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Jennie Marsland

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Member Since: Mar, 2010

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Vow of the Highlander (The MacLomain Series- Next Generation
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Only a sweeping journey into the rugged highlands will reveal if a modern day woman and a medieval Scotsman can see through promises made in, Vow of the Highlander...  
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Blogs by Jennie Marsland

This Weird and Wonderful Language
1/21/2011 11:18:00 AM
Blog Post from http://www.jenniemarsland.blogspot.com

English really is a crazy, wonderful language. This morning, my co-worker in the ESL department arrived with a couple of calendars she picked up on sale last night. One of them gives a new unusual English word each day, and some of them are gems.

Frigorific – Sounds rather vulgar, doesn’t it? It means ‘to make something cold’, as in ‘a frigorific blast of wind’. When I relay this one to my DH, I’m sure it will find alternate meanings.

Grok – Huh? Sounds like a noise a bird makes. It means ‘to understand profoundly and intuitively’, as in ‘Margaret Mitchell really grokked character description’. The word was coined by Robert A Heinlein in his 1969 Science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. It’s supposed to be Martian.

Acedia – apathy or boredom. This one has its origins in Latin. Acedia is a common condition this time of year, I’d say.

When I was growing up, my family had an elderly Nuttall’s English dictionary. It’s a great source of old words. One of my favourites is ‘slubberdegullion’, meaning a mean, dirty fellow. Drat, I should have had Chelle call someone that in McShannon’s Heart – but no, the word went out of use a couple of hundred years before Chelle was born.

What writer doesn’t love finding new words?

And yes, it’s Folk Friday.  Since I’ve started rambling about language, Here’s a tune in Scottish Gaelic sung by Nova Scotia’s own Mary Jane Lamond. I love her pure, clear voice.

One thing I enjoy about Gaelic music is that the meaning of the lyrics is sometimes at variance with the mood created by the music. This piece is a good example. These songs weren’t written as art, they were written as forms of gossip and storytelling for people who had no time or reason to learn to read.  At least this one isn’t about a grisly murder, as was one beautiful song I heard at a folk club meeting one night. I wished I’d been content not to know the meaning.  Enjoy this one!

("Dómhnall Mac 'Ic Iain")

English Translation:

 

 

 

Ma dh'eugas Dòmhnall mac 'ic Iain

If Donald son of the son of John dies

Eugaich e an cosnach

He'll die employed

Ma dh'eugas Dòmhnall mac 'ic Iain

If Donald son of the son of John dies

Bidh sinn air a thòrradh

We'll be at his funeral

Ma dh'eugas Dòmhnall mac 'ic Iain

If Donald son of the son of John dies

Eugaich e an cosnach

He'll die employed

Ma dh'eugas Dòmhnall mac 'ic Iain

If Donald son of the son of John dies

Bidh sinn air a thòrradh

We'll be at his funeral

 

 

Gheobh sinn aran agus ìm

We'll get bread and butter

'S càise na banaraich

And the milkmaid's cheese

Gheobh sinn aran agus ìm

We'll get bread and butter

Uisge-beath' an Tòisich

And the Toiseach's whisky

Gheobh sinn aran agus ìm

We'll get bread and butter

'S càise na banaraich

And the milkmaid's cheese

Gheobh sinn aran agus ìm

We'll get bread and butter

Uisge-beath' an Tòisich

And the Toiseach's whisky

 

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">http://www.youtube.com/embed/QfSgb0irTbY" frameborder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>

 



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More Blogs by Jennie Marsland
• Music is the food of love - Monday, February 14, 2011
•  This Weird and Wonderful Language - Friday, January 21, 2011  
• News Flash! - Thursday, January 13, 2011
• New Year's Musings - Monday, January 03, 2011
• McShannon's Heart Holiday Contest - Friday, December 17, 2010
• McShannon's Heart is Available! - Wednesday, December 15, 2010
• Dialogue and Layering and Stuff - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
• Folk Friday - Wild Women and Inspiration - Sunday, October 24, 2010
• Fall Flavours - Tuesday, September 28, 2010
• Folk Friday and thoughts on Canine Grammar - Sunday, September 26, 2010
• A Few Days Out of Time - Thursday, September 02, 2010
• Some Thoughts on Dialogue - Tuesday, August 10, 2010
• Folk Friday #2 - Friday, July 30, 2010
• Tragedy in Romance - Sunday, July 25, 2010
• A shattered City - Wednesday, July 21, 2010
• Folk Friday #1 - Friday, July 09, 2010
• McShannon's Heart Update - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
• A Different Flavour - Thursday, July 01, 2010
• Echo's Excellent Adventure - Monday, June 21, 2010
• Summertime, and the livin' is easy - Friday, June 11, 2010
• A Visit with Trey McShannon - Thursday, June 10, 2010
• A Musical Push - Tuesday, June 08, 2010
• Review: Naked Edge by Pamela Clare - Friday, May 28, 2010
• Words and Music - Thursday, May 20, 2010
• Revisions, revisions - Wednesday, May 12, 2010
• Review: Highland Rebel by Judith James - Thursday, May 06, 2010
• What's In a Name? - Friday, April 30, 2010
• My Take on Description 2: Setting - Sunday, April 25, 2010
• MyTake on Character Description - Saturday, April 24, 2010
• Contest Time! - Saturday, April 24, 2010
• A Family Divided - Saturday, April 24, 2010
• Second Book Syndrome - Saturday, April 24, 2010


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