View Full Version : Gidhlig - Scottish Gaelic Examples

Saturday, January 1st, 2011, 05:46 PM

1. Anail a Ghaidheil, air a mhullach!
[The Gael's breathing place - on the summit!]

2. Abair ach beagan agus abair gu math e.
[Say but little and say it well.]

3. Abair sin, nuair a chaitheas tu cruach
mhine cmhla ris.
[Say that, when you have spent a stack of
peats along with it.]

4. A bhliadhn' is gainne a mhin,
Dean fuine mhr aineamh.
[During the year when meal is scarce
Let big bakings be few.]

5. A'chungaidh leighis is goirte,
'Si is moth'tha deaneamh feum.
[The medicine (or liniment) that hurts the most
Is generally the best healer.]

6. A cur suas inisg, sa bun aig a bhaile.
[Spreading a fama, and its root at home.]

7. A ghaoth ag iarraidh na'm port.
[The wind seeking the harbours.]

8. A h-uile c air a ch choimheach.
[All dogs down on the strange dog.]

--td 26
9. A sgaoladh na'n sguab 's a trusadh na'n
[Scattering the sheaves and gathering the

10. Aithnichear an leomhan air scriob de
[The lion is known by the scrath of his claw.]

11. An rmh is fhaisg air laimh, iomair leis.
[The oar that's nearest at hand, row with it.]

12. An neach nach cnn na chadal,
Cha chnn e na dhuisg.
[He who will not prosper in his sleep.
Will not prosper when awake.]

13. A mheud 'sa gheibh thu gu math,
Se'n lughad a gheibh thu de'n olc.
[The more you get of what's good,
The less you will get of what's bad.]

14. Am fear is fliuche, rachadh e do'n tobair.
[He who is wettest, let him go to the well.]

15. An luigh nach fhaighear cha'n a chobhras.
[The herb that cannot be found will not give

16. A taomadh na mara le cliabh.
[Bailing the sea with a creel.]

17. A h-uile rud ach an rud bu chir.
[Everything but the right thing.]

18. Adhaircean fada air a chrodh a bhios anns a
[Long horns on the cattle that are seen through
the mist.]

--td 27
19. Air gnothaich na cuthaig.
[On the cuckoo's business.]

{A1. - A chuir a ruith na cuthaig.
[Sent to chase the cuckoo.]
S.P.-[A gowk's errand.]}

20. An cel air feadh na fdhle.
[The music throughout the fiddle.]

21. An lmh a bheir 'si a gheibh,
Mar a d'thugar do dhroch dhuin'e.
[The hand that gives is the hand that will receive,
Except when given to a bad man.]

22. Am fear, is fhaide chaidh bho'n bhaile,
Chual e'n cel bu mhilse leis nuair thill e dhachaidh.
[Who farthest away e'er did roam
Heard the sweetest music on returning home.]

23. A lion beag s bheagan, mar a dh' ith an
cat an t-iasg.
[Little by little, as the cat eat the fish.]

24. An rud a nithear gu math, chithear a bhuil.
[What is well done will be shown by results.]

25. A chuid de Fhlaitheanas dha.
[His shore of Paradise to him.]

{"Flaitheanas" according to our etomologists, is from "Flath
Innis", "The Isle of Heroes," the heaven of Celtic
Mythology. Here the souls of the brave (none other were
deserving), went for enternal and blissful repose, at the
end of their warrior-careers. Cowardice was deemed a sin
that barred the guilty from entering that coveted place.
The other place, in those days, was not the brimstone-fueled
--td 28
fire of later beliefs, but a desolated area of ice and snow;
cold, not heat, was the meted punishment.}

26. Am facal a thig a Ifrinn --
Se a gheibh, ma 's e 's mo bheir.
[The message from hell --
Give to the highest bidder.]

27. An rud a thid fad o'n t-sil
Thid e fad o'n chrdhe.
[What goes far from the eye
Will go far from the heart.]

E.P. - [Out of sight out of mind.]
But even proverbs may be mistaken sometimes, as for
["Kind eyes may speak the heart's desire,
When heart for heart doth beat,
But fond hearts will communicate
When the eyes cannot meet."]

28. An turadh, an t-anmoch, am muir-ln, 's
an Dmhnach.
[Fair weather, the evening, high water, and
the Sabbath.]

{Does this imply a choice of circumstances?}

29. An uair a bhios sinn ri rach
Bidheadhmaid ri rach;
'S nuair a bhios sinn ri maorach,
Bidheadhmaid ri maorach.
[When we are seeking gold,
let us be seeking gold;
And when we are seeking bait
let us be seeking bait.]

{E.P. -[One thing at a time, and everything in its
own time.]}

--td 29
30. An uair a chluinneas tu sgeul gun dreach
na creid i.
[When you hear a tale that is not pleasant, do
not believe it.

