Irish Place Names

in Caint agus Comhrá

The longest place name in Ireland is generally thought to be Muckanaghederdauhaulia, a very small village in Moycullen west of Galway city. 22 letters, just to save you the trouble of counting. The Irish name is Murceanach idir Dhá Sháile.  This translates to ‘piggery between two expanses of briny (sea) water’.

Typically, Irish place names are the anglicised, i.e. mispronounced Irish place name. The Irish name has a meaning. When you travel around Ireland you will see the Irish version of the place names, (that is when you can find a signpost) in italics alongside now the generally used anglicised version, exploring the origins of the place names will often give an insight into the history of a place

For example Donegal, Dun na nGall, meaning ‘fort of the foreigners’. The foreigners in question are the Vikings, 

Ballaghnatrillick, County Sligo, comes from the Irish Béal Átha an Trí Liag, meaning ‘ford mouth of the three flagstones’. 

Now for the Quiz, what does the word Quiz mean?  the book “Ireland a Very Peculiar History’ Salaryia Books, explains

“The word quiz was invented by Dublin theatre manager, James Daly in 1780, who bet he could introduce a meaningless word into the English language in 24 hours. He hired gangs of schoolboys to write the word on the city walls. Soon all of Dublin was dying to know what the mystery word meant?”

Also a quote from this book “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher’ Flannery O’Connor


References: “Ireland a Very Peculiar History’ Salaryia Books, Wikipedia, and  


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