Jeanne Rathbone

The naming of sexual parts in Irish-as ghaeilge

Ah go on, go on watch this video of me   Naming of sexual parts in Irish

Us Irish girls had the privilege of having the Latin and Irish dictionaries, as well as the English and French ones,  for our sexual education.  According to Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore you needed Latin to be a judge ‘ you need the latin for the judging’ Pete said to Dud. I reckon you need the Latin for the sexing. At the ‘Oz’ trial the judge asked for an explanation of cunnilingus for those who didn’t have a Latin education. The English translation he was offered was ‘yodelling up the canyon’ which seemed to satisfy him. No one seems to know why fellatio is called a ‘blow job’ in English when only sucking is involved.

Maybe it was D H Lawrence’s fault. He went on and on about his John Thomas- the King of Glory ‘rising all hot from its flame red hair’-  him having ginger pubes. For some reason when you combine cunnilingus and fellatio it goes all French and becomes soixante neuf.

It is no wonder us colleens turned to the Irish dictionary for our sexual enlightenment -although strange things happen as something gets lost in translation and you soon find out who was is in charge of compiling dictionaries. Of course, it was men and it is dangerous for us to leave them in charge of  naming of our sexual parts.

The Irish for clitoris is brille but when you check brille in the Irish section  you won’t find clitoris but ‘vulgar gossip’. The bastards have performed clitorodectomy with a stroke of a pen.

The Irish for vulva is ‘pit’ but in the gaelic section you find our vulva is still there but they have also added ‘ a shelless crab’ . They are sadists.

The Irish for vagina is ‘faighean’ which is pronounced fine but, wait for it, it is also the Irish for condom. If you get sexually intimate with a gaelic speaking Irishman who asks ‘Bhfuil faighean agat’? he is probably asking you if you have a condom on you rather than if you have a vagina and thus casting aspersions on your gender.

The gaelic for penis is ‘bod’ and bod is also the Irish for lout. Well, that feels like a little bit of female revenge for the way they have mucked about with our genitalia.  ‘Bod an bothair’ translates to penis of the road but is, in fact, the Irish for tramp. The literal translation for ‘Bod mor‘ is big penis but it is, in fact, the Irish for a ling which is a fish and probably the origin of the silly song  ‘My ding-a- ling’.

The Irish for vibrator is ‘tonnchreathaire’ but that literally translates to a wave machine. So watch out, if you are trying to buy a vibrator in Connemara or any Gaelic speaking area because you might be fobbed off with a curling tongs!

Here is a final bit of gaelic translation for you. The Irish for dictionary is Focloir which is pronounced  ‘fuck lore‘. Honestly I am not making this up!

Irish is an interesting language and I hope that my little piece on the naming of sexual parts ‘as ghaeilge’ does not deter you from learning a little about this lovely language.  Brian Friel wrote a wonderful play called ‘Translations’  which was about the English ordnance surveyors coming over to Ireland to try to translate placenames into English. This, of course, was about the colonisers and their hatred of native peoples speaking their own language- ‘a language the strangers do not know/yet they came and tried to teach us their ways/and blamed us for being what we are/but they might as well go chasing after moonbeams/or light a penny candle from a star.’   That is quote from the song Galway Bay.

It is the powerful who are usually in charge of naming and in omission too. Feminists, like Dale Spender in her excellent book ‘Man-made language’  elucidated this and named female experiences like ‘sexual harassment’  showing how important it is to name an entity before we can speak about and challenge it.

I have noted elsewhere that the masons who made the Sheela-na-Gig figures never managed to give her a clitoris they too committed clitorodectemy which is, undoubtedly, a manifestation of ‘clitoral envy’ that we have our clitoris just for sexual pleasure whereas their genital equipment is, in fact, a blunt instrument – a three-in-one tool used for urination, procreation and sexual gratification.  It is evident that Molly Bloom in Ulysses did not think very highly of the male member. ‘What does a man look like -standing there with his two bags full and the other thing sticking up at you – like a hat rack?  Sure it’s no wonder they hide it under a cabbage leaf’. Of course, I agree with Molly and not surprised that another nickname for said appendage is giggle stick.

Those guys who searched for I have a large penis in Irish the answer is Ta bod mor agam.  OK ?

7 Responses

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  1. Stephanie said, on August 17, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Very interesting read! 😀 I LOVE the word for dictionary! LOL

  2. freeglot said, on November 15, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Dear Sheela-na-Gig,

    Go raibh maith agat for a hilarious post!

    Given its title, you may be interested in the following strangely ambiguous poem by the British poet Henry Reed. It’s presumably about life in the army…. (?)

    “Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
    We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
    We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
    Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
    Glistens likecoral in all the neighboring gardens,
    And today we have naming of parts.

    This is the lower sling swivel. And this
    Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
    When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
    Which in your case you have not got. The branches
    Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
    Which in our case we have not got.

    This is the safety-catch, which is always released
    With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
    See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
    If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
    Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
    Any of them using their finger.

    And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
    Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
    Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
    Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
    The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
    They call it easing the Spring.

    They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
    If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
    And the breech, the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
    Which in our case we have not got; and the almond blossom
    Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
    For today we have the naming of parts.”

    Make of it what you will, as I’m sure Mr Reed intended all of us should. And keep up the good work in wising up the world to the wonderful Irish language!

    • sheelanagigcomedienne said, on November 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I was indeed inspired by the title of the Henry Reed poem which I see as as a sceptical and humorous poem about war/military activities.

      • freeglot said, on November 15, 2016 at 9:13 pm

        I should have realised you’d got your inspiration from the Reed poem – the coincidental title was almost too good to be true!

        In any case, I’m going to read more of your stuff, as the titles seem to strike a deep chord with me.

  3. freeglot said, on November 15, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    And oh yes they do! I’m sure some people find them offensive, but I agree with pretty much everything you say. Then again, I’m a gay man who was born and bred in Britain, but fortunately without any kind of religious upbringing.

  4. Mícheál Ó Máille 🎃 said, on October 30, 2018 at 12:07 am

    As a Connemara native, I can help –
    we call a vagina “faigheann meala” (faigheann=sheath scabbard; mheala=honeyed)

  5. Chrissy Jablonski said, on January 29, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    What are names for testicles? Because here in the States we have a lot of such phrases as “kicked him in the balls”. I would like to learn some in Gaelic

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