Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gaelic Names for Plants

Recently I stumbled across an excellent website entitled An English to Gaelic Primer of Plant Names.  The website is very straightforward providing the common name, the scientific name, as well as the gaelic name of the plant in question.  As an added bonus the website also include an English translation of the Gaelic word, which is quite handy for those of us not fluent in the Highland tongue!

Particularly relevant to the Mackinnons is St. John's Wort, one of the plant badges of our clan.  The Gaelic name is 'eala bhuidhe' meaning 'yellow appearance' which seems to be a very practical name for a plant with such a distinguished yellow flower.  There are a few other gems as well, and most of the other plants also seem to have very practical names.

For those who would like a wee bit of extra information, the Gaelic college on Skye, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, has uploaded an older volume from their collection entitled Gaelic Plant Names: Study of Their Uses and Lore.  You can reach their digitised collection here, or if you would prefer a direct link to the PDF click here.

1 comment:

  1. The Irish language has been under assault from the Anglo-Saxons and Normans since approx 1166. No wonder it is a minority language! It is a great language, more native Irish should speak it.
    Best Wishes-