This is an Irish
word for the mess
that results when one attempts to create a phrase
in the Irish language
either by word-for-word translation
from the English
or by lifting specifically English language concept
s into Irish. Irish schoolchildren
are warned to avoid this like the plague
, but it is of course very common, and many phrases have entered common parlance
Some examples off the top of my head:
- "Tá Fáilte Romhat": This classic Irish greeting literally translates as "There is a welcome before you", and thus is used to greet somebody who is arriving. However, it is often used for the other sense of "You're welcome", to acknowledge thanks. This is nonsensical, but common. A more apt phrase would be "Ná habair", literally "Don't speak", as in "Don't mention it".
- "Táim ag teacht": This translates as "I'm coming", but the English slang meaning does not translate. Therefore this is only used to indicate "I'm experiencing orgasm" in jest.
- "Ná bí ag thónáil timpeall": bol provides this gem, something his P.E. teacher once yelled at his class. The addition of the suffix "-áil" to make a verb out of any noun is a classic example of bearlachas, and in this case the teacher has used the noun "tóin" to create an Irish analogue of the much-loved phrase "arseing around".
The word itself is derived from the Irish word for the English language, "Béarla".