Posted by: episystechpubs | March 17, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Six Gaelic Words You Already Know

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday commemorating the fifth-century Christian missionary and patron saint of Ireland.

Gaelic (also called Irish Gaelic or simply Irish) is the national language of the Republic of Ireland and an officially recognized language in Northern Ireland. Irish Gaelic has about 40,00080,000 native speakers. Scottish Gaelic, which shares a linguistic ancestor, has about 57,000 speakers.

Although Gaelic is not widely spoken today, English has borrowed several words from Gaelic. Here are six you may already know:

  • banshee: a female spirit in Gaelic folklore (from bean-sth, woman of fairyland)
  • galore: abundant, plentiful (from go leor, enough)
  • slew: a large number (from sluagh)
  • slob: a slovenly or boorish person (from slab, mud, ooze)
  • slogan: a brief attention-getting phrase (from sluagh-ghairm, army cry)
  • whiskey: a liquor distilled from fermented wort (from uisce beatha, water of life)

Ben Ritter | Technical Editor | Symitar
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