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Words from the Past

"…. now I give a list of Irish words….. principally from the mouths of the old illiterate peasants, as the rising generation appear to be educated above using them… "

-1911 Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society, Vol VI, Pages 525-539

The apparition of a low sized woman, clothed in white and her hair down. Keening outside a house she denotes a death in the family
The bad surface of the ground which after being ploughed is burned and the ashes used for a cabbage garden
Very narrow foot-track between two hedges
Cross-handle of a spade
Male beggar tramp

The substitute of a child or young married woman that has been carried away by the “good people “ ( fairies )
Sheep or pigs’ feet boiled - favourite of refreshment with the peasantry at fairs and race meetings
A Lizard
The Wren
Fairy Blast
Little whirlwind. When met it should be avoided as it is well known that the good people or fairies travel that way
A Lone Bush
A solitary whitethorn bush where a rath once stood- unlucky to meddle with it
Meal/ Meeleen
A hornless cow
A fool
A female fool

Charms- old women’s tales- e.g. wrap chains around milk churns to ward off evil spirits
Circular entrenchment with two or three encircling ramparts. Contained the dwellings of the inhabitants. Referred to as forts in some areas. Many stories are told of the misfortune which followed anyone interfering with them
A Soogaun
A rope of straw or hay- tied to a single pig when driven to the fair
A Sheela-na-gig
Grotesque carving in stone of a nude female sometimes found in ruined churches and castles. Maybe associated with the evil Eye
A smooth-tongued rogue