'barrog', hence 'brogue'.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:29 pm 
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Hmmm... The only word close to that in my Irish dictionary is "barróg (n.): an embrace." I don't see how that could allude to one's accent at all...

As much as I love the word "smacht" and try to regularly fit it into my rudimentary Irish conversations, I'm not sure if there's a direction there either... Although there may be way, way back at the Proto-Indo-European level. Might be interesting to see what kinds of words crop up for terms such as discipline/hit/strike/etc. in other IE language families. Certainly wouldn't rule it out...

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