{This means that one should turn a deaf ear to
scandal mongerig.}

31. Am fear nach gheidh na h-airm 'nam na sth,
Cha bhi iad aige 'n am a chogaidh.
[Who keeps not his arms in times of peace,
Will have no arms in times of war.]

32. An car a h' anns an t-seana mhaide,
Is duilich a thoirt as.
[Straightening the bend in old wood
Is a difficult job.]

33. Air rir do mheas ort fhin
'S ann a mheasas cch thu.
[According as thou esteemest thyself
Others will esteem thee.]

34. Am boll' air an sgillinn
Is gun an sgillinn ann.
[The boll (of meal) at a penny
And no penny in hand.]

35. A cheud sgeul air fear an taighe,
Is sgeul gu lth' air an aoidh.
[The first story from the host,
And tales till morning from the guest.]

{This one recalls old Highland manners and
customs, with an "Arabian Nights" atmosphere
about them.}

--td 30
36. Am fear a bhios fad aig an aiseig
Gheibh e thairis uaireigin.
[He that waits long at the ferry
Will get across sometime.]

(E.P. - Everything comes to him that waits.)

37. Am fear nach seall roimhe
Seallaidh e as a dheigh.
[He who will not look before him
Will look behind him.]

38. An triuir nach fuiling an cniodachadh,
Seann bhean, cearc, agus caora.
[Three that won't bear caressing,
An old woman, a hen, and a sheep.]

39. A bheairt sin a bhios cearr,
'Se foighidinn is fhear a dheanamh ris.
[The loom (or engine) that has gone wrong
Patience is best for putting it right.]

40. An rthad fada glan, is an rthad goirid
[The long clean road, and the short dirty road.]

{The latter is taken by those who are in a hurry to
get rich, irrespective of the means adopted.}

41. A bh is miosa 'th' anns a bhuaile
'S is cruaidh ni gum.
[The worst cow in the fold
Lows the loudest.]

42. An rud nach gabh leasachadh,
'S fheudar cur suas leis.
[What cannot be helped
Must be put up with.]

{E.P. - [Crying over spilt milk, etc.]}

--td 31
43. An ni 's an teid dil theid dearmaid.
[What is delayed will be forgotten.]

44. An rud is fhiach a ghabhail, 's fhaich e iarraidh.
[If it is worth taking, it is worth asking for.]

45. An rud a thig gu dona falbhaidh e leis a
[What is got by guile will disappear with the

46. A mire ri cuilein, cha sgur e gus an sgal e.
[Playing with a pup ends in a howl.]

47. Be sin an conadh a chuir do 'n choille.
[That were sending fuel to the wood.]

{E.P. - [Sending coals to Newcastle.]}

48. Bu mhath an sgthan sil caraid.
[A friend's eye is a good looking-glass.]

49. Buinidh urram do'n aois.
[Honour belongs to old age.]

50. Bheir an igin air rud-eigin a dheanamh.
[Necessity will get something done.]

{E.P. - [Necessity is the mother of invention.]}

51. Bheirear comhairle seachad ach cha toirear
[Council can be given, but not conduct.]

52. Bheir duine beath' air igin, ach cha toir
e rath air igin.
[A man may force a livelihood, but he cannot
force fortune.]

--td 52
53. Bheir aon fhear each gu uisge
Ach cha toir a dh-dheug air l.
[One man can lead a horse to the water,
But twelve cannot make it drink.]

{Ae man may lead a horse to the water,
But ane and twenty winna gar him drink.
- Allan Ramsay's Proverbs.}

54. Bior a d'dhrn na fisg;
Easbhuidheachd ri d' nmhaid na ruisg;
Ri gearradh-sgian a d' fheol na isd;
Beisd nimheil ri d' bhe na duisg.
[A thorn in your grasp, do not squeeze;
Thy wants to thine enemy do not bare;
The dagger's point to your flesh do not hear;
A venomous reptile do not rouse.]

55. Bu mhath mpidh a choilich mu shiol a
thoirt do na cearcan.
[Well was the cock's petition for corn for the

56. Be sin m a chuir do thaigh raich.
[That were sending butter to the farmhouse.]

57. Bithidh bean-mhuinntir aig an fheannaig
's an Fhoghar.
[The crow has her maid-servant at harvest time.]

58. Beiridh caora dhubh uan geal.
[A black ewe may have a white lamb.]

59. Beus na tuath, far am bithear se nithear.
[The manners of the folk where thou art thou
must adopt.]

{E.P. - When in Rome do as the Romans do.}

--td 33
60. Balach, is balgaire tighearna,
dithis nach cir a leigeil letha.
[A conceited fellow and a laird's tyke
Two who should not be allowed their own way.]

