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Metadata for text 54
No. words in text53542
Title Am Measg Nam Bodach
Author Various
Editor N/A (Anonymous, for An Comunn Gaidhealach)
Date Of Edition 1938
Date Of Language 1900-1949
Publisher An Comunn Gaidhealach
Place Published Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Geographical Origins Various
Register Literature, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 18.5cm x 12.6cm
Short Title Am Measg Nam Bodach
Reference Details EUL, Scottish Studies Library: D3(G)Com
Number Of Pages 148
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context The eighteen stories by eighteen contributors from eighteen different islands that make up this volume were broadcast ‘air an fhritheud’ (p. 5) by the BBC between November 1936 and February 1937. The stories are often about the islands themselves, and often comprise tales learned in the taigh-céilidh. After they had been broadcast, the BBC received word from many listeners that they would like to see the stories published. An Comunn Gaidhealach undertook the task of publishing the volume. It is stated in the Roimh Radh (p. 5) that no attempt has been made to standardise the Gaelic in the texts and that they have been published as they were received.
Contents The volume begins with a Roimh Radh, explaining how this volume came to be published (p. 5); a Short message from the BBC by Eoghan Mac A Phì, thanking An Comunn Gaidhealach for undertaking to publish the collection (p. 6); and a Clar-Amais (p. 7).

The eighteen chapters are named after the islands to which their contributors belonged. The eighteen islands, in alphabetical order, are as follows: Barraidh by Father Iain Mac ’Ille Mhaoh [sic Mhaoil] (pp. 106-12), Beinn a’ Bhaoghla by Rev. Seumas MacDhomhnuill (pp. 113-19), Cannaidh, Eige, agus Ruma by Rev. Somhairle MacIsaac (pp. 74-81), An Ceard Mor by Rev. Coinneach MacLeòid from Giogha (pp. 144-48), Colla by Eachann MacDhughaill (pp. 34-42), Diura by Niall MacGille Sheathanaich (pp. 17-24), An t-Eilean Sgitheanach by Dr. (Ollamh) Niall Ros (p. 67-73), Eirisgeidh agus Uidhist a Deas by Domhnull MacDhomhnuill (pp. 127-35), Eisdeal agus Luinn by Liusaidh NicCoinnich (pp. 136-43), Na Hearadh by Seumas MacCoinnich (pp. 120-26), Eilean I by Rev. Colla Domhnullach (pp. 25-33), Ile by Donnchadh MacIain (pp. 9-16), Leòdhas by Seumas MacThomais (pp. 98-105), Muile by Niall Mac ’Ille Mhoire (pp. 50-58), Ratharsair by Iain Mac ’Illeathain (pp. 82-87), An Scarpa by Rev. Calum MacGilleathain (pp. 88-97), Tiriodh by Rev. Eachunn Camshron (pp. 59-66), and Uidhist a Tuath by Rev. Niall MacDhomhnuill (pp. 43-49).

The contents of each chapter are discussed in the Language section below.
Sources Published from radio broadcasts with the permission of the authors.
Language The vocabulary of this text as a whole introduces the most common topics of the taigh-céilidh along with anecdotes about the people of the taigh-céilidh themselves. Subjects covered by a number of authors include the supernatural, tales of na Féinne, places of interest or of historical significance, and Prince Charlie and the Arm Dearg. The stories, some of which echo the language of traditional story-telling, have been written as though the author was speaking directly to an audience. For example, we find ‘Ged is beag an t-eilean so an coimeas ri eileanan eile, bha e mór gu leòir air son iomadh fear ealainn agus fìor ghàisgeach a thogail. Cha robh pìobairean ri an latha a b’ fheàrr na Clann ’Ic Aoidh, agus cò nach cuala iomradh air a’ churaidh threun Iain Garbh Mac ’Ille Chaluim a ghluais na pìobairean agus na bàird gu luaidh a dheanamh air a chliù’ (p. 83).

