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566: St Columba and the flounder 566: Calum Cille agus an Lèabag

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Calum Cille agus an Lèabag

Gaelic Gàidhlig

An t-seachdain sa chaidh, bha mi a’ bruidhinn mun fhacal-fillte geal-chasachwhite-legged no white-footed. Geal-chasach. Ach dè a’ Ghàidhlig a tha air ‘black-legged’? Dubh-chasach. Tha sin furasta gu leòr, nach eil? Dubh-chasach. Tha fionn-chasach a’ ciallachadh an ìre mhath an aon rud ri geal-chasach.

Seo eisimpleirean eile de dh’fhaclan fillte le ‘casach’ annta. Aon-chasach ‘one-footed’, dà-chasach ‘bipedal’, ceithir-chasach ‘quadrupedal’. Tha am facal trì-chasach ann cuideachd. Tha stòl trì-chasach agam aig an taigh. Agus tha trì-chasach cuideachd na ainmear, a’ ciallachadh tripod.

Tha caol-chasach a’ ciallachadh ‘slender-legged’. Tha brat-chasach, cam-chasach agus croma-chasach uile a’ ciallachadh ‘bow-legged’.

Tha sin gam thoirt gu sgeulachd thraidiseanta a tha a’ toirt a-steach an fhacail croma-chasach. Bidh sibh eòlach air an iasg air a bheil lèabag no leòbag – the flounder. Canaidh sinn gu bheil an lèabag ceàrr-ghobach – wry-mouthed. Ceàrr-ghobach no cearra-ghobach. Ach ciamar a fhuair i beul – no gob – mar sin? Uill – ’s e Calum Cille a bu choireach. Nach robh fios agaibh air sin?! Seo an stòiridh, ma-thà – ‘Calum Cille agus an Lèabag’.

Latha a bha seo, bha Calum Cille san tràigh shìolag. ’S e sin a’ phàirt dhen tràigh fo ìre na h-ìsle-mhara aig an reothart. An tràigh-shìolag – far a bheil sìolagan ‘sandeels’ a’ fuireach. Co-dhiù, bha Calum Cille a’ grunnachadh anns an tràigh-shìolag. Shaltair e air earball aig lèabag bheag bhòidheach bhàn. Tha sin a’ ciallachadh gun do chuir e a chas air earball na lèabaig. Shaltair e air. Ghoirtich e an t-iasg. Dhochair e a h-earball. Agus dh’èigh an lèabag bheag bhrònach aig àird a cinn:

A Chaluim mhòir mhosaich,

Le do chasan croma crosgach,

’S mòr a rinn thu orm de dhosgadh

Dar [nuair] a shaltair thu air m’ earball.’

Bha Calum Cille feargach. Bha an lèabag ladarna. Bha i a’ tilgeil air an naomh gun robh e croma-chasach. Thuirt Calum Cille ris an leabaig, ‘Ma tha mise croma-chasach, biodh tusa cearra-ghobach.’ Agus dh’fhàg e mar sin i. Bho sin a-mach, tha an lèabag air a bhith cearra-ghobach. Agus an robh Calum Cille croma-chasach? Chan eil fhios a’m. Agus chan eil mi a’ dol a thoirt beachd air!

St Columba and the flounder

English Beurla

Last week, I was talking about the compound word geal-chasach – white-legged or white-footed. Geal-chasach. But what is the Gaelic for ‘black-legged’? Dubh-chasach . That’s easy enough, isn’t it? Dubh-chasach. Fionn-chasach means pretty much the same as geal-chasach.

Here are other examples of compound words containing ‘casach’. Aon-chasach ‘one-footed’, dà-chasach ‘bipedal’, ceithir-chasach ‘quadrupedal’. There is also the word trì-chasach [three-legged]. I have a three-legged stool at home. And trì-chasach is also a noun, meaning ‘tripod’.

Caol-chasach means ‘slender-legged’. Brat-chasach, cam-chasach and croma-chasach all mean ‘bow-legged’.

That brings me to a traditional story that includes the word croma-chasach. You’ll know the fish called lèabag or leòbag – the flounder. We say that the flounder is ceàrr-ghobach – wry-mouthed. Ceàrr-ghobach or cearra-ghobach . And how did it get a mouth like that? Well, St Columba was responsible. Didn’t you know that?! Here’s the story, then – ‘St Columba and the Flounder’.