62. Buail am balach air a charbad,
Is buail am balgair air a shrin.
[Strike the knave on the neck,
And knock the tyke on the nose.]

63. Bithidh sonas an lorg na caitheamh.
[Felicity follows generosity.]

64. Bhiodh sonas aig an strodhaire
Na'm faigheadh e mar a chaitheadh e.
[The squanderer would be happy were he to
get as he squandered.]

65. Bithidh cron duine cho mr ri beinn mas
leir dha fhin e.
[A man's faults will be as large as a mountain
ere he himself sees time.]

66. Bithidh na gabhair bodhair 's an fhoghar.
[The goats will be deaf at harvest time.]

{E.P. [There are none so deaf as those who will not

67. Brisidh an teanga bhog an cneath.
[A smooth tongue will blunt wrath.]

{E.P. - [A soft answer turneth away wrath.
- Solomon.]}

68. Bithidh an osnaich dheireanach cidhteach.
[The last sigh will be painful.]

--td 34
69. Biodh earlas meirleach agad air gach neach,
Ach na dean meirleach de neach idir.
[Have the caution of a thief over every one,
But make no one a thief.]

70. Bha iasad ga ghabhail 's ga thoirt riamh air
feadh an t-saoghal.
[Borrowing and lending have always been
world-wide habits.]

71. B'olc-an-airidh gun deanadh aimsir thioram
['Twere a pity that dry weather should do harm.]

72. Bidheach, cha'nn ann dicheil.
[Pretty, not plausible.]

73. Beiridh am beag tric air a mhr ainmig.
[The little frequent will overtake the infrequent

74. B' i sin reul 's an oidhche dhoilleir.
[That were a star on a dark night.]

75. B'fhearr a bhi gun bhreith na bhi gun
[Better be without being than without instruction.]

76. B'fhearr gun tiseachadh na sguir gun
[Better not to begin than stop without finishing.]

77. Bheir eu-dochas misneachd do'n ghealtair.
[Desperation will give courage to a coward.]

78. Bidh an bhal s fhearr air a mheangan is
[The best apple will be on the highest bough.]

--td 35
79. Cha bhi am bochd-soghail saoibhir.
[The luxurious poor will not be rich.]

{An apt companion to the above is:-}

80. Cha bhi aon duine crionna
'A measg mille amadan.
[There will not be one wise man
Among a thousand fools.]

81. Cha tig as a phoit ach an toit a bhios innte.
[No fumes from the pot, but from what it

82. Cha bhi luathas agus grinneas an cuideachd
a' cheile.
[Quick and fine don't combine.]

83. Cha d'thug gaol luath
Nach d'thug fuath clis.
[Quick to love, quick to hate.]

84. Cha do chuir a ghuallain ris
Nach do chuir tr thairis.
[None ever set his shoulder to
That did not what he sought to do.]

85. Cha toir an uaisle goil air a phoit.
[Gentility will not boil the pot.]

86. "Cha'n eil mi na m' sgoileir, 's cha'n ill leam a bhi,"
Ma'n d'thuairt a mhadadh-ruadh ris a mhadadh-allaidh.
["I am not a scholar, and don't wish to be",
As the fox said to the wolf.]

{There are several versions of the story from which the above
saying originated. Campbell's "West Highland Tales," and
Nicholson give slightly different versions,
--td 36
The following is one:- The fox and the wolf, walking
together, came upon an ass quietly grazing in a meadow. The
fox pointed out an inscription on one of the ass's hind
hoofs, and, addressing the wolf, said: "Go you and read
that, you are a scholar and I am not." The wolf, flattered
by the request, went proudly forward, and coming too close
to the ass, got knocked in the head, leaving the fox to
enjoy their common spoil.

87. Cha'n i a mhuc is simhche
Is lugh a dh'itheas de'n drabh.
[It is not the quietest sow that eats the least.]

88. Ceud malle filte.
[A hundred thousand welcomes.]

89. Cha robh naigheachd mhr riamh
Nach robh na chall do dhuin'eigin.
[There never was great news
But was a loss to somebody.]

{Rather the opposite of the English proverb, which says:
"['Tis an ill wind that blows nobody any good.]" But
the import is the same in both.}

90. Chaidh theab le creag,
Is theab nach deachaidh.
["Almost" went over a rock,
And almost didn't.]

91. Cha'n aithnich thu duine
Gus am bi do ghnothaich ris.
[You will never know a man,
Until you do business with him.]

92. Cha'n fhiach gille gun char,
'S cha'n fhiach gille nan car.
[The man without a turn is worthless,
And the man of many turns is worthless.]

{The man of many turns implies a "twister".}

--td 37
93. Cha'n eil mran lochd 's an crdh a bhios
a gabhail ran.
[There is not much guile in the heart that is
aye singing songs.]

