Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.
'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!'
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Wondrous Words Wednesday, hosted by Kathy from Bermudaonion's Weblog, is one of my favorite memes. This week's meme has an Irish theme.
1. taoiseach: (pronounced tee-shock) Irish word for the head of government, or prime minister. The taoiseach is appointed by the president with the consent of the lower house.
"President Obama is celebrating St. Patrick's Day by welcoming the visiting taoiseach--or prime minister--of Ireland in the Oval Office."
2. colleen: an Irish girl, a young unmarried woman
I knew a lot of girls named Colleen in NY while I was growing up, but I didn't know that colleen is the Irish word for girl until I read the novel Becoming Finola by Suzanne Strempek Shea.
3. handfasting: an ancient Celtic custom, once practiced in Ireland and Scotland, where a newly wed couple would have their hands--their wrists, actually--tied together. Today's commonly used expression "tying the knot" as a description of getting married traces back to this early custom. I found this word while reading about Irish customs online.
What wondrous new words have you encountered during recent reading?