Not-So-Obvious Irish (and Scots Gaelic) Loanwords

Tá Failte Romhat! For all conversation about the Irish language. Scots Gaelic discussion welcome.
Forum rules
The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for people who are interested in the Irish language and various Celtic languages to discuss them, to practice them, and to share information about them, particularly (but not exclusively) in the context of traditional music and culture.

This is not a "translation forum," per se, though translation requests may occasionally be honored at the discretion of the moderators. If you're seeking a one-time translation for something like a tattoo, engraving, wedding vow, or other such purpose, we strongly recommend that you visit our friends at ILF: http://irishlearner.awyr.com
User avatar
JackCampin
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:05 am
antispam: No
Contact:

Re: Not-So-Obvious Irish (and Scots Gaelic) Loanwords

Post by JackCampin »

The OED's derivation of "shanty" from French "chantier" makes a lot more sense, since they place it in Canada in the early 19th century and there seems to be no earlier usage. If it had been derived from Gaelic it should have been around centuries before that, and should have been known more widely.
User avatar
Redwolf
Posts: 6051
Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 10
Location: Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere

Re: Not-So-Obvious Irish (and Scots Gaelic) Loanwords

Post by Redwolf »

JackCampin wrote:The OED's derivation of "shanty" from French "chantier" makes a lot more sense, since they place it in Canada in the early 19th century and there seems to be no earlier usage. If it had been derived from Gaelic it should have been around centuries before that, and should have been known more widely.


Not necessarily. There were a lot of Irish immigrants in Canada at that time as well...and "shanty" is a direct phonetic pronunciation of the Irish "sean tí."

Redwolf
...agus déanfaidh mé do mholadh ar an gcruit a Dhia, a Dhia liom!
User avatar
JackCampin
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:05 am
antispam: No
Contact:

Re: Not-So-Obvious Irish (and Scots Gaelic) Loanwords

Post by JackCampin »

There is a sociological reason why Canadian settlers would have wanted a word specifically for a workers' bothy at that time, and for them getting the word from French. There is no particular reason for a word getting transferred from Irish then rather than at any other time, particularly when what it was first used to refer to (not just any old hut) is so close to the meaning of the French word.
User avatar
Nanohedron
Moderatorer
Posts: 36589
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
antispam: No
Please enter the next number in sequence: 8
Tell us something.: Been a fluter, citternist, and uilleann piper; committed now to the way of the harp.

Oh, yeah: also a mod here, not a spammer. A matter of opinion, perhaps.
Location: Lefse country

Re: Not-So-Obvious Irish (and Scots Gaelic) Loanwords

Post by Nanohedron »

Michael Quinion makes a compelling argument in agreement with Jack:

http://www.worldwidewords.org/topicalwords/tw-sha1.htm

As regards the word meaning a shelter, apparently it was first recorded in Ohio, and shortly after that in Canada, prior to the great influx of immigrant Irish workers. Either way, dated recorded evidence doesn't support an Irish origin for it even though the Irish "old house" meaning fits the sound of it so well.

I too grew up with the folk etymology that "shanty" came directly from the Irish.
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano
Post Reply