One day, Columba was on the sandeel shore. That’s the part of the beach below the low-tide mark at a spring tide. The sublittoral zone – where sandeels live. Anyway, Columba was wading in the sandeel shore. He trampled on the tail of a beautiful white flounder. That [shaltair e] means that he put his foot on the flounder’s tail. He trod on it. He hurt the fish. He damaged its [her] tail. And the sad little flounder shouted at the top of its [her] voice:

‘Big miserable Columba,

With your crooked, crosswise feet,

You caused me great calamity,

When you trampled on my tail.’

Columba was angry. The flounder was cheeky. She was accusing the saint of having bandy legs. Columba said to the flounder, ‘If I am bandy-legged, let you be wry-mouthed.’ And he left her like that. From that time, the flounder has been wry-mouthed. And was Columba bandy-legged? I don’t know. And I’m not going to give an opinion!

Show English

Calum Cille agus an Lèabag

Gaelic Gàidhlig

An t-seachdain sa chaidh, bha mi a’ bruidhinn mun fhacal-fillte geal-chasachwhite-legged no white-footed. Geal-chasach. Ach dè a’ Ghàidhlig a tha air ‘black-legged’? Dubh-chasach. Tha sin furasta gu leòr, nach eil? Dubh-chasach. Tha fionn-chasach a’ ciallachadh an ìre mhath an aon rud ri geal-chasach.

Seo eisimpleirean eile de dh’fhaclan fillte le ‘casach’ annta. Aon-chasach ‘one-footed’, dà-chasach ‘bipedal’, ceithir-chasach ‘quadrupedal’. Tha am facal trì-chasach ann cuideachd. Tha stòl trì-chasach agam aig an taigh. Agus tha trì-chasach cuideachd na ainmear, a’ ciallachadh tripod.

Tha caol-chasach a’ ciallachadh ‘slender-legged’. Tha brat-chasach, cam-chasach agus croma-chasach uile a’ ciallachadh ‘bow-legged’.

Tha sin gam thoirt gu sgeulachd thraidiseanta a tha a’ toirt a-steach an fhacail croma-chasach. Bidh sibh eòlach air an iasg air a bheil lèabag no leòbag – the flounder. Canaidh sinn gu bheil an lèabag ceàrr-ghobach – wry-mouthed. Ceàrr-ghobach no cearra-ghobach. Ach ciamar a fhuair i beul – no gob – mar sin? Uill – ’s e Calum Cille a bu choireach. Nach robh fios agaibh air sin?! Seo an stòiridh, ma-thà – ‘Calum Cille agus an Lèabag’.

Latha a bha seo, bha Calum Cille san tràigh shìolag. ’S e sin a’ phàirt dhen tràigh fo ìre na h-ìsle-mhara aig an reothart. An tràigh-shìolag – far a bheil sìolagan ‘sandeels’ a’ fuireach. Co-dhiù, bha Calum Cille a’ grunnachadh anns an tràigh-shìolag. Shaltair e air earball aig lèabag bheag bhòidheach bhàn. Tha sin a’ ciallachadh gun do chuir e a chas air earball na lèabaig. Shaltair e air. Ghoirtich e an t-iasg. Dhochair e a h-earball. Agus dh’èigh an lèabag bheag bhrònach aig àird a cinn:

A Chaluim mhòir mhosaich,

Le do chasan croma crosgach,

’S mòr a rinn thu orm de dhosgadh

Dar [nuair] a shaltair thu air m’ earball.’

Bha Calum Cille feargach. Bha an lèabag ladarna. Bha i a’ tilgeil air an naomh gun robh e croma-chasach. Thuirt Calum Cille ris an leabaig, ‘Ma tha mise croma-chasach, biodh tusa cearra-ghobach.’ Agus dh’fhàg e mar sin i. Bho sin a-mach, tha an lèabag air a bhith cearra-ghobach. Agus an robh Calum Cille croma-chasach? Chan eil fhios a’m. Agus chan eil mi a’ dol a thoirt beachd air!

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Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh

This letter corresponds to Tha an Litir seo a’ buntainn ri Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh 870

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