Of linguistic interest is the use of the genitive case in a common noun without the definite article after a verbal noun, e.g. is e ’toirt sùla air (p. 110). Also of interest is the use, by a number of authors, of am rather than nam in phrases such as Tha sin a’ toirt am chuimhne (p. 131). There are some differences in linguistic usage between the different chapters. For example, some authors lenite the prepositional pronoun do after n and t, e.g. na’s urrainn dhomhsa (p. 114), while others do not, e.g. nach b’ urrainn da (p. 85), some use dhoibh while others use dhaibh, and some authors use ciod while others use .

Barraidh (pp. 106-12): Father Iain Mac ’Ille Mhaoil talks about some of the stories he used to hear from the old men in his neighbourhood when he was a boy. These include stories about giants, na Féinne (p. 106) and Oisein (p. 109). Words and expressions of interest include Bhiodh craoslach mór air an teintean (p. 106), ’na shuidhe air furm (p. 106), a bha math air calanas (p. 106), mo chorcag (p. 107), a’ deanamh bogan air a chreagan, agus creagan air a’ bhogan (p. 108), onfhadh is confhadh na mara (p. 108), air son geurag a chur air cuimhne (p. 110), na h-Aosdanan smearail (p. 111), and prabalais de leughadh (p. 111). Also of interest is the use of ’ga leanamhuinn (p. 106), eubhach a mach (p. 106), and chaidh an cuimhne a thiolaichead (for thio[dh]laiceadh) (p. 111).

Beinn a’ Bhaoghla (pp. 113-19): Rev. Seumas MacDhomhnuill tells stories about some of the old men he used to know and stories about some of the people they talked about, such as Murchadh Mac Iain Ruaidh who set out to sail from Canna to Glasgow ‘ann an seann Sgoth Leòdhasaich’ (p. 115). He also talks about ‘sean eachdraidh agus seann bheul aithris’ (p. 116), including stories about ‘Prionnsa Tearlach, agus Fionnghal NicDhomhnuill’ (p. 117). Of interest is the use of tuille (p. 113), ag cainnt (p. 113), do aon but de dh’eileanan (p. 113), a’ smuaineachadh (p. 113), air ciod a bha aca ri ràdh (p. 115), na’s urrainn dhomhsa (p. 114), air a’ bheingidh (p. 119), an ceart uair féin (p. 113), anns an eilean d’am buineadh iad (p. 114), gus an do ràinig (p. 115) but gu’n d’thàinig (p. 118), a aon air bith de na h-eileanan (p. 116), and is mi’m bhalachan beag (p. 113).

Cannaidh, Eige, agus Ruma (pp. 74-81): Rev. Somhairle MacIsaac talks about some of the stories he heard in the taigh-céilidh, for example the story of Mac ’Ic Ailein taking Rum’s bìrlinn (p. 74), and of the Rumaich being moved to Coll and Canna. He also tells of the Redcoats searching on Canna for Prince Charlie, and the stories of nighean Mhic ’Ic Ailean and of Dòmhnull Donaidh (p. 78). Words and expressions of interest include na diùlnaich (p. 75), an udalan (p. 75), éibh na h-uireasbhuidh (p. 76), fad fionn fòghnaidh an latha (p. 77), and raoicill (p. 77). Also of interest is the use of gun chomh-ionnan (p. 74), ag còmhnuidh (p. 75), thun (p. 75), dà-rìreadh (p. 76), and gu’n d’fhosgail (p. 79).

An Ceard Mor (pp. 144-48): Rev. Coinneach MacLeòid from Giogha writes about na ceàrdan (p. 145), their lifestyle, and their languages. Words and expressions of interest include Dé an saoghal a tha agad an diugh (p. 144), air tàilleabh (p. 144), air a thionndan (p. 146), ag gleachd (p. 144), giseag (p. 144), le beul-bochd ’s le beul-bòidheach (p. 144), an tul-fhirinn (p. 145), ma bha no nach robh e ceart (p. 145), le cheann sgràbach ’s le aodach giobach (p. 145), Am Brothlach (p. 146), and ge mór m’fharmad (p. 148). Also of interest is the use of iorball (p. 146), sid (p. 144), airmseachd (p. 148), á Bearnaraidh na h-Earadh (p. 148), gur h-e (p. 144), cha d’fhàg (p. 145), and am inntinn fhéin (p. 144).

