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  5. "We are in Switzerland."

"We are in Switzerland."

Translation:Tha sinn anns an Eilbheis.

December 15, 2019



I thought Eilbheis came from Memphis.


Sorry. That was Elvis. I'm always confusing those two.


Compare Eilbhis and Helvetia. Interesting.


Does Eilbheis come from the Latin Helvetia ?


My guess is that it probably comes from French. The term Helvètes is still used as an alternative term in France to mean Swiss people. It's used in the same sense that Caledonian means Scottish. In Italian, they used to say Elvezia (now antiquated). Given the close association of Scotland and France (the Auld Alliance) and the fact that we have a number of other words in Gaelic derived from French, it would seem a likely possibility.

Other Examples: seòmar - from French chambre (cf. Scots chaumer)

Uair from French Heure

Salach cf. French Sale

Airgead cf. French Argent

There are two words for red - dearg and ruadh. Ruadh (like French Rouge) is used for natural hair and fur colours. As I understand it falt ruadh is the norm, but if you say "falt dearg" it implies that the person has dyed their hair red. I don't know if that's already in the notes.

Then there is cluasag (pillow) which derives from cluas (ear). The concept is the same in French. Oreilles (ears) and oreiller (pillow)

Then it gets complicated because some words in French are from Ancient Gaulish, another Celtic language. Briser in French means to break, compare with briste in Gaelic - Bhris mi e (I broke it) Car comes from the Gaulish word caros, meaning a chariot through the French char meaning a wagon or later a tank.

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