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'S Wonderful Irish - Gaeilge 'S Iontach
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Written by
Ty Alexander Huynh
  2/1/2022 2:28 PM
“It’s Wonderful Irish!” And, forgive any bad Irish grammar (I’m far from fluent in Irish), “Gaeilge Is Iontach!” [pronounced “goo’ehl-geh iss in-tach”] have the “It’s” and “Is” shortened in the title of this thread because I noticed in many old Irish folksongs, single syllable words are shortened to one syllable or sound to give better flow to lyrics, like “Is” is shortened to ‘S, which is only the ‘s’ sound.

By the way, the Irish word “is” is always pronounced like the “is” in “list” or “isthmus,” not like the English word, “is.” The Irish “is” can mean “It/He/She is,” “and,” or “plus,” among other things.

After seeing many Irish songs shorten words into a single sound, I noticed some songs from the musicals, Funny Face (1957) and An American In Paris (1951), did the same thing. The songwriter, Ira Gershwin, shorted “It’s” into lyrics, like “’S wonderful, ‘S marvellous, ‘S awful nice,” so I thought I’d connect the lyricism across languages and talk about interesting Irish language connections here.

Musical Cole and Nicole 2/1/2022 2:55 PM
The name Cole is a short form of Nicholas, which means “Victory of the People” from Greek nike (victory) and laos (people)[1.1]. Cole could also be a form of Cola, which is an Old English name meaning charcoal or coal, and was used to describe someone with black or dark features[1.2, 1.3], much like the Irish name Ailbhe [pronounced "al-veh" or "al-vah"], might have come from the old Celtic root "albiyo-," meaning "world, light, white."

Cole sounds like “ceol,” the Irish word for music, so Cole would mean “music” to an Irish speaker.

To lead into Nicole, I need to bring up the Irish word, Ní [“nee”], when it is used in names, it is not a name in itself but is a prefix or connector word that means “daughter or female descendant of.”

So when you see a name like Mary ní Malley, it means Mary is a daughter or granddaughter of a father or grandfather named Malley. The surname word, ní, comes from the contraction of the Irish Gaelic, “Iníon Mhic” ["in-neen vic" or "in-neen mik"] or “Iníon Uí,” ["in-neen ee" or "in-neen oh"], which mean “Daughter of the son of…” or “Daughter of the grandson of…,” respectively[1.5]. Iníon is the Irish word for daughter, so over time, variants of Iníon Mhic and Iníon Uí took the first stressed syllable to become simply, ní.

So when we look at Nicole – The female form of Cole or Nicholas. Some interesting wordplay with Irish can be seen with the surname prefix, ní. Nicole could mean “daughter of Cole” to an Irish speaker or even “daughter of music,” since Cole sounds like the Irish word for music, ceol.



References
[1.1] "Nicholas". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Jan. 25.
<https://www.behindthename.com/name/nicholas>

[1.2] "Cole". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Jan. 25.
<https://www.behindthename.com/name/cole>

[1.3] "Cola". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Jan. 25.
<https://www.behindthename.com/name/cola>

[1.4] "Ailbhe". Behind The Name. 2022 Jan. 21. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 1.
<https://www.behindthename.com/name/ailbhe>

[1.5] “Irish Medieval History”. Facebook.
< https://www.facebook.com/Medieval.Ireland>

Won = Happy 2/1/2022 3:28 PM
The Irish past-tense of “to win” is pronounced like the Vietnamese for “happy”.

So “won” in Irish, “bhuaigh,” is pronounced “v’oo’ee” (one syllable), and linguistically and literally, if you won then you are happy.


Happy Names 2/8/2022 12:10 PM
Last time I talked about an interesting linguistic link with winning and happiness. It reminded me of names that mean “happy,” so I will share some here. The most obvious one is the English name, Happy, which may be uncommon, but I have known people with that name. The names Joy and Merry also have obvious links to happiness.

The Irish-English name, Mab, (a more Anglicized name from Celtic origins) means joy, happiness, hilarity, or baby[2.1, 2.2].

A Biblical Hebrew name meaning happy and blessed, is Asher, a son of the patriarch, Jacob (Genesis 30:13), from whom one of the 12 Tribes of Israel is named. Asher is a form of the Hebrew word “esher,”[2.3] which means happiness or blessedness.

Another common name in the Western world, or at least well recognized, is Beatrix or Beatrice, which likely came from the combination of the Latin name, Viatrix, meaning voyager or traveller, and the Latin word beatus, meaning blessed or happy[2.4]. Beatrix may be familiar to you because of the famous British author and creator of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter.

The Irish word for happy is “sona” [pronounced “sun-nah”], which turns into “shona” [“hun-nah”] in a different grammatical form. Sona in other languages is also a name, such as the Indian/Hindi name Sona meaning gold or good color[2.6] and the Turkmenistan name, Sona or Suna, which is a kind of duck[2.7, 2.8]. Incidentally, Shona is the name of a people and language from Zimbabwe, though linguistically, the word Shona has no link to the Irish "shona."

If you’re interested in more names associated with happy, check out the link for reference [2.5].


References
[2.1] "Mab". The Bump. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.

[2.2] "Mab - Meaning of Mab". BabyNamesPedia. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.

[2.3] "Strong's #835 - אֶשֶׁר ". StudyLight.org. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.

[2.4] "Beatrix". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.

[2.5] "Names associated with happy". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.

[2.6] "Sona (1)". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.
<https://www.behindthename.com/name/sona-1>

[2.7] "Sona (2)". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.
<https://www.behindthename.com/name/sona-2>

[2.8] "Suna". Behind The Name. Retrieved 2022 Feb. 8.
<https://www.behindthename.com/name/suna>



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