On Thu, 27 Jun 1996, Alex Breed wrote:
> I erased by mistake the sender's address and the inquiry about
> "Ba/iteadh iad agus tha/inig mise" or something like that.
> I believe that ba/iteadh is a variant form from ba/igh, and the
> quoted title would translate "They were drowned and I came."
> Ro/dheireanach, de re/ir dealraimh.
> Alex <[log in to unmask]>
Having the book myself, I would like to correct, not "ba/iTeadh" but
"ba/iTHeadh". In Ulster the -ith in ba/ith = drown, caith = spend, sa/ith
= thrust (I am not sure about the english word but I do understand the
Gaelic one) is still very much pronounced, that's why the book prefers
this orthography. It seems that this "ba/itheadh..." is part of a
nursery rhyme(or something) which is used as the ending signal of a
story, which means "they came by the ford, myself by the stone-bridge,
they were drowned but I survived".
Tha/inig means here the same as tha/inig...sla/n, "survived". Tar/teacht
can be used in the meaning of "to get" (from somewhere, to somewhere)
- if you dislike the usage of "faigh/fa/il" in this meaning as an
anglicism(even if it is a very old anglicism, at least in Munster, where
it was used by one of our undoubted stylistic ideals, the Islandman, let
alone sporadicaly) I reckon you can use tar/teacht instead. The meaning
"survive" is a development of this connotation, I reckon.
A word of warning: tha/inig and chonaic can be confused, especially in
Ulster, where th is not weakened (as in Cois Fharraige, where caithfidh
is pronounced ca'!) but merges with ch (which IS weakened - that's why
our Ulster friends here sometimes spell ra/chairt with a th, which reflects
their pronunciation). Sometimes the folklore bailitheoiri/ misspell
tha/inig as chonaic or the other way round, and their misunderstanding
can have survived all subsequent cur-in-eagars.