The language spoken around me in the west of Ireland in the 1940’s was, as I reflect on it, quite different in both composition and delivery from that spoken in the area today.  Many of its words were rooted in the Irish language and survived well into the late 1900’s.  Over fifty percent of the words and phrases in my grandmother’s language were Irish.  This meeting or fusion of the two languages was for me and others like me a natural form of communication.  It was only later when in college that I began to appreciate the unique nature of the assimilation that was obviously at work between the two languages.  While the following list records some of the words in common use, it is by no means exhaustive:

Anglicised Usage  Irish Word and Meaning Comment
crocaun Cnocán - little hill  
srath (srah) Srath - river valley Used to refer also to flat marshy lands next to a lake - the cattle grazing in the srath.
boreen bóithrín - country lane Down the boreen.
trauneen tráinín - long thin blade of grass A tráinín of a garsún (boy).
boochaluan buachalán buí - ragwort  
poreens                        also
pór - potato seed 

sliseanna - pieces cut of the potato for seed                 
Preparing the shlits.
scraw scraith - cleaned off sod on bog Removing the scraw before cutting the turf.
scutch scoth (scuh) - tuft of grass  
slaan sleán (shlaun)- turf spade  
lochaun lochán - little lake Above at the lochaun.
glugar ubh (uv - u as in put) ghlugar - rotten egg In Irish, the adjective follows the noun - cailín deas (girl pretty).
rickle also reekle ricil - small stack of turf  
meitheal meitheal - gang Meithael of men.
scagh Sceach  - thorny bush  
focal focal  - word - comment Not a focal (comment) from him.
mearacaun méanacán - thimble  
barm brack báirín (cake) breac - cake speckled with raisins  

brúitín - mashed potatoes with milk and butter
ceaile – mashed new potatoes with scallions and home-made butter
drisheen drisín - pig intestine boiled with onion and oatmeal  
griskeen griscín - slice of meat  
scalteen scailtín - hot whiskey  
koshkeen caiscín  - wholemeal bread Made from crushed wheat homegrown.
shlug slog - drink or swallow Take another shlug now.
praetees prátaí - potatoes  
Scelp or shcelp
fuist - silence
sceilp - slap
smaois - mouth or snout
Hold your whisht or I’ll give you a scelp in the smeesh.
 There were lots of words to describe people:
ceolaun  ceolán - miserable whimper  
blather bladair - foolish incessant talk  
oanshagh óinseach - foolish woman  
amadaun amadán - silly and foolish Usually in reference to a male
gaum gamaí - rattle brain  
gligeen gligín - a foolish gaum  
skitar sciotaráil - foolish laughter Stop the skitar you amadaun!
glick glic - smart or shrewd Pateen glick – smart Pat.
strooanshe stróinse - lazy, idle woman  
spaug spág - big clumsy foot     
plaumause plámás - flatterer  
ludeen lúidín - little finger Pull my ludeen!
kithoge ciotóg - left handed and clumsy He’s a kithoge.
gubaun gubán - lazy, useless person That’s gubaun’s work!
gubaunseer gubánsaor -  master craftsman All around where I was raised are ruins of abbeys.  I recall how, during a visit to the abbey ruins at Kill(Cille), my father pointed out the part of the stone work completed by the saor cloiche (stonemason) and gubánsaor as an example for the other stonemasons to follow.
dúidín Dúidín - a small pipe, usually made of white clay, with a long stem Often smoked by older women and in the olden days given to mourners at wakes.  I have seen my grandmother, Bridget Murphy, smoke her dúidín which she kept hidden under a small cushion on the hob.
keening ag caoineadh - crying It was customary to have someone cry loudly at wakes to both praise and mourn the deceased. My only experience of this  custom was in 1953 when I drove Willie Caulfield and his mother Sarah from our village to a wake near Finney in south west Mayo.  Two elderly ladies in black shawls took turns at keening all in Irish, and it was indeed a fine performance.
sugaun Súgán - rope made from straw by weaving and twisting it into a rope  
Words of love, endearment and address:
cuisle - vein or pulse mo chuisle - my pulse Darling! Literally, you’re my pulse.
cushlamochree cuisle mo croí - pulse of my heart  
muirnín - sweetheartmo mbuirín - my darling, beloved Addressing one’s sweetheart.
astore stór - darling   
agraw grá - love  
A common practice that survives to this day.
biteen (pronounced ‘bitteen’) It means ‘a little bit’.  The ending ‘ín’ in Irish means the diminutive of the noun to which it is appended.  It is still fairly widely used and also quite often used with English words, for example, “Seaneen (Seánín) is still a biteen slack since he had the flu” or “Sure it’s a lovely headeen of hair the child has”.

As we say in Irish, "Níl anseo ach samplaí" - this is just a sample, but it is true to say that increased travel and communication with the outside world, educational advancement and the development of a strong modern economy and indeed the passing of generations have all led to a continuing decline in the use of many of these words in colloquial and spoken English.

Another category of Irish words used in English and officially adopted in modern Ireland as part of the vocabulary of Irish English includes among others the following:

Áras an Uachtaráin (Presidential Palace) [pronounced 'Awr-as un Ook-thar-awn]
Ard-Fheis(eanna) (party congress(es) of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin) [pronounced 'awrd esh'(ana)]
Ard-Rí ('The High King' (of Ireland), name of the Irish overlord king in medieval times. [pronounced 'Awrd Ree']
Bord Fáilte (tourist board - literally 'welcome board') [pronounced 'bawrd fawl-cha']
Bunreacht na hÉireann (Constitution of Ireland) [Bun-ruckt na Hair-in]
Ceann Comhairle (Speaker of Dáil Éireann) [pronounced 'kyann koar-la']
Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) [pronounced 'Dawl Air-in']
Éire (Ireland)  [pronounced 'Air-a']
Fianna Fáil (The largest Irish political party, translation: 'Soldiers of Destiny') [pronounced 'Fee-na Faul']
Fine Gael
(The second largest party, translation 'Family of the Gael') [pronounced 'Fee-na Gale']
Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area) [pronounced 'gale-thuckt']
Garda Síochána Irish police force [pronounced 'gawrda shee-a-cawna']
Garda police officer, pl. Gardaí [pronounced 'gawr-dee']
Príomh-Aire (Prime Minister 1919-21) [pronounced 'Preeve Arra']
Punt ('pound' (currency), was often used in English to refer specifically to the Irish pound, now replaced by the euro) [pronounced 'punth']
Radio Telifís Éireann (Irish national broadcasting service, RTÉ) [pronounced 'Radd-eeoh Tell-if-eesh Air-in']
Saorstát Éireann (Irish Free State's name in Irish) [pronounced 'Seer-stawth Air-inn']
Seanad Éireann (Irish Senate) [pronounced 'Shan-nad Air-in']
Sinn Féin (Political party in Ireland with ties in the republican movement, translation 'We, Ourselves') [pronounced 'shin fayn' ]
Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister since 1937) [pronounced 'Thaw-nish-ta']
Taoiseach (Prime Minister since 1937) [pronounced 'thee-shuck']
Teachta Dála (Member of Parliament; used as 'TD') [pronounced 'Chock-ta dawla']
Uachtarán na hÉireann (President of Ireland) [pronounced 'Ook-thar-awn na Hair-in']
Údarás na Gaeltachta (development agency for Gaeltachtaí) [pronounced 'ooda-rawss na gayl-thuk-tha']

Some of the words listed here appear also in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

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