Today's post is inspired by the fact that what sounds like rhinos but is probably chipmunks have moved into a wall in my house.
This got me thinking about words for North American animals. No problem with things like bears (mathain) and wolves (madadh-alaidhean) they had those animals at one time in Scotland. But what about things like chipmunks and bobcats?
"Tha sinn duilich ach cha deach càil a lorg." is what am faclair beag has to say about chipmunks and bobcats and other North American animals.
What about mountain lions, raccoons and coyotes. These are all animals that live around me here in Colorado and I'd love to talk about them in Gaelic but it can be very hard to find an agreed name for them in Gaelic.
Some of course will have Gaelic names in Nova Scotia because the Gaelic speakers there will have been dealing with them too. Others especially some of our western desert animals may not have a formal Gaelic name. Yet. We speakers of Gaelic out here fad air falbh bhon seann duthaich, might be able to come together and decided what we would like to call these beasties in Gaelic.
Some could be borrowed in directly like perhaps we could use puma for mountain lion it follows the spelling rule and, as far as I know, doesn't have another meaning in Gaelic. Others will need names that say what they are. What are your ideas for these animals?
And those are just the animals. We have lots of strange plants out here to. Ciamar a chanas tu sagebrush sa Ghàidhlig?
Caroline has been involved with Gaelic for more than 18 years. She has degrees in Celtic Studies and Gaelic Medium Teaching.