Colla (pp. 34-42): Eachann MacDhughaill talks about Shinty, fishing, a’ dol do chreag-nan-eun (p. 36), funeral traditions and why the pipes stopped being played at funerals in Coll, and the weather. Words and expressions of interest include Bha na gillean anns an eilean an uair sin gu iomain a dheanamh (p. 35), ghlaodhadh “bualam ort” is “leigeam leat” gun an còrr dàil (p. 36), leis na madhair (p. 36), is a’ deanamh “biùmhlamhach” mu’n d’thubhairt iad féin e (p. 36), sgarbh-na-h-aire (p. 37), mu’n toireadh e gorc-rabhadh as (p. 37), na seann chaonnagan (p. 37), latha-eadar-dhà-shion (p. 39), Ach ciod a tha agaibh air no dheth ach (p. 39), and fuathasach (p. 39). Also of interest is the use of fhathast air an giùlan air aghaidh (p. 35), riu (p. 35), gu’m biodhteadh (p. 36), and roimh mo latha-sa (p. 37).

Diura (pp. 17-24): Niall MacGille Sheathanaich talks about the people he knew from the taigh-céilidh, and repeats some of the stories they told, including the tale of how the people of Colonsay happen to be de Chloinn a Phì (p. 23). It also includes five verses and the chorus of the song Òran nan Gobhar (pp. 23-24), written when the goats were taken from the crofters in Cnoc Crom and in other townships. Words and expressions of interest include ioma bliadhna (p. 17), cian mu’n robh (p. 18), sé fichead (p. 19), bhrist se e (p. 22), N’an robh fios na fàth agamsa, cha d’fhuair thusa an t-aiseag uam-sa (p. 22), Bithidh mi air a’ cheart-uair so a’ fàgail soraidh leibh is beannachd ’na chòis [for chois] (p. 24).

An t-Eilean Sgitheanach (p. 67-73): Dr. (Ollamh) Niall Ros tells stories he heard from the old men in Skye, e.g. stories about the Lochlannaich in Skye, and the stories behind the place-names that were attached to particular people, such as Hacon, king of Lochlann, and Dil, Mac Righ Lochlann. He also mentions duain na Féinne (p. 68) that the old men would sing, stories about Cath Milleadh Gàraidh (p. 68) and Clann Mhic Cruimein (p. 70), and the humorous stories that the old men would sometimes tell. Words and expressions of interest include air uidill is air allaban (p. 70), poncan a’ phuirt (p. 71), Buandaichean (p. 72), and an “Dòrn Bhuar” (p. 72). Also of interest is the use of ag comh-dhùnadh (p. 69), a bu toigh leo bruidheann (p. 70), a dh’innseadh na fìrinn (p. 71), cha b’urrainn e (p. 71), and ann ar measg (p. 72).

Eirisgeidh agus Uidhist a Deas (pp. 127-35): Domhnull MacDhomhnuill tells the stories behind places of interest in Eriskay, such as the house where Prince Charlie slept and the flowers he brought with him from France, tales of sìthichean agus creutairean neo-thalmhaidh (p. 130), and the names of places around the island. He then moves to Uist and talks about Flora MacDonald and seann Tigh-còmhnuidh Mhic ’Ic Ailein (p. 132). There are also 8 verses of a poem addressed to a man who intended to marry a girl in Hirt (p. 133) but who had no way of getting there. The poet imagines that he travelled there on the back of a whale and the poem contains dialogue between Dòmhnull Fhearchair (p. 133) and the whale. Words and expressions of interest include eadar ceithir rannan ruadha an domhain (p. 127), fearann a shìnnsre (p. 128), ged nach ’eil aon chlach air muin cloiche dheth (p. 129), agus tha e ri ràdh mu’n déidhinn (p. 129), cha robh cus an asgaidh aige dhìth (p. 130), ùruisgean (p. 130), bòcan (p. 130), manadh (p. 130), and cò bhiodh ’gan àrach a chionn cha chualas riamh (p. 131). Also of interest is the use of smaointinn (p. 127), a bu cheann aobhair da so (p. 127), Nach d’thubhairt (p. 128), ’g a ionnsuidh (p. 129), ’ga innseadh rather than innse (p. 130), and Tha sin a’ toirt am chuimhne (p. 131).

