Focal an Lae #72
The Word of the Day in Irish

Word: buachaill (BOO-uh-xill)

Meaning: buachaill = boy


History: Old Irish “búachaill”, meaning “cow herder”, comes from Common Celtic *bowkol- (compare Welsh “bugail”, shepherd), which comes from Indo-European *gwow-kwol-. The first element of this compound is the word *gwous (ox, bull, cow) and the second element comes from the root *kwel- (to revolve, move around, sojourn), the sense being a person who moves around with the cattle. The Greek reflex of this word is “boukolos” (cowherd), which gives the adjective “boukolikos” (pastoral; rustic), from which the English “bucolic”.

Scottish Gaelic: buachaille, where it still retains the original meaning of cattle herder

2008-06-19 CPD