Focal an Lae #164
The Word of the Day in Irish

Word: gallúnach (GAH-loo-nuhkh) [galuːnəx]

Meaning: gallúnach = soap


History: Irish “gallúnach” appears to be a compound of “gall” (foreign) and “uanach” (foaming, from “uan”, foam). Old Irish “úan” (froth, foam), Welsh “ewyn” and Breton “eon” derive from Indo-European *pow-ino-, from the root *pu (to swell, blow), with loss of “p” which is regular in proto-Celtic. Old Irish “Gall” originally meant “Gaul” and was later applied in turn to the Norse and the English, and finally came to mean “foreigner, foreign”. The name of the Gauls (Latin “Galli”) probably comes from the Indo-European root *gal- (to be able, to have power).

2008-06-19 CPD