I mentioned Dinneen‘s Irish dictionary here, and I still mourn my copy gone these thirty years and more, so it’s some consolation that the late lexicographer has a Twitter feed, @AnDuinnineach: “Irish lexicographer, historian, caped-crusader. I’ve got words for things you didn’t even know you needed to say. First published in 1904. WORD.” A recent entry: “sclogtha, a., unable to gasp. Táim sclogtha leis an dtart, I am unable to gasp from thirst.” Enjoy!


  1. Didi you know that an electronic copy of Dinneen is available here:
    I also have an OCR’d version; I’ll see if I can find the link.

  2. I’ve been following this Twitter account for a while and it’s a consistent pleasure. “Words for things you didn’t even know you needed to say” is an apt description: it showcases the language’s wonderful range of obscurely precise Irish terms.
    It would be great if the featured words and phrases were supplemented by a pronunciation note for people unfamiliar with Irish, or by etymological information, but space is at a premium on Twitter so these are understandable omissions.

  3. Thanks, Amy! Here‘s a direct link, for anyone else who might be interested.

  4. If you like Dinneen you may like Ian Duhig’s poem, “From the Irish”:

  5. I do, and I was just wondering what to post (after deleting many hundreds of spam comments)—thanks!

  6. John Cowan says

    I note that star has exactly the same sense in English as in Dineen: ‘the mark on the forehead of a beast’, and the usage goes back to OE, where it appears as a gloss for frontalia, the ultimate source of English frontlet ‘decoration worn on the forehead’. I smell a calque (whose odor is not as strong as the smell of a Wumpus, but equally characteristic).

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