Gnàthasan-cainnte Gaidhealach - Gaelic Idiom

Here we present a series of idiomatic Gaelic phrases.

CEANN - the head

There are many idomatic phrases based on parts of the body. Here are some based on the word ceann meaning head.

air a cheann direach
Thuit e air a cheann direach dhan toll

head first
He fell head first into the hole

cha do thog e ceann
Cha do thog mo leabhar ceann a-riamh

it/he never turned up
My book never turned up

às a cheann fhèin
Rinn e sin às a cheann fhèin

of his own volition
He wasn't asked to do that

air a cheann fhèin
Tha e ag obair air a cheann fhèin

for himself (Used when a person is self employed)
He works for himself

leig/chuir mi mo cheann fodham

I had a rest/ I put my head down

ceann-cinnidh

a clan chief

ceann-suidhe

a chairman

leth-cheann

a cheek (i.e. a half-head)

ceann-clò
'Se ceann-clò a th'anns a duine sin

a naive person (i.e. a tweed-head!)

duine fada 'na cheann
An rud a chuireas e 'na cheann cuiridh e 'na chasan e

a stubborn person
What he puts into his head he'll put into his feet! - a good expression to describe a stubborn person.

   

Here are more phrases based on the word ceann meaning end.

ceann an taighe
Tha a'gharaids aig ceann an taighe

the end of the house
The garage is at the end of the house

ceann na leap'
Tha a' chluasag aig ceann na leap'
an ceann adhairt

the bedhead 
The pillow is at the bedhead
the forward end (i.e. the pillow end)

ceann caol

the narrow end - prow of a boat

o cheann gu ceann
Leugh mi an leabhar o cheann gu ceann

from end to end
I read the book from beginning to end

an ceann seachdain
Thàinig e an ceann seachdain

at the end of the week
He came at the end of the week

ceann an rathaid
Choinnich mi e aig ceann an rathaid

The end of the road
I met him at the end of the road

Cum ceann a'mhaide ris

keep the end of the stick to him
i.e. don't give in to him/stand up to him

Other Body Parts

More expressions based on the body

Hear these phrases :

Thug e a chasan leis

He ran off (He took his feet with him) - He took to his heels

Rug e air làimh orm

He shook hands with me (He caught my hand)

Tha sin agam air mo theangaidh

I know that off b y heart (I have that on my tongue)

Thug e dòrn dhomh

He punched me (He gave me a fist)

Tha tusa le do chab air do ghualainn

You talk too much/You can't keep a secret (Your mouth is on your shoulder)

Cha leaghadh an t-ìm na bheul

Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth

Thug e droch bheul dhomh

He verbally abused me (He gave me a bad mouth)

'Sann ort a tha an aghaidh!

The cheek of you! (What a face is on you!) How dare you!

Dhùin e an doras air mo shròn

He shut the door in my face (He shut the door on my nose)

How are You?

Ciamar a tha sibh? Here are some answers.

Cha robh mi riamh cho math

I've never been better

Chan eil adhbhar a bhith a' gearain

No cause for complaint (There is no reason to complain)

Chan eil ach meadhanach

Only middling /so-so

Tha mi beò air èiginn

I'm barely alive

Chan eil ach bochd

I'm in a poor way

Chan eil ach truagh!

Just terrible!

Chan eil gu ri radh

No complaints (There is nothing to say)

Is math mar a tha

Good

Tha an teas a'cur orm!

The heat is bothering me/getting me down!

Holidays

Feast days and holidays in Gaelic.

Samh.30 Là Naoimh Anndrais

St. Andrew's Day

Dùbh. 6 Latha Bodach na Nollaige

St. Nicholas' Day

Dùbh. 21 Grianstad a'Gheamhraidh

Winter Solstice

Dùbh. An Nollaig (fem.) [na Nollaig/e]

Christmas

Dùbh. 24 Oidhche nam Bannag/Oidhche Nollaige

Christmas Eve

Dùbh. 25 Latha na Nollaige/Oidhche Nollaige

Christmas Day/Christmas Night

Nollaig Chridheil

Merry Christmas

Dùbh. 26 Là Naoimh Steafain

St. Stephen's Day

Dùbh. 28 Là Fèill nan Leanaban Neochiontach

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Dùbh. 31 Oidhche Challainn

Hogmanay/ New Year's Eve

Fao. 1 Là na Bliadhn'Uire

New Year's Day

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!

Happy New Year

More Idiom

Tha mòran gnàthasan-cainnte Gaidhealach mar gnàthasan-cainnte Bheurla, ach tha iomadach èile eadar-dhealaichte.
Seo beagan.

  • Cuir am buntàta – Plant the potatoes
  • Cuir an sìol – Sow the seed
  • Cuir teine air – Kindle a fire
  • Cuir às an teine – Extinguish the fire
  • Cuir air falbh – Send away
  • Cur-na-mara – Sea sickness
  • Cuir Bheurla air – Translate to English
  • Tog an taigh – Build the house
  • Fear togail nan Salm – The Precentor
  • Tog do dhealbh – Get your photograph taken
  • Bainne togalaich – Skimmed milk
  • Ceann-goirt – Headache
  • Thug e droch cheann domh – He ill-treated me
  • Air a'cheann thall – Ultimately, at long last
  • Thug e a cheann fodha – He disappeared
  • Na caill do cheann – Don't get excited
  • Beul an latha – Daybreak
  • Beul na h-oidhche – Dusk
  • Port-a-beul – Mouth tune
  • Duine beulach – Flatterer
  • Beul a'bhàta – Gunwhale of a boat
  • An cois na cloinne – In charge of the children
  • Ri cois na mara – Close by the shore
  • A bhèist air do chasan – You monster!
  • An comhair a chùil – Backwards
  • An geall mo chridhe – I am very eager
  • Cridhe na h-àirde deas – Exactly due south
  • A chridhe 'na shlugan – His heart in his mouth
  • A chridhe ri bualadh – His heart beating
  • Air leth glic – Exceptionally wise
  • A'fuireach air leth – Living apart
  • Ceud gu leth – One hundred and fifty
  • Buille cridhe – Heartbeat
  • Buuille cridhe mi-riaghailteach – Irregular heartbeat
  • Barr mo mheòir – Tip of my finger
  • Barr na slaite – Point of the rod
  • Barr a bhalla – Top of the wall
  • Càirich an leabaidh – Make the bed
  • Càirich na brogan – Repair the boots
  • Cha dèanainn facal a-mach – I couldn't understand a word
  • Tha mi a'dèanamh dheth – I understand
  • Dèan seanachas – Tell a story
  • Dèan suidhe a-steach ris an teine – Sit by the fire
  • A'dèanamh òrain – Composing a song
  • Crathadh-làimhe – A handshake
  • Craobh ag crathadh ri gaoithe – A tree swaying in the wind
  • Tha thu agam a-nis – I understand you now
  • Chan eil aige ach an òige – He is but young
  • An dùine aig Mairi – Mary's husband
  • Tha fhios aig an t-saogal – Everyone knows
  • B'eòlach do sheanair air – Your grandfather knew it
  • A-mach air an uinneig – Out of the window
  • A-mach air a'mhuir – Into the sea
  • Tha mi air mo dhòigh – I am doing well

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Originally published in ATG issue 78 September 2007 (Aireamh 78 An t-Sultain 2007)