Eisdeal agus Luinn (pp. 136-43): Liusaidh NicCoinnich talks about the old men who used to visit her grandmother’s house and tells stories about Alasdair Mac Iain Bhàin (p. 136), Alasdair Caimbeul, and Calum Nighinn Eoghain (p. 141) who was said to have an dà shealladh and cumhachd leigheis (p. 141). Words and expressions of interest include is e aig a’ chnapan gurman fhéin (p. 136), ag cainnt orra (p. 136), a’ Ghlaistig (p. 136), am Bruinidh (p. 136), ’chiste-thasgaidh (p. 137), air an fharadh (p. 137), na leacan-lighidh (p. 137), tarsuinn nan casan-cairbeil (p. 137), a bh’aig ar sìnnsre (p. 140), fidilean-finndinn (p. 141), seann sìogaidh (p. 141), an t-seunmhorachd (p. 141), rinn i braid-a-gill air (p. 141), and ag cinntinn (p. 142). Also of interest is the use of gu’m bitheadh e ag cur eagail oirnne (p. 136), so (p. 137), the hyphenated rium-sa and agam-sa (p. 138), and c’ùin’ a (p. 143).

Na Hearadh (pp. 120-26): Seumas MacCoinnich’s essay comprises a dialogue between two men located near Tùr Chliamhainn (p. 120) and uaigh Alasdair Mhic Uilleam ’Ic Alasdair Chrotaich (p. 121) in Harris. Words and expressions of interest include ioma bliadhna (p. 120), gu’n robh e anns an Dàn (p. 121), Biodh sin mar a bhitheas e (p. 121), le teine-mùchaidh (p. 121), m’fhocal (p. 121), de’n Dùdlachd (p. 123), math da rìreabh (p. 123), tha thu mearachd (p. 123), ma’s math mo chuimhne (p. 123), Cho fads’ is fhiosrach mi (p. 123), air a chois-cheum chiadna (p. 124), chan urrainn sinne innseadh (p. 125), and plaosgan nan daoi (p. 126). Also of interest is the use of ag coimhead (p. 121), feudaidh e bhi (p. 122), and ma ta (p. 122).

Eilean I (pp. 25-33): Rev. Colla Domhnullach recounts stories from the taigh-céilidh on subjects such as the crofters’ land agitations and Boswell and Johnson’s trip to the Highlands. Words and expressions of interest include brosgul (p. 25), uapa (p. 25), ceatharnach (p. 25), na seòid (p. 26) and na seann laoich (p. 27), gach aon is a leigheas fhéin aige air a’ ghalar (p. 26), chuireadh seann Phàruig car eile an adharc an daimh (p. 26), a’ bhàirlinn (p. 27), na maithean (p. 27), mo chliamhuinn (p. 27), saobh-chreidimh (p. 28), ’na sheòrsa gille-cas-fhliuch dha (p. 28), bruthaist (p. 31), Air an là màireach (p. 32), aig am minic a fhuair sinn dram (p. 32), da rìreadh (p. 32), agus mur do chaochail i tha i beò fhathast (p. 32), and Chan ’eil ùine air aon fhacal eile ach ma bhitheas sinn uile beò bithidh céilidh fhathast againn agus sin ann an I (p. 33). Also of interest is the use of air beulaobh (p. 26), uair-eigin (p. 27), c’àit (p. 27), do ar n-ionnsuidh (p. 27), dhuit (p. 28), an t-airgiod (p. 31), leabhar-lann briagha (p. 31), gu’m bheil (p. 31), and tigh beag tubhaidh (p. 32).

