What does the squiggle mean

I came across the following while looking up a word in Teanglann.

‘Nach bhfuil leat ~ an leabhar seo? Have you brought nothing but this book?’

And I was wondering what the ~ meant

August 27, 2019


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  • 112

It's the word that the entry is about. They're saving space by not repeating it in full. At a guess this is a holdover from print dictionaries, where space is at a premium.

August 27, 2019

Quite right. Consider the entry for grianghrafadóireacht,

grianghrafadóireacht, f. (gs.a). Photography.

— “⁓a” is much less verbose than “grianghrafadóireachta”.

In Hart-Kevin’s example from the “Phrases” section of the nach entry,

ach »            Nach bhfuil leat ⁓ an leabhar seo?  Have you brought nothing but this book?

the swung dash represents ach rather than nach, and “ach »” there is a link to the ach entry.

August 27, 2019

Ye I'd agree with the comments. I looked up about this after seeing your question. It's called a tilde and represents an undefined word. In this dictionary it represents the keyword 'ach' (but). ‘Nach bhfuil leat ~ (ach) an leabhar seo? Have you brought nothing but this book?’ I suppose it makes the position stand out to make it's position easier to find. Two keywords above the symbol ~ represents the keyword 'abair' and the symbol meaning changes for each keyword. Hope that helps.

September 6, 2019
  • 1226

The preface to the FGB explains this in Irish:

~ ag seasamh don cheannfhocal slán agus é á athlua san alt mínithe

~ standing for the intact headword when it is mentioned again in the explanatory paragraph

September 7, 2019
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