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  5. "Tha am preas glè throm."

"Tha am preas glè throm."

Translation:The cupboard is very heavy.

December 14, 2019



Every time I encounter this clip I have no idea what the speaker is saying. Even after I know, I still can't make out the words clearly. The "Tha" doesn't seem to be there at all.

I imagine people do speak like this, but I wonder if it's constructive to give such a difficult audio to learners.

[deactivated user]

    I think if you listen to it a number of times while looking at the sentence written our, you'll hear that all the words are there, but that there is a slight difference in the vowel sound of "throm", no doubt a dialectal variation.


    I translated this as The thicket is very pregnant. Was I wrong?


    Sounded like "am preas glè throm"


    She is saying something like th' am to my ears, with a very weak th. So weak that I got it wrong the first time I heard it. Out of context, both make equal sense - one as a sentence and one as a phrase. Not a fair question to my mind. In a real-life context you would always know if it was a sentence or a phrase.


    I dont see why 'it is a very heavy cupboard' isnt accepted as a correct answer


    Because the word after the verb is the subject. I don't think we have learnt how to say your sentence but it is

    Tha e na phreas glè throm

    where e 'it' is the subject and is immediately after the verb.


    A question for Scottish people.

    In Irish our version of 'preas' is 'prios' and this came into Hiberno-English as "press". It's the word we use instead of cupboard/cabinet.

    Has that happened in Scottish-English?

    I don't think it has, but I'm curious about any other Gàidhlig or Gàidhlig-originating words specifically in Scottish English.


    I have discussed press on another question and concluded that the word is probably (but not definitely) English in origin - which is not to say it did not come into HE via Irish.

    People will always jump to conclusions as soon as they see a word they recognise in another language. When I first saw the word dadaidh in Gaelic I assume it was English - how wrong I was.

    In my experience, when a word exists in the English of Britain and appears to be Gaelic/Irish, sometimes you can't tell, sometimes the evidence is conflicting, but usually it is Gaelic. Unequivocally Irish words in English are very rare. Pillion, from the Irish for a small cushion (that you might sit on on the back of a horse) is one example, ironically lent back to Irish to mean the passenger on a motorcycle.

    When words come from Gaelic into Scots they all get a different distance south, with some words confined to Highland English, some common throughout Scotland, some reaching England, some being widespread in English, and some being more-or-less universal.

    Some examples of Gaelic borrowings into Scots are

    • stay: this is used in the sense of 'live, habitually reside' in Scots. The Gaelic translation fuirich is also used in both senses, with no corresponding word in Irish. But it is not clear whether the Scots or the Gaelic came first.
    • playpark instead of playground: this is a direct translation of the Gaelic and is found throughout Scotland, but more as you go north.
    • bothy: small, inferior dwelling

    I expect I will think of others, but it's actually quite hard to find words whose use stops at the English border, especially as we now get exposed to so many dialects. Some have spread further, and there are also a very large number that are Scots only but are now almost obsolete. D


    Well the Scottish national dictionary has this definition: 2. A large cupboard, gen. one built into a recess in the wall but also applied to free-standing cupboards of all kinds (Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 97). Gen.Sc. and in Eng. dial. In Scot. in wider application than in Eng. where it gen. refers only to cupboards for books, occas. to those for clothes. Also attrib., as in press-door, press-drawer, etc. Deriv. press-fu', a cupboardful.

    The word press features in Robert Burns' Tam O' Shanter:

    "Coffins stood round, like open presses, That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses; And by some develish cantraip slight"

    Robert Burns 1790


    Indeed, in Glasgow we would always talk of a press when it would be cupboard in English

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