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What does - " sna hò ro eile"mean ?

What does ".. (s)na hò ro èile " mean ? It is from the song Fear a' Bhata.

December 4, 2019



EDIT: as others commented below, it’s probably just meaningless syllables after all

Wikipedia gives a good translation, and it translates na hóro eile as ‘no one else’.

I don’t know the word hóro (or óro?) and am not sure if it’s not just a poetic gibberish.

But perhaps ’s na … eile might translate directly to ‘and not … else’ (’s at the beginning being contraction of agus). I might be wrong though, I am just a learner.

Anyway, na can have negating meaning in Scottish in one instance: it translates as ‘don’t’ when followed by an imperative verb (eg. na dèan sin! ‘don’t do that!’) – it doesn’t seem too be so in this poem. But its Irish equivalent, , also means ‘nor’ in constructions like ‘neither this nor that’. Online Scottish dictionaries claim that Gaelic uses no ‘or’ here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if older poem used more Irish-like phrasing.

On the other hand, it could just be a few random syllables to fit the rythm…


It's just random syllables to fit the rhythm. Really common in Gaelic songs.


They're called "vocables", they're used in song and have no meaning.


That’s what I assumed initially, but the Wikipedia ‘translation’ to no one else made me re-think whether there’s some meaning there after all.


Wikipedia isn't always the best source for anything. Vocables can contain actual words and sentence fragments, but they carry no meaning.

See the song from which they are taken translated here; note the vocables are left as is, as they are untranslatable.


Sure, I just explain what put me off. Still that’s why I left the last sentence about the possibility of it being random syllables for the rythm in the original post. ;-)

(and I think, this Wikipedia translation is generally pretty good, but thanks for the second link)

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