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Fork: tools and implements

This series of documents will focus on a group of Gaelic and Galician-Portuguese words with similar meanings and phonetic forms. Both groups share a general meaning related to that of the word "fork" as well as certain other specific meanings. In this first document of the series we will analyze and compare the Gaelic word gabhal with the Galician-Portuguese word galla, and some of their derivatives and variants.


PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

Dejected, Downcast, Low-spirited

The Galician word morriña defines perfectly the melancholy or the sorrow that Galicians feel when they are away from their homeland. Esmorriñado means “low-spirited” or “dejected”. The Portuguese word morrinha, however, does not have quite the same meaning as the Galician words. In this first document of our series, we show the Gaelic origin of morriña, esmorriñado and their derivatives.


PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

Gills (of fish)

Every language has its own words for concepts or things which do not need to be borrowed from other languages except on rare occasions. Usually, in the languages of seafaring peoples who have always made their living from the sea, the breathing organs of various aquatic animals have indigenous names, and it is obvious that they do not need to wait for the arrival of other peoples to know what to call them. In Galician, gills are known as guerlas, among other names.

PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

Marsh, Swamp, Flood - Cover in water

The origin of some commonly used Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verbs is considered obscure or unknown. In some cases in which there is an etymological proposal, it does not seem quite right. In this document, we will focus on the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verb anegar, which in Galician has anagar as a variant, that is, anaghar, pronounced with gheada.

PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

To speak, To talk, To chat

The origin of some very common Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verbs is considered uncertain or obscure. In various documents, we analyze and compare some of these verbs to Gaelic verbs and nouns. We will see the relationship between them all, and we will discover the origin of the Galician verbs. In this first document we will focus on one of the most commonly used verbs in Galician, the verb leriar.


PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

End, Conclusion, Last

The Galician and Portuguese word derradeiro means “last in a series”, “final”. It is one of those words which does not seem to have a Latin root. We believe we have found its origin in the Goidelic languages. This Romance word, derradeiro, shares its Gaelic root with several Galician verbs, such as derrear and derrier, and with other Portuguese and Spanish verbs with meanings directly related to “end”, “conclusion”, “termination”.

PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

Weir, Dam, Wall

Every language has its own words for various things related to hunting and fishing. These words tend to be old traditional words which do not change much over the years. Encoro means "weir" in Galician. This word is exclusively Galician and Portuguese. It is not found in any of the other Romance languages. In this document we will explore any possible relationship between this word and certain words in the Goidelic languages.

PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

Grip, Grasp, Hold

The Galician words gramil, gremil, gramillo and gramelo are names of traps or snares used to hunt various animals from mice to wolves. A gramil is also a tool used by carpenters to draw parallel lines. Gramil is used with the latter meaning in Spanish. The meaning “grasp”, “grip” noted in all these Romance words, is a meaning which is typical of a group of Gaelic words with a similar phonetic form.

PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014

Cauldron chain

The Old Irish stem greimm/graimm, meaning “grasp”, “grip”, etc., seems to have been quite fruitful in the Romance Galician language. In contrast, in other Romance languages the number of terms derived from this root is not as large as in the Galician language. Some of these Romance words, such as cremallera, for example, are still widely used nowadays.



PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014


The names of plants are an important part of the lexicon of any language. So are the names of some fruit-growing and horticultural techniques, since they can be related to the names of certain plants. The Galician words escallo and esgallo will help us show that some Gaelic words have been adapted in different ways to the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish Romance languages.


PUBLISHED: 12/05/2014