Ile (pp. 9-16): Donnchadh MacIain recounts tales from the taigh-céilidh including one man’s surprise meeting with Donnchadh Bàn. He also introduces us to some of the people in his neighbourhood who are now gone, and to others whom the old men used to talk about. Words and expressions of interest include air son an deagh mheomhair (p. 9), ’Nuair a chuireadh seann Seumas boltrach mhath ris a’ phìob (p. 9), cas-air-oireig air (p. 9), nach beag a chreideas sibhse (p. 9), Thà e, a chlann, mór oirbh-se sin a chreidsinn, ach ma thà, mo thogair (p. 9), ’s e sgailc-mhullach na fìrinn e (p. 9), bha e ’na chlachair-siubhail (p. 9), anns an ám (pp. 9-10), tigh-leanna (p. 10), theann sinn air seasamh ar làmhan do chàch a chéile (p. 10), air an robh déidh mhór agam (p. 10), a’ Phostaireachd (p. 13), each-iaruinn (Bicycle) (p. 13). Also of interest is the use of air choir-eiginn (p. 11), ag ìnnseadh (p. 11), cha d’fhàg (p. 12), callduinn (p. 13), and ’s mi’m bhalachan (p. 13).

Leòdhas (pp. 98-105): Seumas MacThomais talks about the old men he knew as a boy in Lewis and about their interest in eachdraidh agus sloinntireachd (p. 99). He discusses how they would get news from those who had gone abroad and those who had been evicted and had moved to another townhsip. He also talks about how healthy the people were 150 or 200 years ago, and about the illicit whisky that used to be distilled on the island. Words and expressions of interest include nach ’eil ri am faicinn an so na’s fhaide (p. 98), Tha e cur dealais ’nam chridhe (p. 98), Cò réisd (p. 98), air a’ gheamhradh so féin (p. 99), roimh Bhlàr Uatarlù (p. 99), Cogaidhean Napóleon (p. 100), euchdan nan sonn o’n d’thàinig iad (p. 100), and chum ìota chasg (p. 104). Also of interest is the use of  (p. 99), an comh-cheangal ri so (p. 101), ’g a dheanamh (p. 103), ag coinneachadh (p. 104), and an oil-thigh (p. 105).

Muile (pp. 50-58): Niall Mac ’Ille Mhoire talks about the céilidh in Iain Eachainn’s house and about how a song would be started, before giving a few lines of a song by Eachunn Bacach who went to fight Cromwell with his brothers and who returned from the battle without them. He also tells the stories of how two Mull men summoned the devil, and how Domhnull Cholla (mentioned by Dr. Johnson) drowned in Caolas Ulbha. Words and expressions of interest include the proverb theid dùthchas an aghaidh nan creag (p. 50), air dol a dhìth (p. 50), gach nì tuibhte sìomanaichte (p. 50), am feasda tuille (p. 52), Drama do Fhear na saothaireach (p. 53), taghairm (p. 54), na Doideagan (p. 54), am Fear a bu Mhiosa (p. 55), an curaidh (p. 55), and Cluas Mhór (p. 56). Also of interest is the use of ni bu dlùithe (p. 55).

Ratharsair (pp. 82-87): Iain Mac ’Illeathain recounts stories about Prince Charlie, Mac ’Ille Chaluim and the Arm Dearg, and about Johnson and Boswell’s trip to Raasay. Words and expressions of interest include nach e aon chuid doicheall no spìocaireachd a’ ghnath-muinntreach a b’aobhar da so (p. 82), fearas-chuideachd (p. 83), troimh ioma cunnart (p. 84), air an diunlaoch so (p. 84), mu’n d’fhuaireadh am mach an fhròig (p. 85), Cha robh a dhol as aige (p. 86), air an claoidh le cipeachadh agus gorta (p. 86), gach subhailc (p. 87), and a dheachd e (p. 87).

