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Subject: Re: Dhu, what is it?
From: "Caoimhin P. ODonnaile" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Caoimhin P. ODonnaile
Date:Sun, 23 Aug 1998 13:20:13 +0100
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN
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Jim,

> whilst reading some scots literature recently I came across the sylable
> 'dhu' e.g.,sgian dhu, Tamdhu, Knockandhu, can you please advise the
> meaning of 'dhu

"Dhu" is from Gaelic "dubh", meaning black.

    sgian dhu       sgian dubh     black knife

    Tamdhu          Tom Dubh       black hill
                                  ("tom" is usually a hillock rising out
                                    of flat land)

    Knockandhu      Cnocan Dubh    black hillock

"Dubh" is pronounced "doo", but was formerly pronounced "doov" (and
still is in parts of Ireland), and it is probably related to the
English word "deaf", both coming from an Indo-european root meaning
"to smoke" or "hazy, darkened".  You see it also in the surname
"MacDuff", the pudding "plum duff", the placename "Ballyjamesduff",
and the English word "divot" (from "dubh fhod", black sod).

Le deagh dhùrachd,
Caoimhín

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