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466: An Cuiltheann

Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh - Eadar-mheadhanach Adhartach (B2)
Letter to Learners - Upper Intermediate (B2)

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Cò às a thàinig an t-ainm airson nam beann as àirde anns an Eilean Sgitheanach – a tha ainmeil fad’ is farsaing? An Cuiltheann – the Cuillin. Is iomadh beachd a chualas air sin thairis air na bliadhnaichean. Ach saoilidh mi gu bheil am mìneachadh aig Peter Drummond anns an leabhar aige Scottish Hill Names a’ coimhead gu math coltach. Thig mi gu sin an ceartuair.

’S dòcha gur e a’ chiad rud a bu chòir dhomh ràdh gur e ainm singilte a th’ ann an Cuiltheann. An Cuiltheann. Chan e Na Cuiltheann. Agus chan e Beanntan a’ Chuilthinn nas motha. Dìreach An Cuiltheann. Mar sin, ’s e The Cuillin, seach The Cuillins a chanas mòran ann am Beurla.

Faodaidh sinn a bhith an ìre mhath cinnteach nach eil an Cuiltheann air ainmeachadh às dèidh a’ ghaisgich Ghàidhealaich Cuchulainn, ged a bha am mìneachadh sin anns an fhasan uaireigin. Tha beul-aithris ag innse dhuinn gun do dh’ionnsaich an t-Ultach Cuchulainn a chuid sgilean sabaid bhon Bhanrigh Sgàthach. Bha caisteal aice aig Dùn Sgàthaich anns an Eilean Sgitheanach às am faighear sealladh àlainn dhen Chuiltheann.

Tha cuid air ceangal a dhèanamh eadar na beanntan agus gaisgeach Gàidhealach eile – Fionn MacCumhail. Os cionn Phort Rìgh tha àite air a bheil Suidhe Fhinn. Bhiodh Fionn a’ coimhead air an Fhèinn fhad ’s a bha iad a’ sealg anns a’ ghleann fodha. ’S e an Cuiltheann, ma-thà, Cùil Fhinn, the nook or hiding place of Fionn. Mmm, chan eil sin ro choltach nas mò.

Tha feadhainn air smuain eile a chur air adhart – gu bheil an t-ainm co-cheangailte ris a’ Ghàidhlig airson holly – cuileann. Tha na beanntan sin gu math biorach, mar a tha duilleagan cuilinn. Ach a-rithist, chan eil sin coltach. Chan eil eisimpleir eile ann de a leithid.

Bha amharas agam riamh nach e ainm Gàidhlig a bh’ ann. Agus – mar a tha Peter Drummond ag innse dhuinn – bu chòir dhuinn a bhith a’ coimhead a dh’ionnsaigh Lochlainn airson an fhuasglaidh. ’S iomadh beinn Albannach a chithear bhon mhuir air a bheil ainm Lochlannach. Agus nach biodh maraichean Lochlannach a’ cleachdadh a’ Chuilthinn mar chomharra-iùil?

Tha Peter Drummond ag innse dhuinn gu bheil beanntan ann an Nirribhidh air a bheil Kjølen mar ainm. Tha feadhainn eile air a bheil Kiolen ann an Innis Tìle. Tha beanntan ann an Nirribhidh cuideachd air a bheil Velskjølen agus Kvitingskjølen. Agus tha kjølen a’ ciallachadh “creagan àrda”. An tàinig Cuiltheann bhon ainm Lochlannach airson nam beann sin – Kjølen? Dhèanadh e ciall, ceart gu leòr. Is fhiach barrachd rannsachaidh a dhèanamh air a’ chuspair.

Tha mi a’ tuigsinn gu bheil kjølen cuideachd a’ ciallachadh “an druim”, nuair a thathar a’ bruidhinn mu bhàtaichean. The keel ann am Beurla. Ma dh’fhaodte gun do rinn na seann Lochlannaich coimeas eadar cuid de bheanntan agus druim bàta mar a tha e nuair a tha am bàta bun-os-cionn.

Tha sin a’ cur ceist eile nam cheann. Tha mòran bheanntan, no pàirtean de bheanntan, ann an Alba, air a bheil Druim mar ainm. Tha Druim nan Ràmh anns a’ Chuiltheann. Saoil an robh druim anns an t-suidheachadh sin an-còmhnaidh a’ riochdachadh back no spine – mar a tha ann an Èirinn? No, aig amannan, an do lean na Gàidheil ann an Alba dòigh Lochlannach le bhith a’ cur an druim an sàs airson kjølen a riochdachadh? A-rithist bhiodh tuilleadh rannsachaidh feumail. Kjølen – Cuiltheann – An Cuiltheann – The Cuillin. Dh’fhaodadh e bhith, ceart gu leòr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faclan na Litreach: An Cuiltheann: The Cuillin; an ceartuair: presently; Ultach: Ulsterman; Suidhe Fhinn: Fionn’s [Fingal’s] Seat; cuileann: holly; comharra-iùil: landmark, navigational mark.

Abairtean na Litreach: airson nam beann as àirde: for the highest mountains; ainmeil fad’ is farsaing: famous far and wide; is iomadh beachd a chualas: many an opinion was heard; saoilidh mi gu bheil am mìneachadh aig X a’ coimhead gu math coltach: I reckon X’s explanation is pretty likely [correct]; gur e a’ chiad rud a bu chòir dhomh ràdh: that the first thing I should say; às dèidh a’ ghaisgich Ghàidhealaich Cuchulainn: after the Gaelic hero Cuchullin; a chuid sgilean sabaid bhon Bhanrigh Sgàthach: his fighting skills from Queen Sgàthach; às am faighear sealladh àlainn: from which is had a beautiful view; a’ coimhead air an Fhèinn fhad ’s a bha iad a’ sealg anns a’ ghleann fodha: watching the Fenians as they were hunting in the glen below him; chan eil sin ro choltach nas mò: that’s not particularly likely either; biorach, mar a tha duilleagan cuilinn: sharp, as are holly leaves; eisimpleir eile de a leithid: another example of the [same] sort; a dh’ionnsaigh Lochlainn airson an fhuasglaidh: towards Scandinavia for the solution; a chithear bhon mhuir: which is/can be seen from the sea; dhèanadh e ciall: it would make sense; is fhiach barrachd rannsachaidh a dhèanamh: it’s worth doing more research; ma dh’fhaodte: perhaps; druim bàta mar a tha e nuair a tha am bàta bun-os-cionn: a boat’s keel as it is when the boat is upside-down; an-còmhnaidh a’ riochdachadh: always representing; an do lean na Gàidheil ann an Alba dòigh Lochlannach?: did the Gaels in Scotland follow a Scandinavian way [of thinking]?

Puing-chànain na Litreach: Os cionn Phort Rìgh: above Portree. This example builds on the point I made in Litir 459 (18.04.08) about how we genitivise place names. Os cionn, being a compound preposition, takes the genitive. To show the genitive of a place name like Port Rìgh, in which there is no article, we lenite it – thus os cionn Phort Rìgh. Similarly we call “the people of Portree” muinntir Phort Rìgh. “Above Glasgow” is os cionn Ghlaschu. Steòrnabhagh (Stornoway) cannot be lenited. It is slenderised in the genitive – thus we would say os cionn Steòrnabhaigh. And place names with the article operate just as any noun would – thus os cionn a’ Ghearasdain (above Fort William), os cionn an Òbain (above Òban).

Gnàthas-cainnt na Litreach: anns an fhasan: in fashion [lit. in the fashion].

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri An Litir Bheag 162

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