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A’ Bhodhaig

Complete for 2 points

Bilingual transcription: Pàirtean dhen bhodhaig

Bilingual transcription: Parts of the body

Watch this clip where Joy gives us some of her useful tips and favourite phrases. 

This time it’s: Parts of the body and some idioms associated with it.


Let’s start at the top, with your head, le do cheann and a question we often ask a friend or family member:

A bheil / ceann goirt ort? Do you have a sore head? A bheil ceann goirt ort?

Goirt is the word for sore. If we’re complaining of discomfort or pain in the body, we often use ort to say that something is on us mar, a bheil ceann goirt ort?

However, we can also talk about our bodies using a more simple construction:

Tha mo ghlùin goirt. My knee is sore. Tha mo ghlùin goirt!

And another good example of this is:

Tha m’ amhach goirt.  My throat is sore. Tha m’ amhach goirt.

Gaelic has lots of wonderful idioms which feature different parts of the body and I’ll share some of these with you.

sròn is the Gaelic for nose, but…

Ghabh e san t‑sròin e! means that he was offended! Literally, he took it in the nose, ghabh e san t‑sròin e!

Now another one you’ll likely know is that làmh is the Gaelic for hand,

and làmh‑an‑uachdair is the upper hand, làmh‑an‑uachdair.

We can use this in a descriptive manner to say:

Fhuair i / làmh‑an‑uachdair air which means that she got or gained the upper hand on him. Fhuair i làmh‑an‑uachdair air.

Let’s turn to the Gaelic for eye now:

sùil, sùil.  And when it’s paired with the verb thoir, which means give or take, and the preposition air, on, it takes on a new meaning:

Thoir sùil air, Look at or Have a look at it, thoir sùil air,

and An toir thu sùil air? Which means ‘will you take a look at it’, an toir thu sùil air?

To answer yes to An toir thu sùil air, we say:

Bheir mi sùil air, I will. I’ll take a look at it, bheir mi sùil air.

To answer no, it’s:

Cha toir mi sùil air, No, I won’t, I will not take a look at it, cha toir mi sùil air.

And if you’re talking in the past tense you’d say:

Thug mi sùil air, I took a look at it, thug mi sùil air.

Now, you’ll already know the Gaelic words for ear, cluas,

and sense of hearing is,

 claisneachd, claisneachd.

Together, they provide us with a phrase I’m going to ask you to do for the next few minutes: Cùm cluas / ri claisneachd, keep an ear to the ground or listen out for something.