94. Cha'n eil aill an aghaidh tairbh.
[Pride is not against profit.]

95. Cha'n eil bs fir gun ghrs fir.
[There is no man's death without another
man's gain.]

96. Cha sheas cirdeas air a lth-chois.
[Friendship will not stand on one leg.]

97. Coin bhadhail is clann dhaoin eile!
[Stray dogs and other people's children!]

98. Cha'n fheum an ti a shealbhaicheas an
toradh am blth a mhilleadh.
[He who would enjoy the fruit must not spoil
the blossom.]

99. Cha'n fhiach brn a ghnth,
'S cha'n fhiach cel a ghnth.
[Sorrowing always is not good,
And music (mirth) always is not good.]

100. Cha chel do dhuin' a bhrn uil' aithris.
[It is no music to a man to recite all his woe.]

101. Cha toir muir no mnadh a chuid bho
dhuine sona,
Ach cha ghleidh duine dona allt.
[Neither main nor mountain can deprive a
prosperous man of his possessions,
But the unfortunate man cannot retain a

--td 38
102. Cha do bhris deagh urram ceann duine riamh,
Agus is mr-am-beud a bhi uair 's am bith
as aonais.
[Due civility never broke a man's head,
And great the pity to be at any time without it.]

103. Cha chuirear gad air gealladh.
[A promise can never be tied (or tethered.)]

104. Cha'n eil fealladh ann cho mr ris an
gealladh gun choimhlionadh.
[There is no deceit so great as a promise

105. Cluinnidh am bodhar fuaim an airgead.
[The deaf will hear the clink of money.]

106. Cha dean cridh misgeach breug.
[The inebriated heart will not lie.]

107. Cha robh na sgeulaiche nach robh breugach.
[There ne'er was a tale-bearer but was un-truthful.]

108. Cha'n uaisle duine na cheird.
[No man is above his trade.]

{The tradition associated with the above is that, when
Alastair MacColla (Alexander MacDonald), the Great
Montrose's principal liutenant, found himself pent up with
a handful of followers, surrounded by the Covenanters, a
tinker of the name of Stewart, from Athol, made his appearance
among MacDonald's men, and with his claymore
hewed down the Covenanters till but few were left. MacDonald,
astonished at the timely succour and the successful
onslaught of the unknown warrior, bade him be called to
his presence after the fray, and asked him who and what he
was. The tinker modestly replied that he was but a tinker,
and hardly deserved to be named among men, far less
--td 39
among such brave men as were then present. MacDonald,
turning round to his followers, proclaimed the heroic
tinker's praise, citing the words quoted, and which are
now a proverb, as above.

109. Cuiridh aon bheart as an duine gu lom, is
gun bhonn fo cheill,
Is cuiridh beart eil' e ann, ach a bhabhail
na am fin.
[One hapless act may undo a man,
And one timely one will re-establish him.]

110. Cumaidh a mhuc a foil fhin glan.
[The pig will keep its own stye clean.]

111. Cha toill iarratas achmhasan.
[A request merits no reproof.]

112. Cha bhi fuachd air ualachan air fuaraid an
[The coxcomb feels no cold no matter how cold
the day.]

113. Cha mhisde sgeul mhath aithris da uair.
[A god tale is not the worse of being twice told.]

114. Ceannaich mar t-fheum,
Is reic mar's ill leat.
[Buy according to your needs,
And sell as you may desire.]

115. Cha deanar buanachd gun chall.
[There is no profit without loss.]

116. Cha d' dhin dorus nach d'fhosgail dorus.
[No door closes without opening another door.]

117. Crdadh a reubeadh reachd.
[Agreements breaking the law.]

--td 40
118. Ceilichidh seirc aineamh.
[Freindship conceals blemishes.]

119. Cha d'thainig eun glan riamh a nead a
[There ne'er came a clean bird out of a kite's

120. Cha bhi uaill gun dragh.
[Vanity is not without trouble.]

121. Cha bhris mallachd cnaimh.
[A curse breaks no bones.]

122. Cha bheathaich beannachd neach 's am bi.
[A blessing feeds no one.]

123. Cha'n fhaighear math gun dragh.
[Good is not obtained without trouble.]

124. Cha'n eil cleith air an olc,
Ach gun a dheanamh.
[There is no concealment of evil
But by avoiding it.]

125. Cha'n eil saoi gun choimeas.
[There is no hero without compare.]

126. Cha bhi luathas is grinneas cmhla.
[Quickness and neatness do not go together.]

{E.P. - [The more hurry the less speed.]}

127. Cha'n eil air a mheirleach ach d shil,
Ach tha d-shil-dheug ga fheitheamh.
[The thief has only two eyes,
But there are a dozen eyes watching him.]

128. Cha robh ceileach nach robh breugach.
[There ne'er was reticent, but was untruthful.]