An Scarpa (pp. 88-97): Rev. Calum MacGilleathain tells stories about about Linn nan Creach (p. 93), about some of the old men in Scarp, and about places in Scarp, such as an Teampull, which was an àite amhlaic (p. 92), and Uamh Uladail (p. 92). Words and expressions of interest include an tuilleadh buaidh leibh (p. 88), arsa a ghoistidh (p. 88), agus e dubadaich air a’ chois chruim (p. 88), dha’n “Talamh Fhuar” (p. 88), ach co dhiù na co dheth (p. 88), Beinn Chailifeòrnia (p. 89), agus canaim so (p. 89), bha còiread agus cridhealas gràdhach, fosgarra, le furán fialaidh an sid gun dìth (p. 89), bha fhallas ’na bhraon air a ghnùis (p. 90), an Caibeal (p. 92), Thòisich tathaich san tigh (p. 92), Is dòcha leam (p. 92), and so mar a bha na linntean sa Scarpa “Linn mo sheanar,” “Linn nan creach,” “Linn Oisein,” agus “Linn Chailbhein.” (p. 93). Also of interest is the use of an dara (p. 88), ag atharrais (p. 88), dé fhad ’s a bheirinn (p. 88), seanchas (p. 89), gu bh’eil (p. 89), a san t-saoghal ùr so (p. 91), go ruige so (p. 89), cha ba bhodach e (p. 90), od rather than ud (p. 90), and C’àit’ ás an d’thàna tu (p. 91).

Tiriodh (pp. 59-66): Rev. Eachunn Camshron talks first of all about his grandparents’ house using housing terminology such as gach farmail agus ballan (p. 59), bòrd tàilleireachd (p. 59), Bha coirean eile an taobh an iar, agus ceannag chònnlaich làmh ris (p. 59), fead is breab aice air beairt-fhighe (p. 60), and snàth fuaghail, lìn is ollainn (p. 60). He also talks about the building of Tigh-an-Eilein (p. 60), cutting arbhar eòrna (p. 62) and preparing it for baking, and peat cutting in Tiree at a time when there was still peat on the island. Words and expressions of interest include a muigh ’s a stigh mu (p. 59) and a mach ’s a stigh, là mòrlanachd (p. 60), Coma co-dhiubh (p. 61), ma’s breug uam e, is breug thugam e (p. 61), ’s mi ann am bhalach (p. 61), ròlaisteach (p. 62), Seachd seachdainnean foghair air ùrlar sabhail, aig itheadh na gealaich le solus na cabhraich (p. 62), cailleachag bheag ag gabhail a tràth (p. 65), a dubh no a dath chan fhacas fad iomadh bliadhna (p. 65), aig beul-thaobh (p. 65), brocairean (p. 65), and bàtaichean athair (p. 66). Also of interest is the spelling of boirionnach (p. 65).

Uidhist a Tuath (pp. 43-49): Rev. Niall MacDhomhnuill recounts tales from the taigh-céilidh including a story by his grandfather’s brother about the Sollas evictions, and stories about latha na féille (p. 45). He also recounts a story about the Inflexible – a boat that chaidh a bhriseadh aig Heisgeir (p. 47) and was ransacked for its butter, cheese, meat, and meal. Words and expressions of interest include “gu’m beannaicheadh Dia an Tigh so ’s na bheil ann” (p. 43), mu’n teid mi air m’aghaidh (p. 43) and a’ dol air aghaidh (p. 46), a rìs (p. 43), ag innseadh (p. 44), le’n còtaichean drógaid (p. 44), studhannan (p. 44), B’e sin latha na dunach (p. 44), Cha d’éisd esan ri h-athchuinge, ach mur a do dh’éisd (p. 45), aon là sònruichte air am biodh fadail air na bodaich gus an tigeadh e (p. 45), air m’fhacal dhuibh (p. 47), and ged nach robh fhios gu ro mhath (p. 47).
Orthography In general, the orthography and language of this text are typical of the written Gaelic of the mid-twentieth century. For example, we find forms such as bitheadh, so, sud (although sid is used by at least two authors), chan ’eil, gu’n and gu’m, tigh, o’n, dh’an, ag cur and ag gleachd, air son, a mach, a stigh, airgiod, dorus (p. 65) and furasda (p. 146).
Edition First edition.
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